An entertaining illumination of the stupid beliefs that make us feel wise.
You believe you are a rational, logical being who sees the world as it really is, but journalist David McRaney is here to tell you that you're as deluded as the rest of us. But that's OK - delusions keep us sane. You Are Not So Smart is a celebration of self-delusion. It's like a psychology class, with all the boring parts taken out, and with no homework.Based on the popular blog of the same name, You Are Not So Smart collects more than 46 of the lies we tell ourselves everyday, including:
©2011 David McRaney (P)2011 Gildan Media Corp
"In an Idiocracy dominated by cable TV bobbleheads, government propagandists, and corporate spinmeisters, many of us know that mass ignorance is a huge problem. Now, thanks to David McRaney's mind-blowing book, we can finally see the scientific roots of that problem. Anybody still self-aware enough to wonder why society now worships willful stupidity should read this book." (David Sirota, author of Back to Our Future: How the 1980s Explain the World We Live In Now)
While this book makes for a breezy listen, a lot of what is contained within will be old news to many readers. If you know what a straw man argument and an ad hominem attack are, have read too many descriptions of the marshmallow experiment and the Standford prison experiment and are just plain tired of Milgram this book is probably not for you. While there were certainly many sections that contained information that I was previously unaware of the amount of the content that I already knew ruined this for me.
This book comes from the author of a blog of the same name, and it shows. The chapters read like blog posts, tending to lack depth, and the flow between chapters is choppy at times. However, it's an easy read, and a good introductory look at some of work that has been done in psychology in the past century.
QUESTION : DOES LISTENING TO AUDIO BOOKS MAKE YOU SMARTER? If so, I'm. Freakin Genius!
I loved this book. I found the presentation of facts interesting and amusing. The author has a kind of tongue -in -cheek sense of humor (which I love). He uses this wit to convey an enormous amount of very useful information, all the while proving his point, that yes indeed I'm not that smart.
I enjoyed this book as much if not more than "The Power Of Habit". Both of these books were well worth the credits.
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This is an audiobook I wish I owned in book form.
There are so many interesting snippets of information that I would like to go back and read again, so a table of contents would be immensely helpful!! It’s a very fun and intriguing book, full of “common sense” yet it makes you stop and reflect on your own behaviours and why you act the way you act and do the things you do. Lots of “nod your head in agreement” moments.
The set up is very simple to follow and it’s an easy and fast read – naturally, given that it’s a book about the psychology of human behaviour so they KNOW what format is going to work!
Learning about Priming, Confirmation Bias and Ad Hominem Fallacy to name a few, I saw a lot of myself in here and you will too! I laughed out loud at the chapter that explains why my books-to-read list (and the kind of books on it) is so long! But to my previous point: I don’t have a table of contents available so I can’t tell you what it’s called!!
It doesn't hurt to be humbled occasionally. As we listen to those confident so called experts who confirm our political biases during an election cycle, knowing the information from this book could help us take a step backwards and reevaluate.
I recommended this to my daughter and we had a great discussion about how people can be manipulated and how difficult it is to really have an open mind on some of the topics we supposedly have solved and take for granted.
I may not ultimately have budged from some of my biases, but my conceit about being right has taken a blow and that is a good thing.
I think it's safe to say that I found myself park in my car, sitting with the door ajar, still listening to this book more than any other book I've listened to. The format is very simple and it's conveyed in such a way that laypeople like me can feel smart for understanding it's complexity. [cute play on words huh?]
It's an amazing book of self deprecation, of laughing at yourself as you drive because you do the exact same thing the book is describing, word for word and you did it just this morning and you thought you were so clever when you did it. The man who reads it does a superb job and is just as effective as hooking you as the book itself.
It's also a real and serious help if you at all interested in working on yourself in a way that isn't something touchy feely and an even better way to understand and gain empathy about all of us and why we do the stupid s**t we do.
You can listen to this book in the same way you watch "How do They Make That" documentaries on the Science Channel and get some great information out of it and/or as a book that can help you identify deeper thought issues you might have.
To find a book that points out how bugged is your cognitive system without really annoying you is always a great find. Well written and very well presented.
However, if you are already familiar with some cognitive biases, heuristics and fallacies you will find some chapters "old news"... that is how exhaustive it is!
I am listening to again right now so I can take notes and impress/annoy my friends with my new-found knowledge
Uhh.. wrong genre
The title is really poor- I would have called
One of my new favorite books! This was one of those rare times where I have ten books to read but as soon as I finished this one I had to put every other book on hold just so I could read this one a second time. The book is a long list of thinking errors that most or arguably all people use unconsciously. If you read these kinds of books a lot you will spot a lot of familiar studies and there is a lot borrowed from the book “How we Decide” but everything is explained in terms simple enough for a ten year old to understand. Long stories are shortened to a sentence or two and the overall tone of the book is very fun and fast. No more long drawn out life stories just to tell the brain damage story at the end- this book is dense with fun information that you can apply right away to your own life. One of the major themes of the book is that we tend to make decisions about things first and then come up with reasons to justify it- and the reasons are mostly garbage. First the movie is bad- then we might make up something about the director or unclear motivations but really that is all stuff we make up to justify the initial “confirmation bias” and the examples of this are stunning. Highly recommended for all ages and experience levels.
This book describes the working of the mind (as discovered through research) in a fun and entertaining way. I like how the author broke it down into 46 distinct mental processes that the normal person might not understand is going on in his/her own mind, some of which can lead us into some strange and unproductive behaviors.
My only criticism is that the bits of real-world application that the author provides at the end of each process/chapter could be expounded upon with some more concrete actions to take to ensure you don't fall victim to your own mental processes.
This book is filled with great information about how we humans work based on many different researches throughout the world and the years. Some topics are covered by other books in greater depth, but I found that here you have just the right amount of explanation to understand what's going on and with a bit of humour to add to it.If you read other books on Human behavior and how the brain works, some info here may be repeated, but if not, I highly recommend you listen to this and you'll be surprised at how we deceive ourselves in so many different fronts.The only thing I wish there was is a PDF with a summary of the 46 chapters (maybe just the chapter name, even). It would greatly help remembering everything we learned.
Read like a list of hypotheses, that I had no interest in ... or any reason to be. I kept hoping for the "list" to stop, so that the author would provide me with a reason to find any of it layperson compelling.. I couldn't make it through this one. I'm sure,however, a textbook read like this will be of value to some. The title and packaging drew me in (brilliant marketing), but was left yawning.
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