Sarah Rose Cavanagh | Energizing Teachers, Teams, and Leaders with the Science of Emotion


A collective consciousness in which we share consensus thoughts, emotions, and opinions; a phenomenon whereby a group of people function as if with a single mind.

In this provocative book, Sarah Rose Cavanagh provides an overview of contemporary social neuroscience, a consideration of the degree to which the advent of smartphones and social media has amplified both the promises and perils of our hypersociality, and an appeal to attend to the collective aspects of our well-being. Leading a narrative journey from the site of the Charlottesville riots to the boardrooms of Facebook, considering such diverse topics as zombies, cults, and honeybees, Cavanagh leaves no stone unturned in her quest to understand our contemporary challenges.

“[Cavanagh] masterfully bridges the world between research and popular narrative nonfiction in her fascinating, beautifully written book.”
―Chicago Tribune (John Warner)
“With wit and curiosity, Cavanagh explores the notion that human beings are not so much solitary individuals as profoundly social creatures… After raising questions about forms of technology we take for granted, she offers sensible, workable suggestions as to how we can navigate the gap between the individual and the collective in everyday life. An engaging new perspective on human networking.”
―Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Hivemind provides a fascinating tour of research that reveals our social nature, for good and for bad. Cavanagh is a natural teacher whose enthusiasm for psychology shines through on every page. Whether you’re looking to have healthier technology habits, develop better relationships with others, or address societal challenges, this book will give you food for thought and wisdom to take action.”
—Kelly McGonigal, author of The Joy of Movement and The Willpower Instinct
“Cavanagh brings you along on her journey through an exquisite collection of scholarly knowledge and empirical insight to ground both your mind and your gut. From zombies to bees, moral panics to conspiracy theories, Hivemind mixes the dark with the light to help readers find a path through a very destabilizing present”
Danah Boyd, author of It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens
“Thank goodness that Sarah Rose Cavanagh is here to help us make sense of what can feel like a deeply polarized and tribal world. This fascinating book guides us through the nuanced landscape of why we think and behave the way we do–online and off–and offers a much-needed vision for how we can find our way back from the edge.”
―Scott Barry Kaufman, author of Wired to Create


Written for educators, Spark of Learning argues that thinking strategically about emotion in the classroom can enliven the classroom experience for teachers and students alike.

Historically we have constructed our classrooms with the assumption that learning is a dry, staid affair best conducted in quiet tones and ruled by an unemotional consideration of the facts. In friendly, readable prose, Sarah Rose Cavanagh argues that if you as an educator want to capture your students’ attention, harness their working memory, bolster their long-term retention, and enhance their motivation, you should consider the emotional impact of your teaching style and course design.

“A phenomenal contribution to the scholarship on teaching and learning. Cavanagh immediately engages her audience through narrative and humor and manages to cover almost every major insight from the literature.”
—Elizabeth Barre, Rice University


“Cavanagh urges us to take seriously the role of emotions in student learning, offering research-driven advice on how to grab students’ attention, motivate them, keep them engaged, and maximize chances of learning. This book will be of significant interest to faculty concerned about effective pedagogy.”
—Jay R. Howard, Butler University