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Why People Believe Weird Things Audiobook

Why People Believe Weird Things

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Publisher's Summary

UFO abductions, television psychics, paranormal phenomena, skeptics and believers alike, find themselves debating truths and lies in the strange web of pseudoscience and the occult. With everyday normal life moving too fast to comprehend, people are turning to the bizarre and wacky for comfort. Now, director of the Skeptics Society Michael Shermer explores the very human reasons why we find other worldly phenomena, conspiracy theories, and cults so appealing. The eternal search for meaning and spiritual fulfillment leads us astray by extraordinary claims and controversial ideas, particularly those in the realms of superstition and the supernatural. This celebrates the scientific spirit and the joy to be found in rationally exploring the world's greatest mysteries.

©1998 by Michael Shermer; (P)1998 by Audio Renaissance, an imprint of Renaissance Media, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (308 )
5 star
 (116)
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Overall
4.2 (134 )
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Story
4.2 (132 )
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3 star
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    reggie p PA 09-17-04
    reggie p PA 09-17-04 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    723
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    "Ok but not as good as How We Believe"

    This book contained many of the same arguments in the author's other book, How We Believe, with additional discussion of topics such as the Holocaust deniers as well creation scientists. There was too much debunking of the deniers and creationists and not enough analysis of why people believe such things. I suppose the reasons why people believe nonsense is really limited to a few reasons, such as hope, fear, laziness, etc., that are applicable to a variety of situations. There's not a whole lot more that can be said about this.
    No need to read both of the author's book. I liked How We Believe much better than this one.

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anonymous 10-07-10
    10-07-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
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    Overall
    "Tricky concepts made easy"

    This book is really clear and easy to follow without being patronising. I love the section on logical fallacies.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leilah Mustang, OK, United States 01-27-08
    Leilah Mustang, OK, United States 01-27-08 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    52
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    "Smart"

    Learn to think for yourself. How come I have never asked myself these questions? This book is so revealing.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DS 12-26-13
    DS 12-26-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "confirming you suspictions"

    that most people are self delusional or just stupid. Read this and you'll know why.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Quotes&More 10-07-06
    Quotes&More 10-07-06 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "No Why, not Know Why"

    I was very interested in this topic, as a research psychologist who knows quite a bit about the depth of studies that examine the biases in how people make inferences. I found this book immensely disappointing. It "reads" (listens) much more like a diatribe against specific beliefs some people hold than any reasoned explanation in depth about "why" people believe what they believew when others do not, and when much evidence is to the contrary.

    I did find the section on the holocost deniers interesing, but the book could have just as well been all about that (which is what the author really seemed mostly to want to write about). I could say so much more, but the key is that he focuses on the weird things far far more than anything about the "why," where there could have been so much more depth--which does not seem to exist in his examination.

    17 of 25 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill boulder city, NV, United States 04-22-08
    Bill boulder city, NV, United States 04-22-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "informative"

    michael at his best, again. all books are highly recomended

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Guillermo Gandara 02-22-10 Member Since 2013
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    "Worth reading."

    The author explains in clear manner why we are afraid of many things and are willing to accept absurd things.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Yaneth Rignack 08-24-17 Member Since 2017
    RATINGS
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    11
    5
    "Great book, audio book is condensed"

    I have had the books for some years now, but I never had time to dedicate to reading it entirely. Some books can be read quickly, while others require your complete attention (at least for me, lol).

    Well, I was very excited to find out that Audible had this book, and I was even more excited when I found out that Michael Shermer himself was reading it! The only problem that I had was that the audio book was a condensed version of the book. I noticed when I sat and tried to follow along and saw that it didn't read everything that was on the book.

    Regardless, it's a great book and had a great insight of different views of what makes people think the way they do.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ted Kennedy Ann Arbor, MI United States 10-14-15
    Ted Kennedy Ann Arbor, MI United States 10-14-15
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    Performance
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    "Coulda been even more abridged...."

    Repetitive but fun to listen to.
    Voice is awkward, but not annoying.
    More examples woulda been nice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lance Wahl 07-24-15
    Lance Wahl 07-24-15 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "great read"
    What made the experience of listening to Why People Believe Weird Things the most enjoyable?

    I like all of Michael Shermer's books. He makes science understandable for non science people like me.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Lesley
    Southport, United Kingdom
    4/8/09
    Overall
    "Shermer is all over this."

    Shermer has been the editor of Skeptic Magazine for some years and in that time has come across many weird beliefs and has attended many dubious seminars and psuedo-science events. Shermer tells it how it is and uses reason and whit to get over the real science and socoilogy behind ridiculous claims. I read the book first, and it would be a good idea to get an unabridged version of this (If Shermer has the time) but this is an excellent listen covering some of his adventures to the other side of science. I would also recommend 'Borderlands of science' and his most recent release of his lectures on the history of science.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Giedrius
    LondonUnited Kingdom
    3/9/07
    Overall
    "sceptical of sceptical"

    It's a sceptical of sceptical of sceptics.

    1 of 23 people found this review helpful

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