The Science of Consequences: How They Affect Genes, Change the Brain, and Impact Our World

Actions have consequences–and the ability to learn from them revolutionized life on earth. While it’s easy enough to see that consequences are important (where would we be without positive reinforcement?), few have heard there’s a science of consequences, with principles that affect us every day.  Despite their variety, consequences appear to follow a common set

Actions have consequences–and the ability to learn from them revolutionized life on earth. While it’s easy enough to see that consequences are important (where would we be without positive reinforcement?), few have heard there’s a science of consequences, with principles that affect us every day.  Despite their variety, consequences appear to follow a common set of scientific principles and share some similar effects in the brain–such as the “pleasure centers.”  Nature and nurture always work together, and scientists have demonstrated that learning from consequences predictably activates genes and restructures the brain.  Applications are everywhere–at home, at work, and at school, and that’s just for starters.  Individually and societally, for example, self-control pits short-term against long-term consequences.  Ten years in the making, The Science of Consequences tells a tale ranging from genetics to neurotransmitters, from emotion to language, from parenting to politics, taking an inclusive interdisciplinary approach to show how something so deceptively simple can help make sense of so much.

The award-winning book received advance praise from well-known experts in genetics, neuroscience, and economics, as well as in psychology, behavior analysis, and animal training. Recognition included coverage in the international scientific journal Nature, The Scientist magazine, and Science News.