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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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    Melville 02-25-16
    Melville 02-25-16
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    "Started out pretty funny, got tedious"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Asaf 02-24-16
    Asaf 02-24-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Fun informative book"

    First book pick, wanted something light, fun and informative. Got what I wanted. Learned a few new things...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin 02-09-16
    Kevin 02-09-16
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    "Interesting story hidden in minutia."

    Sporadic humor and intersting anecdotes mixed in with too many irrelevant details. Hard to stay focused.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    serine 02-03-16
    serine 02-03-16 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Writes about critical thinking but lacks it"

    I feel torn about this book.

    Opinion 1:

    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.

    Opinion 2
    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Frew Vancouver, BC 01-23-16
    Paul Frew Vancouver, BC 01-23-16 Member Since 2015

    Surfer, musician, business coach, healthcare facilities management director.

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    "Mind-bending...wonderful book!"

    Really enjoyed this...learned SO much about myself and everyone else. Everyone should listen to this one. Excellent narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Aandwster 01-21-16
    Aandwster 01-21-16 Member Since 2015
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    "eye opening"

    a very in-depth look at how the mind works and very much an affirmation of your day to day struggle

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Russell Scherker 01-13-16
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    "interesting, but dry."

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas J. Olofsson 01-09-16

    Say something about yourself!

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    "Disjointed but Good"

    I liked the book but it was not really a story. It is more of a list of things we presume about ourselves that do not necessarily square with reality.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Coffin Family 12-30-15 Member Since 2015
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    "fun like podcast"

    he fills the book was interesting chapters & doesn't spend too much time on anything it's a brief overview & quite enjoyable

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    JWalkup 12-29-15
    JWalkup 12-29-15
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    "So rich with detail and insight"

    The amount of useful information exists I actually look forward to listening to the book again. Humor coupled with facts is a cogent way to present. Freaking loved it. Explains behavior so that you say "ah ha".... That explains it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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