You Are Now Less Dumb: How to Conquer Mob Mentality, How to Buy Happiness, and All the Other Ways to Ou tsmart Yourself by David McRaney | Paperback | Barnes & Noble
You Are Now Less Dumb: How to Conquer Mob Mentality, How to Buy Happiness, and All the Other Ways to Outsmart Yourself

You Are Now Less Dumb: How to Conquer Mob Mentality, How to Buy Happiness, and All the Other Ways to Outsmart Yourself

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by David McRaney
     
 

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The author of the bestselling You Are Not So Smart gives readers a fighting chance at outsmarting their not-so-smart brains.
 
A mix of popular psychology and trivia, You Are Now Less Dumb is grounded in the idea that we all believe ourselves to be objective observers of reality—except we’re not. But that’s okay, because

Overview

The author of the bestselling You Are Not So Smart gives readers a fighting chance at outsmarting their not-so-smart brains.
 
A mix of popular psychology and trivia, You Are Now Less Dumb is grounded in the idea that we all believe ourselves to be objective observers of reality—except we’re not. But that’s okay, because our delusions keep us sane.
 
Expanding on this premise, McRaney provides eye-opening analyses of seventeen ways we fool ourselves every day, including:

  • Enclothed Cognition (the clothes you wear change your behavior and influence your mental abilities)
  • The Benjamin Franklin Effect (how you grow to like people for whom you do nice things and hate the people you harm).
  • Deindividuation (Despite our best intentions, we practically disappear when subsumed by a mob mentality)
  • The Misattribution of Arousal (Environmental factors have a greater effect on our emotional arousal than the person right in front of us)
  • Sunk Cost Fallacy (We will engage in something we don’t enjoy just to make the time or money already invested “worth it”)
McRaney also reveals the true price of happiness, and how to avoid falling for our own lies. 

Editorial Reviews

Alexis Ohanian
Praise for YOU ARE NOT SO SMART by David McRaney

"Every chapter is a welcome reminder that you are not so smart — yet you’re never made to feel dumb. You Are Not So Smart is a dose of psychology research served in tasty anecdotes that will make you better understand both yourself and the rest of us. You’ll find new perspectives on your relationships with people you know, people you don’t, and even brands. It turns out we’re much more irrational than most of us think, so give yourself every advantage you can and read this book."

Maria Popova of Brain Pickings
“You Are Not So Smart is positively one of the smartest books to come by this year — no illusion there.”
Richard Wiseman
“Simply wonderful. An engaging and useful guide to how our brilliant brains can go badly wrong.”
Psychology Today
“McRaney’s sweeping overview is like taking a Psych 101 class with a witty professor and zero homework.”
Lifehacker.com
“You Are Not So Smart [is] the go-to blog for understanding why we all do silly things.”
Jason Kottke
“You’d think from the title that it might be curmudgeonly; in fact, You Are Not So Smart is quite big-hearted.”
William Poundstone - bestselling author of Are you Smart Enough to Work at Googl
“A much-needed field guide to the limits of our so-called consciousness. McRaney presents a witty case for just how witless we all are.”
Alex Boese - bestselling author of Elephants on Acid and Electric Sheep
“Fascinating… After reading this book, you’ll never trust your brain again.”
The Onion A.V. Club
“Deflating to a certain audience that wants to believe in exceptions, You Are Not So Smart is a tonic to the noxious sweetness of overachievement, an acknowledgment of ordinariness that glories in the quirks of being human without forcing them into a triumphant pyramid. That which cannot be overcome is a part as vital to the human experience as that impulse to try even harder to overcome nature. And if that fails, the flip side to a population crediting itself with falsely inflated powers of observation is that no one might notice if you, too, are not so smart.”
David Sirota
“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.”
Praise for You are Now Less Dumb
“[The] fusion of wry prose and enlightening minilessons is what makes this book so special- page after page, readers will be laughing, learning, and looking at themselves in new ways. McRaney is a fine stylist, easily balancing anecdote, analysis, and witty asides… this book is seriously informative.”
Publisher’s Weekly, Starred Review

“A lively look at our myriad self-delusions and how we can beat or exploit them.”
Parade

David Eagleman - neuroscientist and author of Incognito: The Secret Lives of the
“Want to get smarter quickly? Read this book”
From the Publisher
Praise for YOU ARE NOT SO SMART by David McRaney

"Every chapter is a welcome reminder that you are not so smart — yet you’re never made to feel dumb.  You Are Not So Smart is a dose of psychology research served in tasty anecdotes that will make you better understand both yourself and the rest of us. You’ll find new perspectives on your relationships with people you know, people you don’t, and even brands. It turns out we’re much more irrational than most of us think, so give yourself every advantage you can and read this book."
Alexis Ohanian, Co-Founder of Reddit.com

“You Are Not So Smart is positively one of the smartest books to come by this year — no illusion there.”
Maria Popova of Brain Pickings

“Simply wonderful.  An engaging and useful guide to how our brilliant brains can go badly wrong.”
Richard Wiseman, bestselling author of 59 Seconds and Quirkology

“McRaney’s sweeping overview is like taking a Psych 101 class with a witty professor and zero homework.”
Psychology Today

“You Are Not So Smart [is] the go-to blog for understanding why we all do silly things.”
Lifehacker.com

“You’d think from the title that it might be curmudgeonly; in fact, You Are Not So Smart is quite big-hearted.”
Jason Kottke, Kottke.org

“Want to get smarter quickly? Read this book”
David Eagleman — neuroscientist and author of Incognito: The Secret Lives of the

“A much-needed field guide to the limits of our so-called consciousness. McRaney presents a witty case for just how witless we all are.”
William Poundstone — bestselling author of Are you Smart Enough to Work at Googl

“Fascinating… After reading this book, you’ll never trust your brain again.”
Alex Boese — bestselling author of Elephants on Acid and Electric Sheep

“Deflating to a certain audience that wants to believe in exceptions, You Are Not So Smart is a tonic to the noxious sweetness of overachievement, an acknowledgment of ordinariness that glories in the quirks of being human without forcing them into a triumphant pyramid. That which cannot be overcome is a part as vital to the human experience as that impulse to try even harder to overcome nature. And if that fails, the flip side to a population crediting itself with falsely inflated powers of observation is that no one might notice if you, too, are not so smart.”
The Onion A.V. Club

“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, syndicated columnist, radio host and author of “Back to Our Future

“[The] fusion of wry prose and enlightening minilessons is what makes this book so special- page after page, readers will be laughing, learning, and looking at themselves in new ways. McRaney is a fine stylist, easily balancing anecdote, analysis, and witty asides… this book is seriously informative.”
Publisher’s Weekly, Starred Review

“A lively look at our myriad self-delusions and how we can beat or exploit them.”
ParadePraise for You are Now Less Dumb

Publishers Weekly
McRaney’s newest, a follow-up to 2012’s You Are Not So Smart, explores the ways in which the brain “cheats and edits and alters reality.” The Mississippi-based journalist and blogger ranges far and wide in his explication of various theories of individual and social psychology, in the process shedding light on the personal blind spots that skew reality while also allowing us to navigate it. In a section on “ego depletion,” the author walks readers through a recent study that tested the relationship between feelings of being excluded and eating habits. Turns out those in the ostracized test group, when presented with a bowl of cookies, just kept “mushing into their sad faces.” From there he goes on to discuss Freud’s theory of the ego and Henry David Thoreau’s decision to willfully exclude himself from society. That fusion of wry prose and enlightening minilessons is what makes this book so special—page after page, readers will be laughing, learning, and looking at themselves in new ways. McRaney is a fine stylist, easily balancing anecdote, analysis, and witty asides. Despite a flippant and self-helpy title, this book is seriously informative. (Aug.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781592408795
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/05/2014
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
224,540
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

David McRaney is a journalist and self-described psychology nerd. He has written for several publications, including The Atlantic and Psychology Today. He lives in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

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