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:
©2011 David McRaney (P)2011 Gildan Media Corp
"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)
Committed to making a difference in the moment.
The realisation that I'm not that smart. Wonderful rememberable stories and baritones to help illustrate the point and make it stick.
Good starting point with these ideas. All the information is available in more depth elsewhere. The narration dry and slow.
Nothing really new here, but a very good compendium of what others have learned and taught on human behavioral psychology. Entertaining presentation as well.
Though most of the experiments are well recognised and the conclusions drawn are fairly mainstream, the book does a good job of putting most of the important ones in one place. The narrators voice is also excellent.
I have read McRaney's other book "Now you are not so dumb" and found the two almost identical. In fact, some of the topics and examples are the same. This being said, there's still enough new content to keep you thinking, even if not too deeply.
Don't get this if you are expecting deep thinking on any one subject. If, however, you are like me and the other 95% of the population, the presentation and information makes for an entertaining and thoughtful book. There is enough here to grab your attention and make you ponder without making you think your in a university psych class.
In summary, recommended, especially if you want to educate yourself as to some of the things you may be doing without realizing it.
A neat collection of the biases, fallacies, and other mental deceptions we experience, mostly unconsciously on a daily basis. A lot of psych101 type content, but also some interesting nuggets and examples I hadn't heard before. Style is very accessible, no background needed, and chapters' contents are predominantly independent. All in all, this book is as advertised, but if you're looking for something that goes in depth into these phenomena you'll be disappointed.
This book is a fun laundry list of cognitive behavioral biases. I've listened to it before and will doubtless listen to it again. Sitting here and trying to remember anything that was in it, I come up mostly empty, but I'm sure I'll remember the biases when they come up in real life ("Yeah, everyone believes horoscopes because of... thingy."). The only thing I would suggest for improvement is the narrator is a little too distinguished for the occasional swear word that makes the author seem like someone way closer to my age group.
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