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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

4.0 (984 )
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4.1 (861 )
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4.0 (862 )
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Performance
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  •  
    David 10-27-12
    David 10-27-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    77
    12
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    0
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    Story
    "Great listen"
    Any additional comments?

    Very entertaining and a fun listen. I highly recommend. I have questioned many stories I recall or have been told since listening to this audiobook.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Helen 10-23-12
    Helen 10-23-12 Member Since 2009
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Chuck Yeager"
    What made the experience of listening to You Are Not So Smart the most enjoyable?

    You Are Not So Smart - It's like listening to Chuck Yeager, mellow Southern, comforting. We have no control, but I feel good about it, 'cause of the Voice.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jose Brasilia, Brazil 10-08-12
    Jose Brasilia, Brazil 10-08-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Made so many things about the mind clear"
    Would you consider the audio edition of You Are Not So Smart to be better than the print version?

    I think so...


    What did you like best about this story?

    The chapters are perfect to listen and understand.


    What does Don Hagen bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I dont know


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Know your mind, and become smarter.


    Any additional comments?

    Thanks

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharron 08-06-12
    Sharron 08-06-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    237
    15
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    FOLLOWING
    3
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    "Phenomenal! Informative! FUN!"

    The anecdotes are all familiar -- they've happened to me or I've seen them happen to others. Hearing a logical, scientific explanation was mind-opening. Now I want everyone I love (and many folks I just like a lot) to hear this book, too. I will definitely listen to it more than once.

    Also, this book alerted me to the author's website and blog, where there are many more examples of where human thinking goes astray.

    The author clearly loves his subject, and knows a lot about it. The writing was clear, direct, and very entertaining. The narrator did an excellent job, and was a good match for this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    dawn 07-30-12
    dawn 07-30-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    6
    Overall
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    Story
    "A lot of great information...."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    it was a lot of good information and the narrator was easy to listen to


    What about Don Hagen’s performance did you like?

    his voice is smooth but not somatic


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    dont make a film of this book because it doesnt translate


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. Hewett Dallas TX 05-23-12
    K. Hewett Dallas TX 05-23-12 Member Since 2008

    Reacher Fan

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    35
    5
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    1
    4
    Overall
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    "Fun to listen to"

    I like the fact that the language is modern and hip. It makes it more entertaining to listen to. It is funny and inspires self-reflection. I also like that he finishes each chapter with a little snippet of self-help; emphasizing that we are not slaves to the autocratic parts of our brains.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 03-27-12 Member Since 2009
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting and Fascinating !"
    Would you listen to You Are Not So Smart again? Why?

    Yes, of course, very in depth study of human nature....


    What was one of the most memorable moments of You Are Not So Smart?

    Listening of things that we all have done or do...


    What about Don Hagen???s performance did you like?

    Well done, pleasant voice and carries the tone very well.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Things we all do...


    Any additional comments?

    Well done.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wesley Brisbane, Australia 03-24-12
    Wesley Brisbane, Australia 03-24-12 Member Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting and laugh out loud funny"
    What did you love best about You Are Not So Smart?

    This book really made me think and rethink and begin to understand the stupidity of certainty.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The narrators deadpan conversational style made the concepts sneak up and bite you when you least expect it.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The explanations and concepts. (In particular the cognative psychology side.)Also the examples of the stream of constant lies we tell ourselves so we can appear to have control in a real world that has little or no control.It's scary but almost a relief to hear someone say out loud what we all suspected intuitively but couldn't annuciate. It's like coming out of the Matrix.


    Any additional comments?

    Great book. Definitely worth a relisten and probably a hardcopy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debra Colorado Springs, CO, United States 01-23-12
    Debra Colorado Springs, CO, United States 01-23-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Story
    "FANTASTIC insight into how we think & choose."
    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    If you like understanding human nature and how the world works, you will love this book!


    Any additional comments?

    I highly recommend this informative and entertaining audiobook.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tommaso Helsinki, Finland 11-05-12
    Tommaso Helsinki, Finland 11-05-12 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Life hacks"
    What made the experience of listening to You Are Not So Smart the most enjoyable?

    I think most of the experiments the book discusses are things that is very useful to keep in mind while dealing with other people. They can give you and edge, or at least make some events easier to read.


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

    I'd say it's a bit too long for one sitting.


    Any additional comments?

    Maybe at times it feels a bit like a collection of experiments with some explanations in between, I feel that at times it could have been a bit more abstract and removed from specific research.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 71-80 of 82 results PREVIOUS1789NEXT
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  • 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.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Mark
    Poole, United Kingdom
    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
  • RA
    Bridgwater, United Kingdom
    7/19/12
    Overall
    "Outstanding,"

    I have so enjoyed this audio book the 30 odd times I have listened to it. The narration is perfectly matched to the briliant content. Whether psychology is your thing or not, listen to 15 minutes of it and you will be hooked.

    2 of 2 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
  • 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.

    2 of 2 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

    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".

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • E
    Buckingham, United Kingdom
    7/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Explains a lot of things I thought but didn't know"
    Would you listen to You Are Not So Smart again? Why?

    Yes as there is so much to take in - should really listen to it in parts next and consider each idea as it's explained


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I wouldn't - happy with it as it was


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes - I really liked the narrators tone - it made it sound exciting and easy to listen to and understand.


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

    No. So much to think over it would have been a waste to have it all read in one go.


    Any additional comments?

    Very enjoyable, interesting and educating!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Morad
    Jerusalem
    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...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • BlackApple
    Windsor, United Kingdom
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "Interesting and accessible psychology"

    This books deals with aspects of the way we make sense of things and does so without saying "cognitive psychology" too often. We all live in our own heads and so understanding how and why we simplify, distort and just generally make things up is both informative and entertaining. At the end of this book you may never see advertising quite the same way again and it may even have you doubting your own memory (hint: all memory is a construct and not very reliable)



    I really enjoyed is book and it's short chapters make for great short snippets while driving/commuting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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