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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 | [David McRaney]

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

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.
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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

4.1 (1273 )
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  •  
    Erno Brasilia, Brazil 09-10-13
    Erno Brasilia, Brazil 09-10-13 Member Since 2015
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    "The best Audiobook I experienced!"
    Where does You Are Not So Smart rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It's by far the best. The book format is perfect for an audio version because of the short and independent chapters.


    What did you like best about this story?

    A complete guide to our unknown side of the mind


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DIOMEDESZ 09-05-13
    DIOMEDESZ 09-05-13
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    "EXCELLENT BEDTIME BOOK"
    Would you consider the audio edition of You Are Not So Smart to be better than the print version?

    ~ I didn't know about the print version.


    What other book might you compare You Are Not So Smart to and why?

    ~ You Are Not So Smart falls into the category of self development books that have snap in their method. It's good not to beat around the bush & just get to the point of who & what you need to self realize & self actualize to finally move on up


    Have you listened to any of Don Hagen’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    ~ Not that I know about....but he examplarily held true to the whole concept of this book with his lisply reaffirming & stoically matter-of-factly bearing.


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    ~ The writer just about covered every niche & nuuky, whether imaginable or real, about how we like to excuse & self dilute ourselves, in 46 ways, for our actions & decisions so it seemingly looks like we won the sinking ship battle, after it sank. Don't let your ship sink in the first place!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lani Diane Rich Central New York 09-02-13
    Lani Diane Rich Central New York 09-02-13 Member Since 2015

    Lani

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    "If you've read Gladwell or Lehrer, skip this one."

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie Vancouver, BC, Canada 08-27-13
    Julie Vancouver, BC, Canada 08-27-13 Member Since 2013

    I'm a writer and a yoga teacher with a Masters in English Literature.

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    "Funny and Informative"
    What did you love best about You Are Not So Smart?

    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.


    Which character – as performed by Don Hagen – was your favorite?

    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.


    If you could give You Are Not So Smart a new subtitle, what would it be?

    "Let's cut through the bullshit shall we?"


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Blake Portland, OR, United States 05-12-13
    Blake Portland, OR, United States 05-12-13
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    "Seriously funny and entertainingly informative"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MoMo Washington, DC 03-29-13
    MoMo Washington, DC 03-29-13 Member Since 2015
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    "Rehash of dozens of other studies"
    Would you try another book from David McRaney and/or Don Hagen?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew MERRICK, NY, United States 03-22-13
    Andrew MERRICK, NY, United States 03-22-13
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    "Concise and Insightful"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elaina 03-08-13
    Elaina 03-08-13
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    "Interesting, but Not Entirely Novel"
    Where does You Are Not So Smart rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It's a strong entry


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    The content


    Which character – as performed by Don Hagen – was your favorite?

    There was only one character - the narrator.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Not really


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    chris 03-06-13
    chris 03-06-13
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    "Thinking at another's perspective"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Yes. It presented some interesting perspectives of how other's think and perceive.


    Would you be willing to try another book from David McRaney? Why or why not?

    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.


    What three words best describe Don Hagen’s voice?

    Back alley patronizing


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    If it was marketed better


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mario 03-04-13
    Mario 03-04-13

    Personality: Intellectually Driven

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    "Absolutely Hilarious and True!!!"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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