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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

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.

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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  •  
    steven 01-31-16
    steven 01-31-16 Member Since 2015
    ratings
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    1
    1
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    Story
    "great book"

    great lecture. because it's not a book it's a lecture . it's also not a story but I gave it 5 stars anyway. idk I'm righting random crap to get 20 words in.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lance J. Goyke 01-22-16 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    3
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    Story
    "Useful tool"

    this is a great book if you want to understand the intricacies of our innate bias or the way we communicate and the positions we hold.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E.L. NJ United States 01-21-16
    E.L. NJ United States 01-21-16 Member Since 2016
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    5
    1
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    Story
    "A must have for all"

    I've been needing this my whole life!! This great course teaches me THE common sense!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Juan Chamorro Spain 01-20-16
    Juan Chamorro Spain 01-20-16 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    2
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    "very clear and thorough"

    A basic approach to critical thinking. A good place to start questioning our unscientific patterns of thought

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Myles Mackey 01-02-16 Member Since 2015
    ratings
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    1
    1
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    "Worth every penny!!!"

    The material was presented is very easy to understand manor! Must have knowledge for anyone!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Danny Orlando 12-09-15
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    REVIEWS
    2
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "Behold the glory"

    ...of science.
    Note: I would have paid $1,000 for this.
    If you're a fan of his podcast, well, this is heaven.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Destiny 12-09-15
    Destiny 12-09-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Story
    "Love it!!"

    I really enjoyed this lecture and now that I finished it I'm not sure what to do with myself!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    samuel gherman 11-10-15
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    REVIEWS
    2
    1
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    Story
    "A boring, long, less educational Brain Games"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Someone who wants a brief overview of a lot of quirky things the mind does, but doesn't really want to know why or how it does those things.


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

    I don't see how this is a "Guide to critical thinking", he literally just tells you stories of times the mind has done strange things contradictory to logic. It was all stuff I've heard before, several times, from other sources. There was no delving deeper into the why our minds do the things he says in the numerous examples. It was more stories of strange things our minds do, with a one sentence recap of why the mind did it (possibly), and then on to the next story. Literally I think almost everything in the first two chapters was in the Nat Geo show Brain Games.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Paul 11-06-15
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    REVIEWS
    3
    1
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    "So good that i'm sad it ended"

    A great guide on using critical thinking with skepticism and science together. It's not a easy task given our cognitive flaws and biases but certainly can be achieved with practice and humility.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen Portland, Oregon 11-03-15
    Karen Portland, Oregon 11-03-15 Member Since 2015

    Karen

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    4
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    "Wonderful review of the ways we can fool ourselves"

    A must for anyone interested in skepticism, pseudoscience, or just the ways in which our brains can and do fool ourselves every day.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Amazon Customer
    York
    7/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "This covers it all"

    So as a scientist, this is an area of great personal interest and I've done a huge amount of background reading in this subject. This one book covers all aspects of critical thinking. If you are familiar with this area, then be prepared to hear some of the same examples you will have come across elsewhere, but don't let that put you off. This is clear and well laid out and I wish everyone could listen to it.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Stan
    Auckland, New Zealand
    9/29/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent listen"

    Dr Steven Novella has written an excellent series of lessons that really helps one understand why people believe strange things. More importantly though, he explains how our own brains can deceive us. Ever wondered how everyone else around you remembers something completely different to how you remember it? Or how someone can come to a completely different conclusion to something than you did, even though you both had the exact same data? This book is fascinating and helps one realise, just because you saw it/ heard it/ analysed it (etc.) doesn't mean you'll come to the correct conclusion unless you take steps to ensure you don't let personal bias get in the way.

    His many years as a teacher at Yale and podcasting ensure it is very easy to listen to this series of lectures. Broken down into half hour sessions, you can go through it is small chunks (I listened to it in three large chunks though, I was enjoying it so much). The one criticism I would have, being an audiobook, the times Dr Novella mentions different visual phenomena that fool us becomes a little difficult, not having the picture in front of you (some are famous and probably don't need an accompanying picture, but some aren't). The same with the audio phenomena. It would have been easy to include them in the audiobook. There also appeared to be mention of a workbook, which I could not find out anything about.

    Having said that, those few issues were not serious enough for me to take any marks off. This is a great book with some truly fascinating things to learn, read in a way that made the time pass by so quickly.

    Thoroughly recommend it.

    12 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • Luke
    7/20/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A great insight into the ways we think"
    If you could sum up Your Deceptive Mind: A Scientific Guide to Critical Thinking Skills in three words, what would they be?

    Insightful, useful, applicable


    What did you like best about this story?

    The useful and applicable methods to make the most of our inherent methods of thinking


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

    Engaging examples, useful approaches


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

    No


    Any additional comments?

    Highly recommended for everyone, especially those whose work depends on thinking

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Somerset, UK
    7/12/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "How to grow your brain & explode your ego!"

    This course will grow your brain by challenging your beliefs and give you a clear process to reality check any of your conclusions. In other words, putting your dearest most lovingly held beliefs through the meat grinder of scientific critical thinking. Not for the faint hearted! It is not about how to be right, although it could be, but hopefully it will explode your ego in the same way it has mine and give you the tools you need to have more humility in the face of your thoughts and beliefs.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • H. Suppiah
    6/15/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant introduction to objective thinking"
    What did you like most about Your Deceptive Mind: A Scientific Guide to Critical Thinking Skills?

    The topic was presented with multiple, easy to understand, examples. Despite it being a "scientific guide", it is presented for a wide demographic


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

    Prof Novella was able to bring about several personal anecdotes to emphasize certain points


    1 of 1 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 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ben
    LONDON, United Kingdom
    8/31/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A toolkit for life"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This is quite the most useful course I have bought, I have so many bookmarks and notes in this. I felt the need to have the content: including heuristics and logical fallacies memorised so that I can steer a safe course around the hucksters of modern advertising and over the pitfall of modern life.


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

    It's pretty unique, but if I had to I'd say it reads like a survival guide (or a handbook to common problems you might be having with your wetware). The problem/issue is stated clearly (usually some kind of problem with perception or the brain's habit of creating useful but problematic short cuts to methodical truth evaluation) then a useful label then the remedy to ameliorate the problem, cool I promise.


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

    Engaging, I love the supporting evidence the set up so to speak for the course, fascinating!


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Lol, it would be a documentary and it might be:The brain a users guide, or Under the hood


    Any additional comments?

    Thanks great courses

    1 of 1 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
  • S_Thorn
    3/31/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A great introduction to critical thinking skills"
    Would you listen to Your Deceptive Mind: A Scientific Guide to Critical Thinking Skills again? Why?

    This course discussed critical thinking skills over 24 lectures, covering topics such as biases, our flawed perceptions as humans, logical fallacies, common myths, problems with media/journalism amongst others.

    Needless to say, since the breadth of topics is so large it's difficult to comprehend everything in one run through. I imagine this will be the case with all audiobooks from the great courses.

    However, this means that there is a wealth of knowledge to be learned here and some topics are more important and helpful to others. This means that there is opportunities to listen to relevant chapters again if one so desires. I would like to point out that a single run through is sufficient to increase your critical thinking skills.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Your Deceptive Mind: A Scientific Guide to Critical Thinking Skills?

    I personally enjoy learning common logical fallacies since I think that is an easy way to help correct the thinking of yourself and to see the flaws in logic in others. I also enjoyed learning about common myths and their criticisms. It demonstrates critical thinking skills quite well and encourages you to attempt critical thinking of your own.


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

    He has the perfect speaking speed to play comfortably at 2x speed. Otherwise speaking was clear and concise.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I loved the wisdom that the author gave that while science is a powerful tool it cannot answer all questions. Questions such as "What is good?" (i.e. Morality) and "What is beauty?" are not questions which can be answered by science. So it's important to remember that you cant know everything from science alone and it should only be used to answer questions which it can answer.

    I found this very eye opening.


    Any additional comments?

    I 100% recommend this book to anyone who wants to improve their critical thinking skills. It made my critical thinking skills improve with immediate effects by being able to judge scientific journals and articles better by appraising the merits of the writing and the science behind them. I've also made use of it in multiple discussions where I've avoided falling into multiple logical traps as well as being able to make better constructed arguments.

    Awesome course, can't recommend it enough.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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