The author of the best-selling You Are Not So Smart shares more discoveries about self-delusion and irrational thinking, and gives readers a fighting chance at outsmarting their not-so-smart brains.
David McRaney's first book, You Are Not So Smart, evolved from his wildly popular blog of the same name. A mix of popular psychology and trivia, McRaney's insights have struck a chord with thousands, and his blog - and now podcasts and videos - have become an Internet phenomenon. Like You Are Not So Smart, You Are Now Less Dumb is grounded in the idea that we all believe ourselves to be objective observers of reality - except we're not. But that's okay, because our delusions keep us sane.
Expanding on this premise, McRaney provides eye-opening analyses of 15 more ways we fool ourselves every day. McRaney also reveals the true price of happiness, why Benjamin Franklin was such a badass, and how to avoid falling for our own lies. This smart and highly entertaining audiobook will be wowing listeners for years to come.
©2013 David McRaney (P)2013 Gildan Media LLC
Compelling. Eye-opening. Science-based.
It takes fairly complicated findings from neuroscience and cognitive science and evolution and puts a fun, simple spin on it without dumbing it down so people of all backgrounds can enjoy it.
stop being a sheep...become less dumb
I'm a neuroscientist and his facts and summations are scientifically accurate, but he doesn't make it heavy going. He explains things clearly and with a sense of humor!
I enjoyed that book (in audio), and I enjoyed this one. I like a free-ranging walk through psychology and our cognitive biases and errors, dished up with an informal tone and flashes of humor. I thought the earlier book ("You Are Not So Smart") a little more zesty and funny, but I'm fine with this one. I hope the author sees fit to produce some more titles, if he has ideas worthy of it, and I hope it is narrated by my favorite again, Don Hagen. Don sounded a bit more subdued or somber this time out, but that's OK. I doubt I will repeat the listening, but I reserve that mostly for the very most challenging and stirring titles anyway.
The book describes in layman terms about fallacies and delusions that we fall into to maintain our beliefs. For example, the sunk cost fallacy - if we are watching a terrible movie, we are unlikely to walk out in the middle of it because we paid for it. We believe we should get our money out of it, even if it means wasting our time to watch a movie we're not enjoying. This book doesn't delve as much into the science of it as many brain books out there. And if you've read a few of those, you'll find the same information in this book except with more stories. This book doesn't provide much guidance on how to avoid these fallacies and delusions. For example, if you feel like having a cold beer, is it because it's a hot day or you just saw a beer commercial? Are you doing something you want to do or doing something that advertisers primed you to do?? The book is good for developing an awareness of these things and examining the decisions you make.
This was pretty good. Sequel in the same line as "you are not so smart" which i read a year or so ago. This one went beyond the typical pysch 101 level, and I found it more interesting. All about the unconscious biases and coping mechanisms our brains use to get us through the day, dealing with topics from de-individuation (and crowd anonymity) to group dynamics, confidence and optimism... A lot about how we edit and adjust our memories and aspects of how we define ourselves and others in order to cope and keep our beliefs consistent. We all tend to think we are above average, and we are prone to ignorance of the states/beliefs of others.
It was very well presented and accessible. I like the idea that the author reveals your own mind's bag of tricks you may not have known you had, and mentions ways of sometimes getting around them. It's funny, just how many many of our own lies we fall for, but now I know a little bit more about it, and if I care to take that extra moment to consider things, I can take that into account and adjust my perspective, and improve my understanding of myself and others.
We are not as objective, perceptive, or smart as we think we are!
Good narration, no issues.
Will likely revisit when I need a little reality check or popular psychology fix.
Initially, I found the reader's style robotic. Quickly, however, I realized his approach is well-suited to the content. He presents various scientific studies and data in a way that provides the listener with a clear understanding of the material.
The myths debunked in this book is supported by solid science.
I found myself saying "wow" a number of times.
I enjoyed this book just as I enjoyed Your Not So Smart. This one is shorter, I think, with only 17 additional psychological bias's, self-delusions and logical fallacies that make us human. Another difference is, this book, unlike Your Not So Smart, comes from the angle of, instead of pretending these brain quirks don't exist or we can't do anything about them as they are simply the human condition, if we can recognize them, we may can possibly avoid the situations and environmental conditions that foster them.
Like I said. I enjoyed it, and if you liked Your Not So Smart, you'll probably like this one.
I saw this book at a book store in the airport and thought it might be worth the credit to listen. It was...somewhat.
There was allot of great content! The theory and research outlined behind each chapter and fallacy was very interesting and was easy to see how each applied to ones own surrounding, life. The problem was the performance! If you can get past the piercing 'S's, my gosh! The reader was almost unbearable at times while listening on headphones. Not sure if you'd get the same affect if you blue-toothed it in the car, but oh my!
This choice is worth the time and the 8 or so hours to get through it. There is some really, decent content. Try it! You may be Ssssssssssurprisssssssed!
The information is great and very well put together. But the S's are annoying. I can only listen to a chapter at a time and forget listening to this on my headphones.
Sssssso there you have it !
"You are Now Less Dumb" is a perfect title for this book - not because I believe that the book makes you any smarter, but rather because this is exactly what I think the author would smugly say to you after telling you that the "love" you feel for your parents is really a survival instinct.
This book presents a miriad of different psychology theories in a well written an entertaining way. It is intended to show you all the ways our brains trick us, and that all of our actions and emotions can be explained.
The problem I have with this book is not with the writing - it is excellent. Overall it was pretty entertaining, but I did find it hard to listen to in long chunks because the material all started to sound the same ( In fact, I'll be lucky to remember a quarter of what I listened to). Rather, my problem with the book is that in the end it seemed to push the following messages:
1. we essentially have no free will
2. we are essentially animals and all of our behaviors come from evolution
3.. The world we live in is devoid of mystery, and by mystery I mean anything that can't be explained using the evolution and modern psycological science
Regarding #3 - how do we know that psycological science of today won't be debunked 100 years from now? For example, Freud is largely seen as a weirdo now, but at the time he had all the answers?
Anyway, I guess what I am saying is that the book came off a little smug. Also I don't feel any less dumb.
If you have never read/listened to earlier books involving the human mind and the way we trick ourselves (Michael Shermer comes to mind) then much of the information would seem new and intriguing. Unfortunately since I've read other books, this had literally no new information for me.
The narrator's tone and approach simply did not match the content.
I expected a fresh take on some of the topics, however this was not the case. Even the examples provided were ones already presented in other books by other authors. While I know that the concepts will be similar since they are well-known and documented, I expected to get a different perspective. Instead it was a re-hash and left me wishing I had my credit back.
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