This is one of my favorite books. The author describes the experiments in enough detail to give you a good feel for the setting. The explanations aren't stuffy. Humor is interjected when appropriate and not in a way to add fluff to the book. The narrator is great. I own the audio and written versions.
I normally dislike self help books but this book is no ordinary every day self help book.
This book doesn't tell you how wonderful you are but instead how bias you are.
We are all aware of things we know we don't know (like I know I don't know how to build a dam) but this book looks at the things we thought we knew, and why we thought we knew it, as well as why we are wrong and what the truth is. As a person who has always sought to learn, some of the concepts were review but many were new to me and they made sense. That is not to say that I did not invest some time in excepting myself from the delusion only to accept the reality after all. The information is delivered in a way geared to avoid being offensive rather than informative.
I liked that the topics were broken up since it made it easier to find a good stopping place when I had to put the story down for another priority.
In the beginning the examples were better because he talked about logical flaws. Later the examples were more about observational flaws, and seemed more for little kids.
I feel torn about this book.
Every living organism with a human brain needs to read this book. If we were all more aware of our heuristics, it would be a win for the human race. There is scarcely a more important subject for the masses to digest and understand. It would certainly help us communicate with one another in more effective ways. I loved examining at all of my faulty wiring. This book is especially great for people capable of self-reflection. I always think of the adage, the brain is the most outstanding organ in the world.... according to the brain. It is really fun to think about how flawed every single brain is, regardless of how educated a brain can be.
I feel shock, utter shock, that someone who wrote an entire book about critical thinking is often, too often, not capable of critical thought. Some of the studies McRaney included were incredible. Some were not. Regardless of the study's methods, McRaney seemed wholly unaware of the potential problems with various studies (are you measuring what you think you are measuring, are the methods of the study sound, etc). He failed to even raise a red flag for David Buss' studies that look at current behaviors and very probably create just so stories about evolution. Zimbardo was one of the most unethical researchers and his methods were extremely flawed, which make his findings flawed. Yet, McRaney seems captivated by both Buss and Zimbardo; so much so, that he cannot even include a few words of caution. I do not know what to say about that, except it makes me sad. I loved his book so much, but his failure to understand the many heuristics that aided people like Buss, Zimbardo, and others to reach their conclusions really affected the credibility of his book. It is absolutely necessary to include these heuristics in a book about heuristics.
Surfer, musician, business coach, healthcare facilities management director.
Really enjoyed this...learned SO much about myself and everyone else. Everyone should listen to this one. Excellent narration.
You are not so smart is a collection of interesting articles from the podcast of the same name. The books material is very interesting however, presented one right after the other it becomes a series of short monologues and quickly starts to feel very very dry and and less interesting than the topics themselves warrant. This would make a great bathroom book, one that you digest in small bites over a long period of time but misses its mark in the audio format when you're listening for long stretches.