Yes, I would try another book from The Great Courses but "No" I would not listen to another book by Professor Steven Novella. This is the 2nd Great C..Show More »ourses I have listened to by Professor Novella/
This is the only "Great Courses" recording I have listened to that I found to be bad; indeed, it is terrible. Perhaps I am biased by being mor..Show More »e expert in the material than I am for history or literature courses I have listened to, though I do not think that is it. Unlike the other lecturers, that delve into interesting points with a good balance of deep insight and humility, this came across more like a Malcolm Gladwell book of just-so stories and sloppy reasoning. I suppose if you are a fan of that approach, and you know absolutely nothing about scientific reasoning, you might find this worthwhile. But if you are looking for something more insightful (a genuine great course!), this is not it.
Shermer (who is a fine narrator/speaker -- credit for that) grossly oversimplifies almost everything he talks about. He gets many scientific points out-and-out wrong. He plays it well, so you might not realize that (I have studied and taught a lot of the same material for decades), which makes it all the more hazardous. I suspect this is the result of him being accustomed to talking to people who deny or do not understand the most basic principles of scientific inquiry. The problem is that he is trying to replace their simplistic view with another simplistic view, which might be fine for an airport book or a grade-school class, but this is not supposed to be one of those.
I kept listening for two reasons. The first is the delicious irony of someone who claims to be teaching about skepticism reciting simplified interpretations of the science (e.g., lab psychology experiments) as if it were indisputable truth, and that the single interpretation of the results that is convenient for his story is the only possible interpretation. The second is to get inspiration to write a book about debunking the debunkers who recite a simplified view of scientific inquiry that may indeed help protect people against utter woo (which is Shermer's mission in life) but that create a layer of more subtle problems that can be just as dangerous.
Needless to say, neither of those upsides is worth getting this listen for most people.
Some examples for those familiar with the topics: He lists many of the standard "heuristics and biases" reasons for people drawing erroneous causal conclusions. But for about half of them he describes them incorrectly. For most all of them, he asserts they are real phenomena based on one or two artificial psych experiments whose results have many possible interpretations. Some of them he spins into just-so stories about why we have that bias, which is fine, except that he presents these as facts rather than the reasonable speculations that they are. He refers to "the scientific method" even though there is no such "the", which he actually acknowledges in passing at a few points. But this does not stop him from basing most of what he says on a notion that scientific inquiry is always about following a particular script (e.g., that particular research methods trump others, or that particular statistical rules-of-thumb are natural laws rather than just a different kind of heuristic).
I suspect that Shermer has a more sophisticated understanding than he presents here. But his approach in these lectures is to infantilize the listener and present a grade-school-level lesson. Even apart from the the out-and-out errors, this is a terrible way to teach a college-level course, telling people what to think rather than exploring the topic. It is completely out of place in the "Great Courses" series.
Interesting Lectures with a Misleading Description
The lectures are well rehearsed, excellently paced, and fascinating. However, the topic of the lectures does not match the product's description.<..Show More »br/> The lectures are a combination of popular psychology theory and advice on conflict resolution, with a heavy emphasis on marital disputes. The scientific content is on the light side.
There is nothing on communicating with strangers or in the workplace.
That being said, the lectures are very interesting and well delivered. If you purchase this audiobook, you will likely be entertained and get a cursory education on a topic which is not discussed in the product description.
I thoroughly enjoyed this course. The lecturer is an excellent narrator and sounds very empathetic and understanding. He breaks down the topic into ve..Show More »ry logical lectures, each focused around very useable frameworks. He frequently references outside studies, but doesn't get bogged down in the details, making it relate to the issue at hand. There are some dramatic enactments of examples which are sometimes cheesy, but overall add to the course. This audiobook is good from start to finish (arguably getting better as it goes), rather than many books, where it's one good idea re-hashed 50 times.
I was skeptical about this because of some of the negative reviews - people saying everything from there were "too many stories" to "I rec..Show More »eived no insight..." Upon listening to this and studying this course intensively i am utterly baffled. This course is AMAZING.
First of all - The audio course provides a great balance between telling stories and then analyzing the stories that have been told. The pdf it comes with is filled with a lifetime of practice and insight that will forever deepen my storytelling.
Her own stories are short and sweet and they're very touching. She also offers a few stories from other storytellers as well which are also short and very well done. The critique of there being too many stories strikes me as utter nonsense. Plus it's a storytelling course! You have to hear stories to learn what she is teaching!
Second - I find it incomprehensible how people could have listened to hours of this without receiving insight. She offers invaluable insights even in the first lecture about the nature of orality, remembering family histories, and gives a broad overview of the whole course. Over the course, she goes over so many incredible things such as how to rehearse, practice, memorize, embody, play with the time and perspective and the voice of the story and so much more (structure, hero's journey, empathy, emotional arcs, etc.).
The amount of storytelling technique given in this course is comprehensive and amazing. My own storytelling skill skyrocketed and I found myself exploring wholly new dimensions of storytelling I never thought about before. Also, she is absolutely brilliant, not just as a storyteller, but also as a scholar weaving political, cultural, and ethical dimensions to the art of storytelling.
How anyone could "not receive insight" from this is absolutely beyond me.
Third -I am guessing that some folks must just not appreciate or understand Appalachia style storytelling. I'm from NY, and didn't grow up where Hannah did, but I have heard many storytellers from Appalachia who have the same vocal style that Hannah does. If you don't like it, that's fine, but the degree to which people complain about it seems irrationally large given how much great content there is in the course. Also, she is insistent on helping you find your own voice and your own style, so why be distracted with hers?
To put it all together, this course was exactly what I was looking for and deeply broadened my awareness of and expanded my appreciation of the oral medium of storytelling. We should be grateful for such an amazing work.
The Professor was engaging and inviting to listen to her lecture. However, the content seemed to jump around to try and reach a wide scope of listener..Show More »s, from students, to professionals, to single people to married people. The topics always seemed to fall short on following through with the chapter theme. I even listened a second time to see if I missed some of the content, but reached the same conclusion.
Yes i would. There was a lot of good material covered in making creativity a strategic habit and not just something you stumble upon in this book, so..Show More » much that i feel it would be beneficial to let the concepts set in then revisit.
A person might think this if for business people learning how to manipulate others into buying their product. They would be wrong. Actually this cours..Show More »e has benefits for people of all walks of life. Everyone negotiates. We have to. It is part of life. We negotiate our friendships, our marriages, our relationships as employers and as employees. We negotiate our salaries, our mortgages, how much we pay for all sorts of products. And this course is about how to negotiate effectively and fairly. It is good for consumers in that it alerts you to bullish negotiating tactics that strong arm you into buying things you don’t need or paying too much. It also teaches you why it is not best to negotiate in such a way that you get all you possibly could in a deal. It teaches you the dangers of developing a reputation of being greedy, and the benefits of developing a reputation for being generous and fair. Some of the better things I have learned is thinking through your BATNA, or best alternatives. How to research this and figure out what you can be happy doing without. The importance of third party objective estimates of what a thing is worth, like blue book values when buying or selling a car. Some of the stuff may be things you more or less knew before, but hearing the discussion concerning the phenomena gets you thinking about it in different way, and not only knowing it but understanding it.
Great informative content at the cost of a few ads
Berger delivers great readily actionable knowledge based on social psychology and other studies and the only problem with the exposition is that some ..Show More »examples are obviously sponsored (JetBlue I am looking at you), although the concepts expressed are still valid.
One of the most memorable moments of How Ideas Spread was when it explained how flashy logos on apparel and accessories define you as a lesser person in the eyes of those who are really into fashion and how this is part of a cyclical behavior in the fashion market.
There are many things to learn from How Ideas Spread that I would use in my daily life, actually almost all of it, but first of all not to spend any effort and even less money, looking for the attention of an influencer.
Epic! It's like a complete 1st year MBA Curriculum
This is the audio version of The Great Courses series, an epic series taught by five world class professors. You get the entire series here as one aud..Show More »io book, which is incredible. I will be recommending this series to every manager in my organization, whether they already have an MBA or not.
While the sections on accounting and finance clearly would have benefited from the video version, I was overall enthralled and amazed by these wonderful professors and this incredibly ambitious series. It is essentially the entire core 1st year MBA curriculum, spanning 60 lectures, with 5 professors taking on the core requirements of the typical MBA curriculum: Management strategy, Operations Management, Accounting, Finance, Organization Behavior, and Marketing.
Unfortunately the lecturer doesn't understand the technical aspects and just uses buzzwords to mask that. The legal side however is not bad. In ..Show More »addition, it's a pity how one-sided the lectures are. If seems that the US does everything right in terms of surveillance and the rest of the world doesn't know what they're doing. It's a pity how the lecturer doesn't even try to understand alternative approaches to privacy and only has this very naive and US-centric world view. There's e.g. Also different reasons to why European data protection is different than only East Germany's Stasi past... Topic is very interesting, just a pity about the lecturer.
Professor Frank's presentational style is excellent. However, the focus of most of this book is not about communication between/among people but how t..Show More »he external environment impacts our perceptions of other people. A lot of that material is boring.