Summary

Our brains evolved to solve the survival problems of our Stone Age ancestors, so when faced with modern-day situations that are less extreme, they often encounter a mismatch. Our primitive brains put us on the wrong foot by responding to stimuli that - in prehistoric times - would have prompted behaviour that was beneficial. If you've ever felt an anxious fight-or-flight response to a presenting at a board meeting, equivalent to facing imminent death by sabre-toothed tiger, then you have experienced a mismatch.
Mismatch is about the clash between our biology and our culture. It is about the dramatic contrast between the first few million years of human history - when humans lived as hunters and gatherers in small-scale societies - and the past 12,000 years following the agricultural revolution which have led us to comfortable lives in a very different social structure. Has this rapid transition been good for us? How do we, using our primitive minds, try to survive in a modern information society that radically changes every 10 years or so?
Ronald Giphart and Mark van Vugt show that humans have changed their environment so drastically that the chances for mismatch have significantly increased, and these conflicts can have profound consequences. Reviewed through mismatch glasses, social, societal, and technological trends can be better understood, ranging from the popularity of Facebook and Internet porn to the desire for cosmetic surgery to our attitudes towards refugees. Mismatches can also affect our physical and psychological well-being, in terms of our attitudes to happiness, physical exercise, choosing good leaders, or finding ways to feel better at home or work.
Finally, Mismatch gives us an insight into politics and policy which could enable governments, institutions and businesses to create an environment better suited to human nature, its potential and its constraints. This audiobook is about converting mismatches into matches. The better your life is matched to how your mind operates, the greater your chances of leading a happy, healthy and productive life.
©2018 Ronald Giphart, 2018 Mark van Vugt (P)2018 Hachette Audio UK
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Anonimo Nonlodico on 18-02-18

Superficial, patchy and quite often factually incorrect

This is a well written and easy to listen to book on an important subject. It could serve as an introduction to readers unfamiliar with it. The problem is, many areas are treated very superficially, some are omitted altogether despite their importance and some information is simply factually wrong. I’m rather disappointed and will return this audiobook.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars
By Poppy on 21-09-18

GRRRATING, opinions presented as facts.

It is true to say that I have not enjoyed (but suffered) the experience of listening to this book. Not my idea of a good read.

The content itself is questionable as some assumptions are presented as specific fact rather than opinion. For example the assertion that people are obese because they are responding to a desire for sugar. It fails to take account of factors such as childhood sexual, emotional, verbal abuse, issues of abandonment and lack of parental bonding, inadequate nutritional levels in food as a result of farming methods, bodies and minds responding to misinformation due to chemical additives and prescribed drugs, to name a few other factors which are also known to have a significant bearing on obesity.

Throughout, the narrator's tone of voice grates on me and emphasises what comes across as a patronising and self-congratulatory affect of the authors. I feel there is a distinct lack of compassion towards people and that the intention appears to be to demean and laugh at their suffering. I find this to be unpleasant.

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