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The 7 Laws of Magical Thinking: How Irrational Beliefs Keep Us Happy, Healthy, and Sane | [Matthew Hutson]

The 7 Laws of Magical Thinking: How Irrational Beliefs Keep Us Happy, Healthy, and Sane

In this witty and perceptive debut, a former editor at Psychology Today shows us how magical thinking makes life worth living. Psychologists have documented a litany of cognitive biases and explained their positive functions. Now, Matthew Hutson shows us that even the most hardcore skeptic indulges in magical thinking all the time - and it's crucial to our survival. Drawing on evolution, cognitive science, and neuroscience, Hutson shows us that magical thinking has been so useful to us that it's hardwired into our brains.
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Publisher's Summary

In this witty and perceptive debut, a former editor at Psychology Today shows us how magical thinking makes life worth living.

Psychologists have documented a litany of cognitive biases - misperceptions of the world - and explained their positive functions. Now, Matthew Hutson shows us that even the most hardcore skeptic indulges in magical thinking all the time - and it's crucial to our survival.

Drawing on evolution, cognitive science, and neuroscience, Hutson shows us that magical thinking has been so useful to us that it's hardwired into our brains. It encourages us to think that we actually have free will. It helps make us believe that we have an underlying purpose in the world. It can even protect us from the paralyzing awareness of our own mortality. In other words, magical thinking is a completely irrational way of making our lives make rational sense.

With wonderfully entertaining stories, personal reflections, and sharp observations, Hutson reveals our deepest fears and longings.

©2012 Matthew Hutson (P)2012 Gildan Media, LLC

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    David Highland Park, IL, United States 05-01-12
    David Highland Park, IL, United States 05-01-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Highly enjoyable"

    This was a fun listen. Interesting psych experiments peppered with funny stories and weaved together by a witty and charmingly nonchalant tour guide. Don Hagen's weighty yet playful narration set the perfect tone for this quirky romp through the science of magical thinking. If you like psychology books, you'll definitely enjoy this.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Connie Freeland, WA, United States 08-27-12
    Connie Freeland, WA, United States 08-27-12 Member Since 2008
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    "A must-read for humanists and freethinkers"
    Would you listen to The 7 Laws of Magical Thinking again? Why?

    I highly recommend this book in audio format, as its presentation is engaging and the ideas are embedded in stories at a leisurely pace. Worldview shifting as well as entertaining.


    Any additional comments?

    What this book helped me realize was that the most rational stance for humanists and freethinkers is not to work towards eliminating magical thinking in themselves and their children, but to knowingly harness these powerful instincts -- instincts that well served our ancestors! Magical thinking will not be eliminated, so let's use it playfully, pragmatically, and in ways that enhance our lives and relationships.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    PHIL San Diego, CA, United States 08-27-12
    PHIL San Diego, CA, United States 08-27-12
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    "The light step of wit and intellect, what fun"

    To be laughing good naturedly, and with new insight, at the follies of myself and those around me, in the good company of the puckish-voiced narrator Don Hagen, this is the joy of audiobooks for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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