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Drunk Tank Pink

The Subconscious Forces that Shape How We Think, Feel, and Behave


'Drunk Tank Pink' is a particular shade of pink. In 1979 psychologists discovered that it has an extraordinary effect: if you stare at it for two minutes, you dramatically weaken in strength.

In this brilliant study of the strange recesses of our minds, Adam Alter reveals the world is full of such hidden forces that shape our every thought, feeling and behaviour – without us ever realizing.

  • Some letters in product names make us more likely to buy them (nearly all successful brands contain a 'k' sound)
  • We're more likely to be critical if we write in red rather than green biro
  • Your first report at school can determine your future career

Understanding these cues is key to smarter decision-making, more effective marketing, and better outcomes for our selves and our societies. Prepare for the most astounding and fast-paced psychology book since Blink and Predictably Irrational.

Adam Alter is Assistant Professor of Marketing and Psychology at New York University's Stern School of Business and Psychology. His research focuses on decision-making and social psychology, and he has been published in leading psychology journals. He has written for The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and Slate, among other publications and his work has been featured in a variety of media, from the Sun to the Economist.

  • Publisher: Oneworld Publications (September 1, 2013)
  • Length: 272 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781780742656

'Reading Adam Alter's book will change the way you look at our world.'

– Dan Ariely, author of Predictably Irrational

'I've read lots of books about how the brain can be tricked and how the things we think we see are not necessarily the things we are looking at. This is one of the best.'

– William Leith, Evening Standard

'The best science book I've read all year...really provocative.'

– Malcolm Gladwell, New York Times

" A fantastic introduction to the wealth of weird and wonderful psychology research that is out there."

– Focus magazine

"Adam Alter has collected the most wonderfully strange and surprising nuggest of recent psychological research in one book. I guarantee you'll want to share the incredible anecdotes in Drunk Tank Pink with friends." 

– Joshua Foer - author of Moonwalking with Einstein

"You'll laugh, you'll gasp, you'll shake your head in disbelief as Alter shows you that we are all, to some degree, balls in a giant pinball machine. If you want to regain some control of your destiny, read this delightful book."


– Jonathan Haidt - author of The Righteous Mind