The tone is smug, the analysis superficial, and the research the book references is all retread material from Lehrer, Gladwell and Ariely. McRaney brings absolutely nothing new to the table; not even the insights he gleans from the research is new. McRaney appears to have read the same books we have, and then just rewrapped the material in a smug package. No, thanks.
Stick with the real thing and pass on this; I wish I had.
I'm a writer and a yoga teacher with a Masters in English Literature.
The book was funny and deadpan and cut through a lot of cultural bullshit we like to believe about ourselves. It was an excellent window into who we think we are and who we actually are. It also gave me some very interesting marketing insights for my small business, and I'm very glad I picked up the book! I'd recommend it to anyone.
There were no characters, but Hagen's voice was perfect--so deadpan it made the reading absolutely hilarious. I think it was better than if I'd read it on the page.
"Let's cut through the bullshit shall we?"
This book is an entertaining way pass the time, and learn a little about psychology as a bonus. The narrator captures the tongue in cheek, mocking tone perfectly. Some reviews I've read on this book seem to be written by people who take themselves too seriously. I found myself embarrassingly admitting "yeah, I do that too" with a smirk or a chuckle. It's good, clean fun... So long as you can laugh at yourself a bit.
No. If you're read any other material on behavioral economics, and how our biases make us less than 100% rational, skip this book. It basically goes over the works (very simplistically) of Dan Kaheman ("Thinking Fast and Slow"), Dan Ariely ("Predictably Irrational") and a slew of other well-known experiments. If you have been exposed before to the ideas of confirmation bias, bystander paradox, etc, you'll gain nothing new.
These days publishers have been churning out books by scientific journalists on fun topics usually with self-help overtones for people who see themselves as too smart for Tony Robbins. As those books go, You Are Not So Smart by David McRaney is at the fore of what is becoming a tiresome pack. This book is basically the Reader's Digest version of the history of Cognitive Psychology told in a brisk, colloquial style. The tone of the prose is twentysomething while the narrator is far north of fifty. Didn't bother me all that much, the prose or the narrator. Seemed a little disjointed at times. But overall a worthwhile listen.
It's a strong entry
There was only one character - the narrator.
If you are interested in this sort of thing and/or listen to podcasts, some of the stories in this book will not be new to you. The Stanford marshmallow and prison experiments were both topics I was well aware of before this book came along. However, I did still learn quite a bit, so it wasn't a waste of time.
Yes. It presented some interesting perspectives of how other's think and perceive.
No since this one did not capture my attention as much as I expected. I like a book to knock my socks off. This one did not albeit interesting it only unlaced my shoe.
Back alley patronizing
If it was marketed better
Some of us want to balance life by checking to see if we are deluding ourselves. This book tried to persuade me but I resisted. Interesting but somewhat tongue-in-cheek theories.
Personality: Intellectually Driven
This book is quite funny and wise. essential for smart people, or not. Very easy to listen to, the concepts are clearly explained and kept the reader entertained. Also visit the website.
I was hesitant to purchase due to the other reviews that claimed the book to be a rehash of old material. As a fan of books on decision making and the brain, I found plenty of new material. I even enjoyed listening to the material that I heard heard before because of the way this book is organized. Each chapter is a brief discussion of a common misconception. I found the splashes of humor to be effective. Some may find the grand conclusion of the book depressing - we behave more like self absorbed pack animals than high order spiritual beings. I found it liberating. I am no so smart...but neither are most of the people around me.
Presents new ways of analyzing human behavior.
Compels critical thinking and self analysis.
I will be listening to this multiple times.