Image from inudgeyou.com
Image from inudgeyou.com

David Berreby is a multi-awarded author of the book “Us and Them”. It is through writing where he found the best avenue to explain the “Science of Technology”. He was reputed for his works. As a result, he appeared in many famous publications like The New York Times, The New Yorker Nature, The Journal of Strategy and Business, Smithsonian, Slate and many others.

“Why do people think that they belong to certain groups like races, religions, ethnic groups and many others? Such notion is so strong that the person may even be willing to kill or die because of such strong belief”; David Berreby stated. “This is what we call the Science of Identity. Meaning, one’s tribal mind can affect how one thinks and what one does”, he added.

“Biology may teach us that everything that is going on in a man’s body has something to do with its DNA. However, we cannot ignore the fact that this may have nothing to do with the person’s ability to distinguish one’s self to others. Berreby calls this as “us and them”. And this conception has great impact on the person’s decision”, Stephen A. Haines; one of the book’s commentator wrote. “I believe Berreby is a realist and his book offers a plausible structure on how a person views others”, he added.

The book “Us and Them” consists of fifteen chapters, all focusing on the fact that people hang their beliefs on 1 type of difference. This can be skin color, race, language and others which separates them into different groups. And they make decisions according to the common principle or lifestyle lived by the group. He also emphasized that one’s “tribal mind” can cause illness as well. One example he cited is a person who belongs to a high status or class in the society. Because of the pressure lived by the group, one may suffer heart ailment.

Us and Them” has its own sets of critics too. Decca Aitkenhead for instance pointed that this focused much on people’s “tribal thinking” but less importance is given on what the person should do about it.

“He has clever neuroscience approach”, commentator Lacks Focus wrote. Indeed the book created different reactions among its readers. But one thing is for sure, David Berreby has opened our eyes on how much influence will our beliefs and associates contribute, not only in what we think but most importantly on what we do.