Dr. David MyersDr. David Myers

The book “How Do We Know Ourselves? Curiosities and Marvels of the Human Mind” by Hope College social psychologist Dr. David Myers has been selected for the Next Big Idea Club, a global subscription community that features recently published, thought-provoking non-fiction books — curated by best-selling authors Malcolm Gladwell, Adam Grant, Susan Cain, and Daniel Pink. The Next Big Idea Book Club selections are chosen, the club notes, “as the most exciting nonfiction titles of the season.”

The Next Big Idea Club announced the selection on Friday, May 5.  “How Do We Know Ourselves?” was published this past fall by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, an imprint of Macmillan Publishers.

“I’m blessed with one of the world’s coolest jobs,” said Myers, a professor of psychology whose publications for general audiences and academic settings include the world’s most widely used textbook for introductory psychology.  “My task is to find the best bread that’s baking in psychology’s ivory tower, and to bring it down to the street where people can eat it. I enjoy the stimulation of reading and reading in search of mind-expanding discoveries that educated people should know about.”

With its bite-sized chapters, “How Do We Know Ourselves?” offers a buffet of psychological-science hors d’oeuvres, with answers to questions ranging from why we misinterpret song lyrics to why it can be so difficult to change someone else’s — or one’s own — opinion.  The book’s 40 essays each run a quick four to six pages, covering topics like “Making New Year’s Resolutions That Last,” “Judging Others and Judging Ourselves,” “How to Make and Sustain Friendships,” “How Nature and Nurture Form Us,” and “There Is More to Hearing Than Meets the Ears.”

“How Do We Know Ourselves?” has earned critical acclaim, including selection as a non-fiction Editors’ Pick by Amazon, and has been featured by media outlets including WGN News and the Wall Street Journal.

At age 80, Myers — Hope’s longest-serving professor (unsalaried but not retired) — has been communicating psychological science to college students and the general public for 56 years. He is the author of 18 books, and his articles have appeared in dozens of scientific periodicals and magazines, from Science to Scientific American.  His introductory and social psychology textbooks have sold more than 11 million new copies worldwide.  His general-interest books explore topics such as the science of happiness, the powers and perils of intuition, and the meeting ground between psychological science and faith. All royalties from his introductory psychology texts and general audience books go to a family foundation which supports various charities. 

Many of his scientific and general interest writings are available on his website, davidmyers.org, and in his TalkPsych.com blog.

The Next Big Idea Club features two non-fiction books quarterly.  Subscriptions also include video insights, reading guides and author interviews; access to a private online discussion group; and the Next Big Idea app.  Additional information is available at nextbigideaclub.com.