His new book is Liars and Outliers: Enabling the Trust that Society Needs to Thrive.
He discussed five books on trust with Alec Ash at The Browser, including:
BraintrustRead about the other books on the list at The Browser.
by Patricia S Churchland
Braintrust, by the neuroscientist Patricia Churchland. This book is about the neuroscience of morality. It's brand new – published in 2011 – which is good because this is a brand new field of science, and new discoveries are happening all the time. Morality is the most basic of societal pressures, and Churchland explains how it works.
This book tries to understand the neuroscience behind trust and trustworthiness. In her own words:
“The hypothesis on offer is that what we humans call ethics or morality is a four dimensional scheme for social behavior that is shaped by interlocking brain processes: (1) caring (rooted in attachment to kin and kith and care for their well-being), (2) recognition of other’s psychological states (rooted in the benefits of predicting the behavior of others) (3) problem-solving in a social context (e.g., how we should distribute scarce goods, settle land disputes; how we should punish the miscreants) and (4) learning social practices (by positive and negative reinforcement, by imitation, by trial and error, by various kinds of conditioning, and by analogy).”
Those are our innate human societal pressures. They are the security systems that keep us mostly trustworthy most of the time – enough for most of us to be trusting enough for society to survive.
The Page 99 Test: Patricia Churchland's Braintrust.
The Page 99 Test: Bruce Schneier's Liars and Outliers.