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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

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4.1 (1168 )
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  •  
    john Carmichael, CA, United States 01-19-13
    john Carmichael, CA, United States 01-19-13 Member Since 2012

    Tell us about yourself! I am a high school graduate with some college. I am 56 and have been a construction worker my whole life.

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    "Think your above average? Everyone does."
    Would you consider the audio edition of You Are Not So Smart to be better than the print version?

    I would consider the audio edition better. I can do other things at the same time.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It was in small segments. A perfect listening book. Even for someone above average, like me.


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

    I can't sound as "wise guyish" as he dose.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The June Beetle, Super Sexers.


    Any additional comments?

    This was such a fun book to listen to, ive listen to it about ten times. It answers so many quesitons. Even ones you didnt know you had.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    scottyfromco Denver, CO 01-14-13
    scottyfromco Denver, CO 01-14-13 Member Since 2014
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    4
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    "Wonderful read"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This was a fantastic read, the narrator was great, and the book was well written. The laid back, informal tone of the book made complex psychology concepts easy to digest and understand. Great book all around.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Randall Allen Alamogordo, NM, US 12-20-12
    Randall Allen Alamogordo, NM, US 12-20-12
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    "I'm glad I read this!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Things I wish I knew before college, high school, and life.


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

    Conformity and The Spotlight affect


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

    No, this is better absorb chapter by chapter to think about what you heard.


    Any additional comments?

    Finally the book I was looking for.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ann Roseberry Lincoln Potomac, MD USA 12-12-12
    Ann Roseberry Lincoln Potomac, MD USA 12-12-12 Member Since 2014
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    "Good solid listen"
    What did you like best about You Are Not So Smart? What did you like least?

    This was an interesting story in the sense that it pointed out areas of cognitive dissonance. Some of the ways in which we misinterpret information were obvious (or previously known), but others were new and quite interesting. A useful guide to critical thinking.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeanette Sydney, Australia 11-26-12
    Jeanette Sydney, Australia 11-26-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Not So Keen"

    Hmmm didn't really like this book. It contained information I have read in other books and didn't offer anything new. They offered explanations for a number of different things such as the Kennedy & Lincoln coincidences and then write them off completely by saying look at all the things that aren't the same. Whilst this is true, it still doesn't alter the fact that there in many cases (not necessarily this one) there are unusual coincidences. On top of that I found it to be patronising and I really couldn't stand hearing the smug... "but you are not so smart"

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cie Cheyenne, WY USA 11-16-12
    Cie Cheyenne, WY USA 11-16-12 Member Since 2014

    Messenger3

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    "Nothing New Under the Sun"
    Any additional comments?

    While I enjoyed the book, it did not really give me any new information. I voraciously read science mags and most of these "not so smart" researches and studies have been previously published. HOWEVER, the book is good and does have everything in one place. So for those interested in one stop shopping - this is the book for you!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E.K. 11-08-12
    E.K. 11-08-12 Member Since 2010
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    "You think you are smart?"

    Your Are Not So Smart by David McRaney is a set of brief presentations of famous psychology projects and papers covering the human nature, most of them you probably are familiar with. An easy red, but agreeable introduction to the limits of our brains.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nelson Mostow Cleveland ohio 11-01-12
    Nelson Mostow Cleveland ohio 11-01-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Eye opening insights into human nature"
    What did you like best about this story?

    The book is a series of relatively brief myth busting type insights into human nature. First, what you might think is true. Then why what you think is intuitive is wrong along with how this has been proven. Finally some commentary on the observations.


    What three words best describe Don Hagen’s voice?

    Soft, droll, understated.


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

    Not really. Each chapter stands independently of the others. I listen to books in the car the separate chapters worked well for me, perhaps even better than a single long read since the gaps gave me a chance to reflect on the individual area discussed.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rick Eugene, OR, USA 10-29-12
    Rick Eugene, OR, USA 10-29-12 Member Since 2007
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    "Makes psychology fun to learn"
    Any additional comments?

    This is a well done book that makes you think of how you think. I recommend it to anyone that wants to learn and understand human nature.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul New Zealand 10-29-12
    Paul New Zealand 10-29-12 Member Since 2012
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    "A novel perspective on human nature and behavior"

    47 concepts of human behavior that make up the basis of a good deal of what we do. Presented in a factual but light manner that makes it a very interesting listen. Well spoken and interesting, This will be one audiobook I will certainly listen to again. If you want some insight into human behavior without the boring bits this the book to get.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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