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Your Deceptive Mind: A Scientific Guide to Critical Thinking Skills | [The Great Courses]

Your Deceptive Mind: A Scientific Guide to Critical Thinking Skills

No skill is more important in today's world than being able to think about, understand, and act on information in an effective and responsible way. What's more, at no point in human history have we had access to so much information, with such relative ease, as we do in the 21st century. But because misinformation out there has increased as well, critical thinking is more important than ever. These 24 rewarding lectures equip you with the knowledge and techniques you need to become a savvier, sharper critical thinker in your professional and personal life.
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Publisher's Summary

No skill is more important in today's world than being able to think about, understand, and act on information in an effective and responsible way. What's more, at no point in human history have we had access to so much information, with such relative ease, as we do in the 21st century. But because misinformation out there has increased as well, critical thinking is more important than ever.

These 24 rewarding lectures equip you with the knowledge and techniques you need to become a savvier, sharper critical thinker in your professional and personal life. By immersing yourself in the science of cognitive biases and critical thinking, and by learning how to think about thinking (a practice known as metacognition), you'll gain concrete lessons for doing so more critically, more intelligently, and more successfully.

The key to successful critical thinking lies in understanding the neuroscience behind how our thinking works - and goes wrong; avoiding common pitfalls and errors in thinking, such as logical fallacies and biases; and knowing how to distinguish good science from pseudoscience. Professor Novella tackles these issues and more, exploring how the (often unfamiliar) ways in which our brains are hardwired can distract and prevent us from getting to the truth of a particular matter.

Along the way, he provides you with a critical toolbox that you can use to better assess the quality of information. Even though the world is becoming more and more saturated information, you can take the initiative and become better prepared to make sense of it all with this intriguing course.

Disclaimer: Please note that this recording may include references to supplemental texts or print references that are not essential to the program and not supplied with your purchase.

©2012 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2012 The Great Courses

What Members Say

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  •  
    Brendan Roseville, MN, United States 08-07-13
    Brendan Roseville, MN, United States 08-07-13 Member Since 2005
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    "Great primer on thinking"
    What did you love best about Your Deceptive Mind: A Scientific Guide to Critical Thinking Skills?

    Dr. Novella is very good at communicating, which made this course easy to listen to. Of course the content was excellent as well.


    Any additional comments?

    I highly recommend this book to anyone curious about how science, skepticism, or critical thinking.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeongsup 05-04-14
    Jeongsup 05-04-14
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    "Good execution, cliche content"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Yes, for first-time readers in the topic of critical thinking. but don't go into further detail, so won't recommend it to people who's already read a few books on this topic


    Would you be willing to try another book from The Great Courses? Why or why not?

    Yes, great execution - would love to see a course done by this person on a topic I'm new to


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Euge Danbury, CT 02-14-14
    Euge Danbury, CT 02-14-14 Member Since 2008
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    "Best comprehensive look at the mind."

    I'm a big fan of non-fiction books about the way our minds work, the way our logic works, etc... Books like "Thinking: Fast and Slow" are fascinating but at times can be overwhelming in their depth and length. This set of lectures is a concise yet all encompassing overview of the whole subject. It's got enough depth to sink your teeth into, without beating over the head with too many example, and it moves from subject to subject at a pace that keeps things interesting. You'll definitely want breaks to process some of the information, as listening to 5-6 lectures straight might make your eyes glaze over. But overall, this is the best of the great courses, in my opinion.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chloe Bayswater, Australia 10-27-13
    Chloe Bayswater, Australia 10-27-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Brilliant - everyone needs to listen to this"
    Where does Your Deceptive Mind: A Scientific Guide to Critical Thinking Skills rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is one of the best audiobooks I have ever listened to and my favourite so far of The Great Courses


    What about Professor Steven Novella’s performance did you like?

    Professor Novella is easy to listen to, simplifies topics so they are understandable without 'dumbing it down' for his audience.


    Any additional comments?

    Everyone should to listen to this and use these tools of critical thinking in everyday life.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hoyte Moncure, NC, United States 01-02-14
    Hoyte Moncure, NC, United States 01-02-14 Member Since 2008
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    "Exellent Introduction to Critical Thinking"
    Where does Your Deceptive Mind: A Scientific Guide to Critical Thinking Skills rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It ranks in my top 10 because it shows how our brain can deceive us but how using critical thinking tools can mitigate the affects of deception.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked how Dr. Novella used examples to explain key components of science vs. pseudo-science.


    Which character – as performed by Professor Steven Novella – was your favorite?

    He was articulate and clear.


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

    Yes. However, I listened to it twice.


    Any additional comments?

    Excellent introduction to Critical Thinking and I recommend it to anyone who wants to improve this skill.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    january huntersville, NC, United States 01-23-14
    january huntersville, NC, United States 01-23-14 Member Since 2012
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    "I didn't like it...or did I?"

    I have listened to several lectures in this series and loved every one. Not so much this one, though. I keep rereading the title to see if it might give me some indication where I went wrong. But, no. That's no help.

    Going into the lecture, I was expecting Professor Novella to instruct us on ways to use the scientific method to think about things in a critical way. That's not what this lecture is about at all. Instead, it is about how to think critically about science.

    In the first two or three sessions he does touch on some practical uses of critical thinking, and then again in the final session. The rest of the time he spends talking about scientists who have made mistakes and people who believe in kooky ideas, like cult teachings.

    I initially chose this lecture over, say, Important Pharaohs of Egypt, because of something I recently heard on the news. The White House held a press conference to let people know that the government healthcare website was safe and had not been hacked. Normally I don't pay much attention to White House press conferences, but this one struck me because there was no news report before hand to indicate that the website was unsafe. This, therefore, led me to think that this was the result of a logical fallacy. Someone was poisoning the well. Someone who is opposed to government healthcare started a rumor, and people who weren't using their critical thinking skills spread it around, thus causing the White House to address a problem that did not exist.

    Because of this, I wanted to know more about how our brains work, and why people let themselves get carried away by things they haven't fully thought through. Not about the drudgery of scientific proof.

    There is one thing about this lecture that I did like, however. While I was sitting there listening, trying very hard to learn something new, I realized that my level of critical thinking is above normal. Learning by not learning. Hmm...

    I'm not saying this is a bad lecture. It will be very interesting to someone who has never heard this information before. It's very important to learn how to call BS when it needs to be called. But I didn't find this lecture helpful. Perhaps I am just to skeptical about everything already.

    6 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joey 07-08-14
    Joey 07-08-14 Member Since 2014
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    "A total perception changer!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Your Deceptive Mind: A Scientific Guide to Critical Thinking Skills to be better than the print version?

    I love the audio version. Print version would occupy much space.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Chapter 10 discussed issues concerning data mining and how news is delivered. Basically saying how contractive reasoning can explaining anything. The information is highly researched.


    What about Professor Steven Novella’s performance did you like?

    He delivers much information. With accurate terminology.


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

    The real world exposed!


    Any additional comments?

    It has taken all my misconceptions away!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jorge SAN ANTONIO, TX, United States 07-07-14
    Jorge SAN ANTONIO, TX, United States 07-07-14
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    "basic, very basic"

    Didn't even get more than 30 minutes in.
    Don't waste your time. I'm sure there are better books out there (like Brooke Noel Moore's) with less fluff.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Chan 06-24-14
    Linda Chan 06-24-14 Member Since 2010
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    "Great Listen!"
    What made the experience of listening to Your Deceptive Mind: A Scientific Guide to Critical Thinking Skills the most enjoyable?

    This 12 hour audio presentation packs a lot of punch. Your Deceptive Mind: A Scientific Guide to Critical Thinking is a title I'll make time to listen to more than once. Professor Novella's captures you with content and delivery from the very first lecture.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Greg Lexington, SC, United States 05-25-14
    Greg Lexington, SC, United States 05-25-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Science and Then, Non-Science:"
    What did you love best about Your Deceptive Mind: A Scientific Guide to Critical Thinking Skills?

    A lot of good scientific information about neurology and psychology gathered, organized and presented very well.


    What other book might you compare Your Deceptive Mind: A Scientific Guide to Critical Thinking Skills to and why?

    Exploring Metaphysics - Because it gives the opposite view on much of the same subject matter.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The information of statistics and how we think we see patterns among data points that is actually really falling into the normal realms of "chance."


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

    No Way.


    Any additional comments?

    Novella, while doing a good job in presenting a large amount of information in ways that make learning the information easy, suggests that much of what we believe does not really stand-up to scientific scrutiny. He calls out to us admonishing us to not fall into certain "traps" as we think about different things. Yet, I find him to be just as guilty in his own way of "falling into the same traps" that he lectures us on to avoid.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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