Open Minded:
Searching for Truth about the Unconscious Mind

A provocative look at the unconscious mind that challenges contemporary perceptions and exposes the indefensible science that fostered them.

Co-authored by Ben Newell & David Shanks. Published by The MIT Press in 2023.
Open Minded has received acclaim from prominent researchers...
“A brilliant and skeptical reconsideration of the role of the unconscious in our lives, with a bracing diagnosis for how, and where, psychology has gone wrong. Agree or not, read this book!”
Professor of Behavioural Science, Warwick Business School
“Replete with concrete examples, Open Minded is a joy to read and provides an invaluable lesson in skepticism.”
Professor of Psychological Methods, University of Amsterdam

Book Description

How much of a role does the unconscious play in our decision making? In Open Minded: Searching for Truth about the Unconscious Mind authors Ben R. Newell and David R. Shanks would argue: not very much. Behavioral science and public discourse have placed an outsized emphasis on the unconscious mind when it comes to understanding human behavior. Pursuing trails of fraud, intrigue, and claims about the power of unconscious thought, Newell and Shanks scrutinize the science that has contributed to our conventional wisdom and offer an important counterpoint to the ever-stronger traction that the unconscious mind has gained in public debate, such as the now ubiquitous claim that unconscious bias plays a large role in people’s decisions and behavior.

Return to all books