Deirdre Barrett


On her book Supernormal Stimuli: How Primal Urges Overran Their Evolutionary Purpose

Cover Interview of July 18, 2010

Editor’s note

Originally, this interview ran on the Rorotoko cover page under the headline

“We need to ‘trust our instincts’ less and trust our intellect more.”

We highlighted two quotes.

On the first page:

“The concept of Supernormal Stimuli is the single most valuable contribution of ethology for helping us understand many issues of modern civilization.”

On the second:

“That’s what our giant brains were designed for—overriding reflexive instincts when they start to lead us astray.”