You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly Fiction, an d 46 Other Ways You're Deluding Yourself

You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly Fiction, an d 46 Other Ways You're Deluding Yourself

4.3 29
by David McRaney
     
 

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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

Overview

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:

  • Dunbar's Number - Humans evolved to live in bands of roughly 150 individuals, the brain cannot handle more than that number. If you have more than 150 Facebook friends, they are surely not all real friends.
  • Hindsight bias - When we learn something new, we reassure ourselves that we knew it all along.
  • Confirmation bias - Our brains resist new ideas, instead paying attention only to findings that reinforce our preconceived notions.
  • Brand loyalty - We reach for the same brand not because we trust its quality but because we want to reassure ourselves that we made a smart choice the last time we bought it.

    Packed with interesting sidebars and quick guides on cognition and common fallacies, You Are Not So Smart is a fascinating synthesis of cutting-edge psychology research to turn our minds inside out.

Editorial Reviews

This book's subtitle assertions mark just the beginning of its counterintuitive lessons. David McRaney's You Are Not So Smart is a savvy pop psychology tutorial on little-known concepts such as the Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy, the Backfire Effect, the Theory of Learned Helplessness, and the Just World Fallacy. A winning guide to common fallacies for the libraries of authors like Malcolm Gladwell.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101545355
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/27/2011
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
110,978
File size:
486 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"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

Meet the Author

A two-time winner of the William Randolph Hearst Award, journalist David McRaney writes the blog youarenotsosmart.com. A self-described psychology nerd, he lives in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

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You Are Not So Smart 4.3 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 29 reviews.
George_D68 More than 1 year ago
Without getting too deep into the book McRaney covers a lot of information in short tidy chapters. Some may think his explanations are a bit short on some subjects but I think the books purpose is to make you realize you have a lot of built in or developed biases in your thought processes. Further study can be in the notes in the back of the book. Would definitely recommend it as a beginning read and then follow up with with whatever you are more interested in from the bibliography.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm so glad I bought this book. I couldn't put it down once I started reading. The author explains everything in ways that make you remember what he talks about, and applies it to situations you can understand. Very entertaining, interesting, and great conversation starters .
punctuation More than 1 year ago
An excellent book which had been recommended to me by a fellow software designer. If you're interested in an overview of how we behave in ways we don't always perceive then this book is jam-packed with anecdotes and examples of experiments and research into thinking and behavior without being too stuffy or scientific. Useful for all sorts of readers from those with an academic interest to folk simply wanting to delight in reading such oddities as why you should never sit in a room with a briefcase and a big office desk when trying to negotiate a better deal from a supplier. No...really. Great stuff - definitely recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good size chapters that will drive some humbleness into life. I often had to quit reading from time to time for a little self reflection.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was interesting and entertaining. Some of the chapters dealt with common issues like learned helplessness or priming but it was still fun to read. The book is written well and reviews a lot of social psychology principles and research. I only wish i had enough focus to remember and effectively use these ideas.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is a good book overall and I enjoyed it, but what annoyed me was his lack of exact information. He would use vague statistics like "people would react [in this way] somewhat more often." It was a good book but would be better if it was  backed up with exact information.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A fun review of the current studies of human behavioral science.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love reading about psychology, behavior, and social science but a lot of the books I read use more complex and advanced terminology. That's fine and all but it gets old when you're just trying to read for entertainment. This book is informative without being wordy or complex and it even has a refreshing touch of humor. I've found a new favorite book for sure!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Worth the money! A deep look into the real world we live in and telling us why we do what we do.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Resourceful, humorous, and meaningful. Nicely organized into chapters with a different topic. Does not make the audience feel totally stupid, rather McRaney points out the delusions, explains, ensures the everyone is just most likely thinking of the same thing, and offers advice on how to improve. 
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading this on my Nook and now want to buy it in paperback to use it as a reference. I will be thinking about the information and looking back on it for years to come. If you like to think about thinking - this book is for you!!
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