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Shore (Breeding Bin Ladens), a professor of national security affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School, explains why smart people do dumb things in this glib guidebook that is more pop psychology than serious inquiry. According to the author, people blunder because they fall into "inflexible mind-sets formed from faulty reasoning"-or "cognition traps." Using examples drawn from history, wars, medicine, business and literature, Shore identifies seven common cognition traps such as "causefusion" ("confusing the causes of complex events"), "flatview" (black and white thinking) and "static cling" (an inability to accept change). Shore cites examples of various actors (individuals, corporations and even nations) stumbling into one trap or another with unfortunate results (e.g., a person will compound a blunder through different kinds of faulty reasoning). Shore points to "America's Iraq debacle" as a kind of perfect storm where "all of the cognition traps... combined to sabotage America's success." But Shore remains optimistic that society can learn to avoid cognition traps and inevitable blunders by following his prescription of cultivating mental flexibility, empathy, imagination, contrarianism and an open mind. Despite the clever wordplay, neat categories and accessible examples, Shore mostly recycles common sense in a fancy package. (Nov.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.