Coverage for
Hidden Motives in Everyday Life


Rhys Lindmark, #34 Robin Hanson, Elephant in the Brain: Norms, Motives, Signaling, Weaponized Sacredness (and Mechanism Design!), Creating a Humanist Blockchain Future: a Systems Podcast, March 16, 2018.

David Wright, Robin Hanson Will Change How You Think, Not Unreasonable Podcast, March 15, 2018.

Sam Harris, Hidden Motives, Waking Up with Sam Harris, March 12, 2018.

Shelly Irwin, The Elephant in the Brain, WGVU News Radio, March 8, 2018.

Scott Young, Elephant In The Brain (Book Club, February 2018), Book Club, March 5, 2018.

Joaquin Mayorga, El elefante en el carnaval, Estrellas Distantes, March 2, 2018.

Charles Lee, Frank Ling, Elephant Brain, Groks Science Show, February 28, 2018.

Tyler Cowen, Robin Hanson on Signaling and Self-Deception (Ep. 35), Conversations with Tyler, February 28, 2018. See also blog post.

Steven Zuber, Eneasz Brodski, 54 – Nothing Can Prepare You For Robin Hanson, Bayesian Conspiracy Podcast, February 28, 2018.

Mike Carruthers, 151 The REAL Reason Why You Do the Things You Do & Important Etiquette in the 21st Century, Something You Should Know, February 26, 2018.

Sarah Rice, Susie Meister, Ep198: Swimsuits, Sewers, and Secret Talents, Brain Candy Podcast, February 25, 2018.

Jon Perry, Ted Kupper, 077: Robin Hanson on The Elephant in the Brain, Review the Future, February 25, 2018.

Armen Shirvanian, An Interview With Kevin Simler And Dr. Robin Hanson, Interviews with scientists and informational authors, February 12, 2018.

Venkatesh Rao, The Elephant in the Brain, Ribbon Farm, January 30, 2018.

Rory Sutherland, A nice, cuddly NHS would be bad for us, The Spectator, January 20, 2018.

Adam Ford, Robin Hanson - The Elephant in the Brain, Science, Technology, and the Future, January 16, 2018.

Jacob Morgan, Hidden Motives In Everyday Life: How Our Brains Deceive Us At Work And In Life And Whether Or Not We Have The Power To Change, Future of Work Podcast, January 8, 2018.

Aaron Watson, 272 Unpacking the Instruments of Our Self-Deception with Kevin Simler & Robin Hanson, Going Deep Podcast, January 4, 2017.

David Wright, Robin Hanson Will Blow Your Mind. Not Unreasonable Podcast, January 3, 2017.

Tyler Cowen, *The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life*, Additions to my best books of the year list, Outline of the new Robin Hanson and Kevin Simler book, Marginal Revolution, January 3, 2018, December 24, February 20, 2017.

Phil Bowermaster, The Elephant in the Brain, World Transformed Podcast, January 2, 2018.

Issac Morehouse, 135 - Robin Hanson on 'The Elephant in the Brain', Issac Morehouse Podcast, January 1, 2018.

Frank Conway, 122: Robin Hanson on The Elephant In the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life, Economic Rockstar Podcast, January 1, 2018.

David Scharfenberg, You're probably a jerk. We all are. Boston Globe, December 30, 2017.

Garrett Petersen, The Elephant in the Brain, Hidden Motives, And Self-Deception with Robin Hanson, Economics Detective Podcast, December 29, 2017.

Michael Covel, Ep. 615: Robin Hanson Interview with Michael Covel, Trend Following Podcast, December 15, 2017.

Matt Davio, Hidden Motives in Everyday Life w/ Robin Hanson, One Minute Trader Podcast, December 14, 2017.


See also reviews at Amazon and Goodreads.

"Some implications of the thesis of The Elephant in the Brain, may change the way we look at social sciences and help us see how to really leave others alone." Shanu Athiparambath , You Hate the State, But Do You Hate Politics? How Self Deception and Coalitions Affect Society, The Daily Bell, March 14, 2018.

"a well-written analysis of human self-deception" Peter McCluskey, The Elephant in the Brain, Bayesian Investor Blog, January 31, 2018. "A great new book … So go grab the book. It’ll be required reading around these parts."

Venkatesh Rao, The Elephant in the Brain, Ribbon Farm, January 30, 2018.

"An entertaining and insightful book that sheds light on a diverse collection of perplexing human behaviors." Samuel Hammond, The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life—A Review, Quilletee, January 28, 2018. "comprehensive … especially pertinent to designers … failed by existing design literature" Jackson Mohsenin, 16 Book Recommendations from the Quora Design Team, Quora Design, January 25, 2018.

"Jeder will ein guter Mensch sein. Deshalb demonstrieren wir ständig, wie sozial, kultiviert und gebildet wir sind – und belügen damit uns selbst. Das hat gravierende Folgen. Zum Beispiel beim Arzt order auf der Wohnungssuche." Von Tobias Kaiser, Das Problem mit unserem täglichen Selbstbetrug, Welt Am Sonntag, p.34, January 21, 2018.

"the best, most comprehensive, most powerful theory of human nature so far, an account that rigorously explains almost everything." Jason Brennan, You Should Read Simler and Hanson's *Elephant in the Brain*, Bleeding Heart Libertarians, January 18, 2018.

"a fabulous new book" "one of the five best books I have read in the last ten years" Rory Sutherland, A nice, cuddly NHS would be bad for us, The Spectator, January 20, 2018.

"It is a good book … It is because of this thought-provokingness and summarisation of dozens of books into a single one that I ultimately recommend the book for purchase." Artir Kel, This Review is not about reviewing The Elephant in the Brain, Nintil, January 16, 2018.

"A smart synthesis and offers several original metaphors. … Refreshingly frank and penetrating, leaving no stone of presumed human virtue unturned. The authors do not even spare themselves. … It is accessibly erudite." Matthew Hutson, Review: The Tangled Web We Weave, Wall Street Journal, p. A13, January 12, 2018.

"very readable … there are some excellent passages, and some wonderful ideas, but there are also many ideas which are in sore need of greater defence. It's worth reading, quite possibly more than once, but it is not - in my view - Book-of-the-year level good." Andrew, The Elephant in the Brain: some notes, Cafe de la Regence, January 9, 2018.

"I find the general framework deeply insightful, and his presentation to be more clear, analytical, and descriptive than other accounts. … At long last, Hanson and his co-author Kevin Simler have written a nice book that largely satisfies me: The Elephant in the Brain. I highly recommend it." Jess Riedel, Comments on Simler and Hanson, ForeXiv, January 5, 2018.

"A fantastic synthesis of subversive social scientific insight into hidden (or less apparent) motives of human behaviour, and hidden (or less apparent) functions of institutions." Tristan Haze, Two Critical Remarks on The Elephant in the Brain, Sprachlogik, January 3, 2017.

"I highly recommend the book. … This adds up to [my] buying about 90% of claims. For a book making so many bold claims, that's very good." Zvi Mowshowitz, Book Review: The Elephant in the Brain, Don't Worry About The Vase, December 31, 2017.

"Lots of Fun" Jamie Brandon, Notes on 'The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life', Scattered Thoughts December 29, 2017.

"By the end of the book, I was still not sure that I felt comfortable with the objectivity of the thesis, but acknowledge that it is a theory that resonates and an argument that has been well put together." Diarmuid, The Elephant in the brain – Book review, Managerial monkey business, December 28, 2017.

"A thoroughly enjoyable and easily digestible read on a difficult subject." Kieran McCarthy, Simler and Hanson on Our Hidden Motivations in Everyday Life, Joyous and Swift, December 14, 2017.

"Fascinating and accessible introduction to an important subject" The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life, Publishers Weekly, July 24, 2017.


Upcoming Talks

Past Talks


“One of the five best books I have read in the last ten years.”
Rory Sutherland, Editor at The Spectator
“Charles Darwin, Dan Kahneman and Malcolm Gladwell walk into a bar.... It's no joke! Reading The Elephant in the Brain is like eavesdropping on a fascinating conversation among a group of well-read and clever iconoclasts as they speculate on why we vote against our economic interests, spend too much on health care, give to the wrong charities and pray to gods we aren’t sure really exist.”
Steven Pearlstein, Columnist at The Washington Post; Pulitzer Prize Winner
“If you want to know what makes people tick, read The Elephant in the Brain. Simler and Hanson have created the most comprehensive, powerful, unified explanation of human nature and behavior to date.”
Jason Brennan, Professor of Business, Georgetown University
“This book will make you see the world in a whole new light.”
Tyler Cowen, Bloomberg columnist; author of The Great Stagnation
The Elephant in the Brain is a masterpiece.”
Scott Aaronson, Director, Quantum Information Center, University of Texas, Austin
“In this ingenious and persuasive book, Simler and Hanson mischievously reveal that much of our behavior is for social consumption: we make decisions that make us look good, rather than good decisions.”
Hugo Mercier, Research Scientist, French Institute for Cognitive Sciences
“A thoughtful examination of the human condition.”
David Biello, Science Curator at TED, author of The Unnatural World
“A disturbing and important book.”
Arnold Kling, author of The Three Languages of Politics
“Simler and Hanson have done it again — a big new idea, well told.”
Gregory Benford, Professor of Physics, University of California, Irvine, 2x Nebula Award winner, author of The Berlin Project
“Deeply important, wide-ranging, beautifully written, and fundamentally right.”
Bryan Caplan, Professor of Economics, George Mason University, author of The Case Against Education
“This is the most unconventional and uncomfortable self-help book you will ever read. But probably also the most important.”
Andrew McAfee, Principal Research Scientist at MIT; coauthor of Machine | Platform | Crowd
“Thorough, insightful, fun to read, with the slight negative that everything is now ruined forever.”
Zach Weinersmith, author of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal
“This book will change how you see the world.”
Allan Dafoe, Professor of Political Science, Yale University
“A captivating book about the things your brain does not want you to know.”
Jaan Tallinn, Founder of Skype, Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, and Future of Life Institute
“It’s hard to overstate how impactful this book is.”
Tucker Max, author of I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell
“An eye opening look at how we deceive ourselves in order to deceive others.”
Ramez Naam, author of Nexus
“A provocative and compellingly readable account of how and why we lie to our rivals, our friends, and ourselves.”
Steven Landsburg, Professor of Economics, University of Rochester
“Simler and Hanson reveal what’s beneath our wise veneer – a maelstrom of bias and rationalization that we all must – for survival’s sake - help each other overcome.”
David Brin, 2x Hugo winner, author of Existence
“A thoughtful and provocative book.”
Andrew Gelman, Professor of Statistics, Columbia University
“Simler and Hanson uncover the hidden and darker forces that shape much of what we say and do.”
William MacAskill, Professor of Philosophy, Oxford University, author of Doing Good Better
“There are only a few people alive today worth listening to. Robin Hanson is one of them.”
Ralph Merkle, co-inventor of public key cryptography
“Brilliantly written and entertaining on every page.”
Alex Tabarrok, author of Modern Principles of Economics