THE DREW REVIEW: Riveted: The Science of Why Jokes Make us Laugh, Movies Make us Cry, and Religion Make us Feel One with the Universe; by Jim Davies

drew-review“Understanding compellingness and how it works requires some understanding of our brains and how they were shaped by evolution.” -J. Davies

b85ffe78-8e2c-44e1-9070-ab40bceb7a79What makes something compelling? Riveted seeks an answer to that question. Throughout the entire book there are a ton of psychological research references and examples to help Davies get his point across. These references and examples were the most entertaining parts, mainly because research that is done in the psychological/sociological field is fascinating to me. I thought Riveted had some great flow for the majority of the book and then spots of crawling narrative. Davies likes to repeat himself a lot with the concepts, but maybe that is because we as humans love the idea of patterns (which is something I learned in this book). Also, the last chapter is entirely based on Davies’ atheism and how religion just doesn’t make sense or better put isn’t a rational thing to participate, just a fair warning for anyone looking to read this book that might take offense.

There are only 7 chapters to Riveted, each describing a different aspect of Davies’ very own “compellingness foundations theory” (hence the question proposed to you in the first sentence). There are topics from the old brain and new brain narrative to fear and hope and how those two emotions determine how we as humans react to a host of questions encountered in everyday life. The introduction to this book is probably one of the best I have ever read, some of you might not find introductions important but the one in Riveted kicks ass. When reading this book try to have an open mind, especially those that might be very religious, Davies holds no punches when it comes to all religions. Strength coaches reading this can take away a better understanding for human behavior, which in our line of work can be pretty valuable.

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