Summary of The Chimp Paradox

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8 Overall

8 Applicability

8 Innovation

7 Style


A wild “inner Chimp” romps inside your brain. Suspicious, wary, paranoid and delusional, living by the “law of the jungle,” this Chimp causes immense damage if left unattended. Your inner Chimp is too powerful for you to control, but you can manage it, explains British psychiatrist Steve Peters. He shows you how to tame your inner ape or id by using his “Chimp Management System.” Peters sets out to help you make the most of the rest of your brain – its “Human” and “Computer” components, plus its “Gremlins,” “Goblins,” “Autopilots,” “Planets,” “Moons” and “Sun” – and to become the fully realized version of yourself that you were born to be. He explains how your mind and personality function, though his extended metaphor can get a bit out of hand – not unlike your inner Chimp. getAbstract recommends his cognitive analysis to those seeking to understand their thought processes, manage their feelings and become more content.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How the three main components of your brain – the “Chimp” (limbic), “Human” (frontal) and “Computer” (parietal) – operate;
  • How to control your “inner Chimp”;
  • How to manage your parietal brain’s “Autopilots, Gremlins and Goblins” to fulfill the values of your “Stone of Life”; and
  • How to traverse your “Psychological Universe.”

About the Author

Dr. Steve Peters is undergraduate dean at Sheffield University Medical School and a consulting psychiatrist who specializes in mental functioning. He is a sports psychiatrist with the British Cycling and Sky ProCycling teams.



The Rage of the “Inner Chimp”

Rob is waiting. His girlfriend Sally was supposed to meet him in front of the movie theater, but now she’s half an hour late. The part of Rob’s brain that is all emotion – his inner Chimp – takes control of his thinking. His staccato thoughts run rampant: “It is late; she has not told me what is happening; I am wasting my time; I may as well go into the cinema; she isn’t worth it; she has let me down; she shouldn’t do this to me; she has humiliated me; I am angry; I am upset.”

When Sally arrives, Rob blows up. “Why have you turned up late? You have made me look like a fool; what’s the point of going in now; it’s too late!” Sally tells Rob she was helping an injured woman as onlookers used her cellphone to call for an ambulance. Once the crisis passed, Sally rushed to the theater, only to find Rob in full “Chimp mode.” He had no interest in facts, logic or reasoning. His “emotive judgment” made him look like an idiot.

Rob could have thought in a different way, the “Human mode,” by shifting from his Chimp or his brain’s limbic portion to the “Human” or frontal portion. This shift enables the brain‘s parts to function differently. Triggering...

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