Drunk Tank Pink
Being that I’ve been on the Player Behavior team at Riot for many months now, I’ve taken some interest in social psychology. My uncle recommended to me a couple books, and I just finished this one that was quite interesting.
Adam Alter was recently featured in a Big Think video that gives his book a good explanation here.
In short, Drunk Tank Pink is a collection of descriptions of experiments (with citations) that give explanations for changes in our behavior that come from places we may not ordinarily think. The book is logically divided up into sections starting from how names, labels, and symbols change our behavior, to how the presence of people and culture affect our decisions, all the way to color, locations and even weather.
For example, studies show that it may be beneficial for you to wear red to appear more romantically attractive to people. You may recover more quickly in the hospital if you face a window with a view of nature. You also may be able to reduce crime in a city by installing blue lights in troublesome areas. You can even get people to be more honest by putting them in front of a mirror. There were countless fascinating studies in the book.
While these things are obviously interesting in terms of gaining strategic advantages in a lot of different situations, the book serves more as a reminder that we are psychologically predisposed to react and behave in particular ways, and we may not be as completely in control of ourselves as we might think. Of course, awareness can only benefit us.