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Your Deceptive Mind: A Scientific Guide to Critical Thinking Skills Lecture

Your Deceptive Mind: A Scientific Guide to Critical Thinking Skills

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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.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

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

What Members Say

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Performance
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  •  
    Patrick United States 01-21-14
    Patrick United States 01-21-14 Member Since 2016

    Greetings. My brother introduced me to Audible in 2011. Since, nothing but enjoyment. Hopefully my reviews are very useful to you. Enjoy!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Educating your mind for our society."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes I would. Very informative and exposes the listener to things going on that impact your life that you know nothing about and no way to offset it. It provides very useful info regarding nearly every aspect of your life. The narrator/professor speaks in layman term. Very pleasant to listen to.


    Have you listened to any of Professor Steven Novella’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    11 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lloyd SOUTHLAKE, TX, United States 09-06-13
    Lloyd SOUTHLAKE, TX, United States 09-06-13
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    "A great guide"
    What did you love best about Your Deceptive Mind: A Scientific Guide to Critical Thinking Skills?

    IT covered a lot of ground and did so well.


    What does Professor Steven Novella bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I do a lot of driving and it covered the topic without the need for visuals.


    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jatinder S Brar 07-12-14 Member Since 2016
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    "Not for those looking to improve themselves"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Individuals looking for reaffirmation of their skepticism of, or those looking to walk out from the shadows of pseudo-science.


    What was most disappointing about The Great Courses’s story?

    There is no skill building here. The book lays out the world as the author (and for the most part the scientific community at large) sees it; but provides nothing for the reader that can be used to build on their existing critical skill set. An individual struggling to shake off belief in the existence of Bigfoot may find this book useful; but if you are a professional looking to add something to your toolkit with regards to your own critical thinking process, the author has nothing to offer you. Don't waste your time.


    40 of 57 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 02-21-15
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    "lesser course"

    With a bit of research I feel I could have given just as good a course myself. It's terrible to listen to an author who doesn't follow his own advice, one who uses contradictory ideas to prove his own theories. I found myself arguing with this professor quite a lot because of not very well articulated references.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Irini 04-29-14
    Irini 04-29-14
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    "Scientific thinking, not critical thinking"
    Was Your Deceptive Mind: A Scientific Guide to Critical Thinking Skills worth the listening time?

    This course is not worth the time spent on it, since all the ideas from these lectures could be explained in one 30 minute lecture.
    Moreover, the course is not about critical thinking, the course is about how to think as a scientist.
    It remains a mystery for me why this course has such high rating on audible!


    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Euge Danbury, CT 02-14-14
    Euge Danbury, CT 02-14-14 Member Since 2014
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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
  •  
    january Rock Hill, SC 01-23-14
    january Rock Hill, SC 01-23-14 Member Since 2013
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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.

    35 of 52 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mc2 Monument, CO, US 02-03-15
    mc2 Monument, CO, US 02-03-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Full of Contradictions"

    The Professor engages in a tour of how flawed your brain is and how you cannot trust your brain. He also offers examples to illustrate the point but I found several inane.

    For example, he a made a point to state that a pilot diverted his ship because of a UFO but turned out to be a Mylar balloon. Obviously he does not consider that the term UFO means "unidentified flying object" which is what the pilot reported.

    From a lecture series on critical thinking, I expected the words and sentence structures to be a little more precise. It got a little loose thus clarity was lost.

    He also offers a lot of evolutionary explanations and uses a "bandwagon" fallacy to support evolution. He speaks of gaps in evolution as if it is mere details instead of very large holes in evolutionary theory. Instead of embracing this critical thinking he dismisses it with an ad hominem "Evolution Deniers".

    Then he engages in the construction of logical argument. Given that he argued that your brain is flawed and cannot be trusted, why should anyone take the arguments and logic from someone else's brain?

    BHis explanation on logical argument is a bit weak. You'd be better off getting a quick primer. He confuses terms and conflates them.

    Have not finished the lectures but am not finding them worthwhile

    10 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brendan Roseville, MN, United States 08-07-13
    Brendan Roseville, MN, United States 08-07-13 Member Since 2011
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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.

    7 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeffrey 02-06-15
    Jeffrey 02-06-15
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    "Uninteresting and poorly organized"
    What disappointed you about Your Deceptive Mind: A Scientific Guide to Critical Thinking Skills?

    I found the piece had little new information for me and didn't present its idea effectively. When I have to decipher what someone is saying because of their poor choice of words and lack of flow in what should a polished, published peice like this then there's a problem. The examples and stories were boring and a few times were misinformed.


    How could the performance have been better?

    I felt like this whole thing was done in a single, poor take. The professors constant use of the word 'literally' was a bit obnoxious.


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • joshua hodson
    11/28/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Steven Novella always nails it."

    (this review should be read with a 1940's/50's news announcers voice)

    Tired of being taken for a fool by simple and clichéd marketing tactics? Tired of holding cherished but ultimately wrong beliefs? Tired of loosing Facebook debates on the merit of being wrong?...then look no further. Prof. Steven Novella will take you through all the essential steps of being a skeptic.

    You will learn how to only trust real science, and then how to be skeptical of said science.

    You will chart some of the most hilarious mistakes in scientific history and then have all of your cognitive biases laid bare as your world crumbles around you.

    lose your mind in most sane way possible.

    Pick up a copy today!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Phil
    Totnes, United Kingdom
    9/30/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent series of lectures."

    Thoroughly recommended for anyone who wants to gain a better understanding of the way science works.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • George
    9/17/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Outstanding"

    Outstanding courses! Difficult to grasp in one go the amount of information. Reviewing necessary in order to fully understand the topics.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nadine
    8/8/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I found this very engaging, enjoyed every minute"

    Easy listening, enjoyable lectures. I would definitely recommend this audio book. Discusses a wide array of the cognitive biases we are all subject too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    7/31/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great intelecual journey"

    Totally recommend for everyone who seeks to improve their critical thinking skills.

    I might listen it for the 2nd time and pick some scientific terms and think these courses thru one more time.

    Really usefull and don't forget to improve your scientific knowledge. Good luck.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Elegaer
    7/3/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Simple but interesting"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Some more detail - it's very basic, a lot of "obvious" stuff if you've ever studied science


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • kasia
    4/21/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very interesting"

    Very interesting subject, delivered in a clear and engaging manner. I highly recommend to everyone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kentoski
    2/1/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazingly pithy and practical"

    This is an absolutely fantastic guide to anyone who wants to know why we're naturally so bad at thinking critically and how you can deliberately turn yourself around.

    Only negative is the canned applause and terrible intro music.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • jonty
    7/14/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Really good"

    Amazing talk by great speaker. Really says what it is in their title. Thinking about thinking and really being analytical and questioning yourself and others.
    Highly recommend for anyone that likes to intellectually engage.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Paul
    4/3/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beautifully presented"

    Recommended listening for learning how to understand your own flaws in thinking and catch & correct biases. Excellent!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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