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You Are Not So Smart Audiobook

You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways You're Deluding Yourself

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Publisher's Summary

An entertaining illumination of the stupid beliefs that make us feel wise.

You believe you are a rational, logical being who sees the world as it really is, but journalist David McRaney is here to tell you that you're as deluded as the rest of us. But that's OK - delusions keep us sane. You Are Not So Smart is a celebration of self-delusion. It's like a psychology class, with all the boring parts taken out, and with no homework.Based on the popular blog of the same name, You Are Not So Smart collects more than 46 of the lies we tell ourselves everyday, including:

  • Dunbar's Number - Humans evolved to live in bands of roughly 150 individuals, the brain cannot handle more than that number. If you have more than 150 Facebook friends, they are surely not all real friends.
  • Hindsight bias - When we learn something new, we reassure ourselves that we knew it all along.
  • Confirmation bias - Our brains resist new ideas, instead paying attention only to findings that reinforce our preconceived notions.
  • Brand loyalty - We reach for the same brand not because we trust its quality but because we want to reassure ourselves that we made a smart choice the last time we bought it.

©2011 David McRaney (P)2011 Gildan Media Corp

What the Critics Say

"In an Idiocracy dominated by cable TV bobbleheads, government propagandists, and corporate spinmeisters, many of us know that mass ignorance is a huge problem. Now, thanks to David McRaney's mind-blowing book, we can finally see the scientific roots of that problem. Anybody still self-aware enough to wonder why society now worships willful stupidity should read this book." (David Sirota, author of Back to Our Future: How the 1980s Explain the World We Live In Now)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (2190 )
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4.2 (1919 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jessica Dawson 06-17-16 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    1
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    Story
    "Upper hand!"

    Ever been accused of getting lost in thought or enjoy philosophizing amongst the best of them?This cutting edge, researched-based, non-intuitive approach will have you rethinking your perspective and gaining thr upperhand by challenging unsuspecting amateurs.

    There is so much information that one needs time to absorb the full implications of the content between chapters before moving on. I recommend journaling between chapters so that the information sticks.

    The audio book contains interesting case studies, stories, and research. If you listen straight through you are likely to zone out because of the soothing voice of the reader and due to a few rather complex psychological assertions. Be ready for a psychological awakening because if you do this right, you will question yourself and your motivations. There are times you might feel naked and ashamed but stick to it and you will exercise you mental capacities, gain perspective, learn positive coping skills, improve relationships, and gain self confidence.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric 06-09-16
    Eric 06-09-16 Member Since 2016
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    REVIEWS
    5
    1
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    Story
    "You are pretty smart if you listen to this book"

    Why are people so crazy? Why don't they understand the simple concepts that are so easy for you? Why do you also seem crazy and dumb to them?

    This book unlocked so much knowledge about the way people think and the more you listen, the more you must identify with what is being said.

    Told in interesting anecdotes and case studies, You Are Not So Smart was captivating and memorable. I highly recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ProfGolf 06-08-16
    ProfGolf 06-08-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    "Simple but good"

    Basic overview on decision biases that summarizes quite a wide range of research in a quick read. Occasional tidbits of silly humor liven things up. And the narrator has a great time and attitude for the material. All in all, an enjoyable listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Norris 06-06-16 Member Since 2016
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    7
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    Story
    "Fantastic, insightful and entertaining"

    Should be required reading for anyone with a brain as badly built as the human one

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Kubicek 06-01-16
    J. Kubicek 06-01-16
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    21
    4
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    Story
    "Good content, mediocre recording"

    Performance:
    - you will get to know the title quite well as it's the punchline of every chapter even though it does not fit every time
    - I was not able to listen to this outside or in public transport as it's recorded in very low pitched voice. Increasing the volume did not help as it just hurt and words were overshadowed by anything higher pitched from surroundings.
    + Don Hagen have this (often sarcastic) book fine matching tone.

    Story:
    The book hints at many interesting research topics and psychological phenomena and logical fallacies.

    All that said, I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to mostly anybody interested in human nature / psychology / interaction.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rick Yvanovich 05-29-16 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Must be brilliant as I am not so smart"
    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    Loved the book, gave it a 5 rating - but now unsure whether that was really me loving it and giving it a 5 rating or I have succumbed to one of the many pitfalls of a not so smart mind. Either way I feel good about reading it, feel smarter but at the same time thoroughly acknowledging I am not so smart. Brilliant!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bradley Janse van Rensburg 05-20-16 Member Since 2013
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    "Good book, could have better narrator"

    Struggled to finish the book because the narrator was monotone. Good content though and good book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Perry Richmond 04-06-16 Member Since 2013
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    17
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    "GREAT BOOK AND NARRATOR"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Encino, CA, United States 03-08-16
    Michael Encino, CA, United States 03-08-16 Member Since 2014
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    26
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    Story
    "Eye opening"

    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.
    Truly eye-opening

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Grace Atlanta, Georgia United States 03-05-16
    Grace Atlanta, Georgia United States 03-05-16 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fascinating to learn the blindspots & assumptions"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Derrick
    Leeds, United Kingdom
    1/30/12
    Overall
    "Maybe a Little Smarter Now Than I Was Before"

    An excellent entertaining and informative listen.
    Delivered in a laid-back style that seems to really suit the material. Lots of fact mixed in with a dry sense of humour that worked well in keeping my interest throughout. While I've heard a lot of the content before, I've never heard it all in one place or with such a witty and entertaining presentation.
    Well worth the listen.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Conrad
    Mitcham, United Kingdom
    5/27/12
    Overall
    "Amazing"

    This is one of the most played books in my Audible library. In fact It is currently the MOST played book in my library. Lots of food for thought, and offers you a new way to look at yourself. YOU are not so smart.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Mark
    United Kingdom
    4/21/12
    Overall
    "I'm not so smart"

    Great book to follow the excellent blog. Essential management reading because none of us are as smart as we think we tend to think we are.
    @upfinder

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Mark
    Dorset
    2/8/12
    Overall
    "Psychology made easy (and fun)"

    The narrative was monotone so early into the book I was concerned that would make it a grind to get through. Even the humour and occasional swearing don't deviate much from the baseline. However, that was easily counter-balanced by the excellent material. The book is in bite size chunks and while I really wanted to remember the names for each term described they were soon forgotten, in most cases they are clarifiedwith an easy to understand real life example.

    I particularly liked the section on branding and definitely more aware of how we are all being played like pawns. Pespi or Coke, Apple or Microsoft. Likelihood is you are an avid fan of one, why is that? Just one of the things which the book sets off a lightbulb.

    One of the few books I'd probably go back and listen to again. I imagine as a "read" its 5 stars but just 4 from me because of the delivery.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • David
    Loughton, United Kingdom
    6/6/12
    Overall
    "What a great book!"

    In my view this is a great book about the way the mind works. Every chapter is packed full of interesting and amusing explanantions about how and why we human beings act the way we do. The laid-back narration by Don Hagen makes it even better. I can highly recommend this great audio book and I would add that it's one of the most fascinating I've listen to on audible after 7 years of membership.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Joe
    Haywards Heath, United Kingdom
    3/31/12
    Overall
    "Clever stuff!"

    I really enjoyed this book, well, my flawed memory tells me I did! You learn so much about why people behave the way they do ... then about half way through, the author tells you that you are the same, to the extent that all the way through you have convinced yourself that you are not like everybody else - proving that in fact, you are!!!
    Complex psychological subjects are dealt with using a minimum of jargon, so you don't need a psychology Phd to understand it. The examples are underscored with examples of past experiments on hapless subjects all delivered with a wry humour, occassionally ireverant.
    The explanations have a ring of truth resonating throughout, so that you find yourself smiling in recognition and occassionally laughing out loud.
    My only reason for a 4 out of 5 is that I would have liked some advice on how not to be quite such a moron as we, as a species, seem to be ... that said, a fascinating "read".

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Andrew
    2/6/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Smug but fun"

    A little too smug for its own good, but fun and insightful.
    We really are a bunch of numpties...

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Morad
    12/24/12
    Overall
    "Eye opening..."

    I was never into psychology and all that social science stuff, but this book really blew my mind away, it opened my eyes to so many things we humans do but never notice, it's amazing really the book doesn't tell you something "new" but it's all things that have been happening right in front of you and you never noticed them...



    It's a great read for everyone, I highly recommend it...

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Danny Andrews
    10/4/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I'm still not that smart"

    This is by far my favourite book.
    I still feel as though I'm not so smart, but at least I'm being realistic.
    I'll read and listen to this book again to really appreciate it and hopefully become less dumb!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • bimble
    2/22/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent Book and Audio"

    Very good book making the best in contemporary psychology available to the layman. Warning though, this may change the way you look at yourself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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