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

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 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. 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781592408054
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/30/2013
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 5.52(w) x 7.64(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About 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.

Table of Contents

Introduction Self-Delusion 1

1 Narrative Bias 17

2 The Common Belief Fallacy 47

3 The Benjamin Franklin Effect 57

4 The Post Hoc Fallacy 71

5 The Halo Effect 83

6 Ego Depletion 101

7 The Misattribution of Arousal 117

8 The Illusion of External Agency 127

9 The Backfire Effect 143

10 Pluralistic Ignorance 157

11 The No True Scotsman Fallacy 177

12 The Illusion of Asymmetric Insight 187

13 Enclothed Cognition 201

14 Deindividuation 213

15 The Sunk Cost Fallacy 225

16 The Overjustification Effect 235

17 The Self-Enhancement Bias 249

Acknowledgments 275

Sources 279

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