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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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 ...

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

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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. 
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

In his 2011 viral hit You Are Not So Smart, David McRaney somehow how entertained us even while demonstrating that we had too many friends on Facebook; that our memories are mostly fiction; and that, in fact, we are relentless and quite talented self-deluders. In You Are Now Less Dumb, he explains how it is precisely our irrational thinking and self-delusions are what keeps us sane. At every turn, this merry debunkers proves that our belief that we are rational, logical beings with a firm grasp on the world is mistaken and yet is the very thing that keeps us happily afloat. An engaging, insightful book of popular psychology.

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

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.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592408795
  • Publisher: Gotham
  • Publication date: 8/5/2014
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 301,231
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2013

    Nah

    Nah its kinda boring

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2013

    In this fascinating book, David McRaney explores the cognitive p

    In this fascinating book, David McRaney explores the cognitive process of humans and demonstrates how we are not so much logical beings but are more at the mercy of stories and hidden assumptions. The author writes in an entertaining and amusing style with many funny and upbeat stories to illustrate what he is saying. The book is well-written and easy to read as well as being full of insightful information, and I enjoyed it very much. Jelila

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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