How Do We Know Ourselves? Curiosities and Marvels of the Human Mind

by David G. Myers
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2022

These 40 short essays shine the light of psychology science on the wonders of our humanity and the experiences of our everyday lives. See

How Do We Know Ourselves? is a treasure. Each chapter is a gem of insight into the human experience, cut and polished to perfection by the renowned psychologist David Myers. Better than any book I can recall, this book answers questions about why we think, feel, and act as we do―but also makes us curious to learn more. I loved it!

—Angela Duckworth, author of Grit

For four decades, David Myers has been the foremost communicator of the science of psychology to the outside world. Now, we are privileged to have access to his innermost thoughts and his wisdom about what it all means for ourselves and our future. This is the capstone work of a great psychologist.

—Martin Seligman, Zellerbach Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and author of The Hope Circuit

This book’s title is understated, like its author. It is so much more than ‘curiosities’ and ‘marvels.’ In forty short and engaging essays, David Myers offers guidance on how to think, and wisdom about leading a life of meaning and connection in a world increasingly hostile to such pursuits.

—Jonathan Haidt, Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership at the New York University Stern School of Business, author of The Righteous Mind, and coauthor of The Coddling of the American Mind

We psychologists are often frustrated that our science fails to satisfy people’s curiosity about what makes us tick, how we relate to one another, and how we can use such knowledge to lead happier and more fulfilling lives. But in this book David Myers, who knows a thing or two about psychology, shows how it can be done. These essays are both scientifically responsible and filled with insight about life, mind, and society.

—Steven Pinker, Johnstone Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and the author of How the Mind Works

A witty, enjoyable book with plenty of food for thought.

Kirkus Reviews starred review

The book’s format makes for a comfortable, nearly conversational read, while also engaging readers in a deep dive of pondering their lives … highly recommended for those interested in psychology, self-help, reflections, and the desire to understand society.

Library Journal starred review

A quick and illuminating overview of the human mind.

Publishers Weekly

Editors’ pick: Best Nonfiction