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The Molecule of More

How a Single Chemical in Your Brain Drives Love, Sex, and Creativity - And Will Determine the Fate of the Human Race
Narrated by: Tom Parks
Length: 8 hrs and 13 mins
4.8 out of 5 stars (26 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Why are we obsessed with the things we want and bored when we get them?

Why is addiction “perfectly logical” to an addict?

Why does love change so quickly from passion to disinterest?

Why are some people diehard liberals and others hardcore conservatives?

Why are we always hopeful for solutions even in the darkest times - and so good at figuring them out? 

The answer is found in a single chemical in your brain: dopamine. Dopamine ensured the survival of early man. Thousands of years later, it is the source of our most basic behaviors and cultural ideas - and progress itself. 

Dopamine is the chemical of desire that always asks for more - more stuff, more stimulation, and more surprises. In pursuit of these things, it is undeterred by emotion, fear, or morality. Dopamine is the source of our every urge, that little bit of biology that makes an ambitious business professional sacrifice everything in pursuit of success, or that drives a satisfied spouse to risk it all for the thrill of someone new. Simply put, it is why we seek and succeed; it is why we discover and prosper. Yet, at the same time, it’s why we gamble and squander. 

From dopamine’s point of view, it’s not the having that matters. It’s getting something - anything - that’s new. From this understanding - the difference between possessing something versus anticipating it - we can understand in a revolutionary new way why we behave as we do in love, business, addiction, politics, religion - and we can even predict those behaviors in ourselves and others. 

In The Molecule of More: How a Single Chemical in Your Brain Drives Love, Sex, and Creativity—And will Determine the Fate of the Human Race, George Washington University professor and psychiatrist Daniel Z. Lieberman, MD, and Georgetown University lecturer Michael E. Long present a potentially life-changing proposal: Much of human life has an unconsidered component that explains an array of behaviors previously thought to be unrelated, including why winners cheat, why geniuses often suffer with mental illness, why nearly all diets fail, and why the brains of liberals and conservatives really are different.

©2018 Daniel Z. Lieberman, MD, and Michael E. Long. (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved. Publishing by arrangement with BenBella Books.

Critic Reviews

"One might consider it Freakonomics for the mind."— Greg Roth, "The Idea Enthusiast" 

"Daniel Lieberman and Michael Long have pulled off an amazing feat. They have made a biography of a neurotransmitter a riveting read. Once you understand the power and peril of dopamine, you’ll better understand the human condition itself.” —Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive and When 

"Meet a molecule whose fingerprint rests upon every aspect of human nature—from desire and drugs to politics and progress. Lieberman and Long tell the epic saga of dopamine as a page-turner that you simply can't put down."—David Eagleman, PhD, neuroscientist at Stanford and New York Times bestselling author 

What listeners say about The Molecule of More

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eye opening

information from the book seems mostly legitimate but some of the facts may be construed and seen in another way however the book was eye-opening and very interesting to say the least

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Absolutely excellent!

a mindblowing read spelling out the underlying chemicals driving so much of our behaviour, relationships and society.

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  • JL
  • 17-09-2020

Awesome but...

This is a pretty great book. Incredibly interesting and very illuminating. It offered significant understanding of my own behaviour and that of others. One thing I would value would be more insight into practical ways that we can successfully influence the dopamine and HN circuits. This book was definitely worth the time.

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  • Nick Morrison
  • 05-01-2019

Wow great book!

I absolutely loved this book. It was so insightful. The Narrator was clear and pleasant. I heard about this book from Brett McKay's The Art of Manliness. The authors came on his podcast and after the interview, I purchased the audio book. I found that I would take another few rounds in the neighborhood before going to the house after work, just so I could hear more of it, which is far from normal for me. I plan to listen to it a few more times because I think the material is useful in understanding important things. There was a part where they explain how dopamine may be genetic and how that may connect to people who explore and people who stay home. Again, very interesting book.

32 people found this helpful

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  • Grateful Girl
  • 01-10-2019

Interesting but not what I had in mind

This book was interesting and well-read. However, I had hoped for a bit more guidance about how to deal with the dopamine abnormalities involved in addiction. It was somewhat repetitive, but still of interest.

25 people found this helpful

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  • Derrick
  • 11-10-2020

Amazing book

Content of this book is fascinating, well researched and delivered in way that is understandable. And actionable. Narrator is also fantastic.

17 people found this helpful

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  • Henry Carr
  • 10-01-2019

Wow! Incredibly relevant, incredibly insightful.

It is a rare read that pulls together most of the aspects of life into a single theory, and even rarer that a read that does so as successfully as The Molecule of More. Of all the books I've read about psychology, habit change, neuroscience, politics, and even business and business leadership, all seem to be at least partially explained by this book. By contributing an underlying theory to much of what we see around us, this book also helps to distinguish between garbage advice and good advice, helps to clarify why some solutions work for one person but not another, and helps us better understand those who's lives and decisions seem so different from ours. As a person with ADHD (medicated from a young age) and a history of floundering in personal relationships, I found this book especially illuminating. It will undoubtedly change my life. I will note that overall the writing is not impressive, but this does little to diminish the value of the book. I will re-listen to this again with a notebook and pen in hand. I strongly recommend.

28 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-08-2020

Excellent discussion

Excellent discussion on the role of Dopamine in our daily existence...but too much or too little stimulation may be problematic. Balance may be achieved by recognizing your accomplishments and stepping back and appreciating them with company.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Richard Daley
  • 07-08-2019

Great exploration of dopamine.

This was a very interesting read. I like it very much. It was a great look into dopamine and what it does to humans in general. Strongly recommended.

8 people found this helpful

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  • qhcouple
  • 03-08-2020

Great, in depth journey

Took the superficial understanding I had from headlines and opened my eyes to the “why” things are the way they are.

7 people found this helpful

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  • John C
  • 11-12-2019

Over all liked the book

My only issue with the book is that the sound quality at any higher speed that 1x is terrible and has an echo or more of a fuzzy sound to it which is not ideal for me as regular speed it's just too slow for pretty much any book.

6 people found this helpful

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  • wbiro
  • 18-12-2018

Interesting Perspective -

On our bio-mechanisms, but (of necessity limiting itself to molecules - hormones and genetic predeterminism) limits its view to what drives lower animals (those under experiment) and unenlightened humans (all of them currently). It does not cover enlightened humans.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Kyle I. Campbell
  • 19-09-2020

Thought provoking

Great book, narration, and interesting information. Good enough to buy the paper book also, to reread certain parts.

4 people found this helpful

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  • RAUL
  • 22-06-2019

A tangible piece of a complex puzzle

This book provides a clearly tangible piece of a complex puzzle, the dopamin molecule and how it can explain many things at personal, cultural and even political scales. These higher level interpretations are of course tricky to verify, but taken as ideas, the book may even be considered as a necessary item in a contemporary anthology of scientific explanations. Also; excellent authors and an excellent narrator!

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  • Iulia
  • 10-07-2020

Great life and mind information

A step forward to better realize what I want. Things that I most dream of are in my mind everlasting of that dopamine hit sensation, which is an illusion.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 22-03-2020

Too much theory

WAAAAY TOO MUCH THEORY . I have learned something but did not enjoy . You might enjoy it?

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  • Ioakimidis Ioakim
  • 25-06-2019

Should take some claims with a grain of salt. Still very well written and accessible.

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  • Ismael Gutierrez
  • 31-12-2018

Very insightful

For a long time I've investigated why my dad was an addict.Why did he choose as he did instead of fighting for recovery. This book sums it up really well. Furthermore, addiction is just one of many chapters in the book. The book provides with a wide range of research-backed analysis of many topics. I fully recommend it.

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  • Ben
  • 28-10-2018

Awesomeness

An excellent book. Empowering information, well presented, good science, understanding of self and others . Well worth reading.