Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Mind Over Money - Claudia Hammond

Book Details

Book Title: Mind Over Money

Author: Claudia Hammond

: Canongate Book Ltd 2016

Source: Net Galley - Sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I do not own this image, it is from Goodreads

Page Count: 384

Format: E-Book

Genre: Social Science - Non Fiction

Audience: Those who want to know the psychology behind money.

Summed up in one word: Experimental...

First Impression: I always enjoy a good piece about money, most of us love money, all of us use it as a tool to achieve what we want in life. Claudia puts together a collection of insights into the psychology of money with the intention of teaching us how achieve mind over money. Thank you to Net Galley for sending this book to me in exchange for an honest review.

Summary Of The Book:

Come and join Claudia Hammond on a journey through the rough psychological landscape that is our relationship with money. CH wants to show us what is going on behind the scenes when we interact with money, unravelling the relationship between our money and our minds.

First we begin with controversy, a couple of famous people setting fire to a million pounds in cash for an artistic stunt. Outrage follows as that money could have been used for good, to feed the poor, bought housing or a million other things. The money represents opportunities, it represents effort and it represents many other emotions and opinions that we as people have. This is the overall theme of this material and it brings to light many habits and behaviours that we involve ourselves in every day without thinking properly. 

CH talks through all aspects of our feelings and interactions with cold hard dosh. How we feel about cash over credit. How we treat new, fresh money better than old tatty notes. How we develop a relationship with money as children. The changing of currency within nations. How the rich can be very mean and charity is a complex art form. Mind Over Money displays all of the psychological, philosophical, economical and existential elements that come with using money as a tool in life.

CH covers over 200 psychological/behavioural experiments in this book. It is a thorough and engaging piece of Non-Fiction and if you do not really grasp why we behave like we do around money then this is a book you should definitely add to your reading list.

My Review:

I enjoy the subject of money, it is a psychological buffet of a subject and we humans can behave really badly when it comes to money. It is true that we also behave well with money but people often relate to the darker side of cash and there is plenty of that here.

First off the format of this book was my favourite thing about it. Clear cut chapters with a helpful summary displayed ahead of each one. The same descriptions are included on the contents page and it really helps give your mind a head start in comprehending this book nicely. In terms of the content I found that CH was trying to make small neat little points in a quick fire pattern instead of building up to a big revelation or insight. That style made it easier to finish but also left my brain hungry for a big AHA moment which I never got.

If you read plenty of psychology books then I say say you should pass on this. There are big chunks of the book that feature in some way or another across similar titles in its field and I don't feel CH did much to revitalise the genre. If you have no knowledge of psychology or how money influences your actions then by all means tuck in. It is not a terrible effort, but it is mainly a collection of scientific research with the thoughts and opinions of a popular entertainer threaded throughout. This leaves the more seasoned psychology readers with a deflated sense of wasted time, the amusing bits are not that amusing and sometimes the author can get slightly off topic. That said CH is not claiming to be a expert in the field of money, this is more of a grand news piece on the subject of us and money.

Overall this is a decent read, it does not take itself too seriously, its not ground breaking but if your new to the subject then its a good window into how psychologists work to determine human behaviour in an unbiased environment (it can be near impossible). CH is a competent writer and host on this expedition through our greedy minds, but the banter between research for me was a bit cringe worthy at times.


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