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1 Burnside Psychology- General

Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error

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Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error Cover

ISBN13: 9780061176050
ISBN10: 0061176052
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

To err is human. Yet most of us go through life assuming (and sometimes insisting) that we are right about nearly everything, from the origins of the universe to how to load the dishwasher. If being wrong is so natural, why are we all so bad at imagining that our beliefs could be mistaken, and why do we react to our errors with surprise, denial, defensiveness, and shame?

In Being Wrong, journalist Kathryn Schulz explores why we find it so gratifying to be right and so maddening to be mistaken, and how this attitude toward error corrodes relationships—whether between family members, colleagues, neighbors, or nations. Along the way, she takes us on a fascinating tour of human fallibility, from wrongful convictions to no-fault divorce; medical mistakes to misadventures at sea; failed prophecies to false memories; "I told you so!" to "Mistakes were made." Drawing on thinkers as varied as Augustine, Darwin, Freud, Gertrude Stein, Alan Greenspan, and Groucho Marx, she proposes a new way of looking at wrongness. In this view, error is both a given and a gift—one that can transform our worldviews, our relationships, and, most profoundly, ourselves.

In the end, Being Wrong is not just an account of human error but a tribute to human creativity—the way we generate and revise our beliefs about ourselves and the world. At a moment when economic, political, and religious dogmatism increasingly divide us, Schulz explores with uncommon humor and eloquence the seduction of certainty and the crises occasioned by error. A brilliant debut from a new voice in nonfiction, this book calls on us to ask one of life's most challenging questions: what if I'm wrong?

Synopsis:

“Both wise and clever, full of fun and surprise about a topic so central to our lives that we almost never even think about it.”
—Bill McKibben, author of Earth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet

In the tradition of The Wisdom of Crowds and Predictably Irrational comes Being Wrong, an illuminating exploration of what it means to be in error, and why homo sapiens tend to tacitly assume (or loudly insist) that they are right about most everything. Kathryn Schulz, editor of Grist magazine, argues that error is the fundamental human condition and should be celebrated as such. Guiding the reader through the history and psychology of error, from Socrates to Alan Greenspan, Being Wrong will change the way you perceive screw-ups, both of the mammoth and daily variety, forever.

Synopsis:

To err is human. Yet most of us go through life assuming (and sometimes insisting) that we are right about nearly everything, from the origins of the universe to how to load the dishwasher. In Being Wrong, journalist Kathryn Schulz explores why we find it so gratifying to be right and so maddening to be mistaken. Drawing on thinkers as varied as Augustine, Darwin, Freud, Gertrude Stein, Alan Greenspan, and Groucho Marx, she shows that error is both a given and a gift—one that can transform our worldviews, our relationships, and ourselves.

About the Author

Kathryn Schulz is a journalist whose work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, the Nation, Foreign Policy, and the Huffington Post, among other publications. She is the former editor of the online magazine Grist and a former reporter and editor for the Santiago Times, of Santiago, Chile, where she covered environmental, labor, and human rights issues. She was a 2004 recipient of the Pew Fellowship in International Journalism and has reported from throughout Central and South America, Japan, and, most recently, the Middle East. A former Ohioan, Oregonian, and Brooklynite, she currently lives in New York's Hudson Valley.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Kayla Rhodes, August 3, 2013 (view all comments by Kayla Rhodes)
There are a lot of things wrong with this book, even though it is a book about being wrong. Even though I had to read this book because it is this year's freshman focus book for WSU, I went into it with an open mind thinking it might be somewhat interesting. I was wrong. The book got progressively more aggravating as I got further into it. It is very preachy. It also subtly contradicts itself in the way the author, Kathryn Schulz presents her information. She tells the reader that no one can ever really know anything for certain so they should always leave room for doubt, yet the way that she presents her own knowledge does not support this. She just says that she knows things which is exactly what she tells the reader not to do. She also doesn't suggest that her theories may be wrong in any way and outright says that other people's theories that she cites in this book are indisputably wrong, which again is exactly what she tells people reading this book not to do. These things also don't support her assertion that there is no real right and wrong. It seems that she may think that that only applies to other people's beliefs, theories, and knowledge, but not hers. In my opinion, she is being a hypocrite.
Besides the author being a hypocrite, there are also other things in this book that are extremely aggravating. She tries to improve her credibility by using bigger words that one would mainly find in academic texts like this one. The thing is though that she repeatedly uses the word, f***, in this book and not within quotation marks (except for one time when she was quoting her own sister) implying that it is her own word choice. In my opinion that damages her credibility because she can't think of a better word to use than f***. Schulz may have used this word thinking that by doing this, her book might appeal to teenagers and college students because all teenagers and college students use that word, right? Wrong. This may be an example of stereotyping which is another thing that Schulz specifically tells the reader not to do so again she is being a hypocrite. But there is always the possibility that her family just uses that word, especially since she quoted her sister using it. Even considering that though, at least in my eyes, it damages her credibility.
The last thing that I want to bring up is the apparent lack of a good editor for this book. Every instance when the author was expressing that something belonged to someone and that someone's name ended with an "s", she would use an "'s" when she should only use an "'" (example: "Ross's" on page 49 is incorrect, it should be Ross'). This is one of the most basic rules of English grammar that everyone should learn in elementary school but apparently either Schulz, her editor, or both of them were out sick that day and never learned it. Another thing that I picked up, mostly because I was yearbook editor and so got really good at noticing glaring errors like this one. On some of the quotations in this book there was a starting quotation mark but not an ending one. It was only obvious the quote had ended because it was the end of the paragraph and no starting quotation mark was at the begging of the following paragraph, nor a ending quotation mark anywhere else on the page. This is just an example of sheer laziness on the editor's part. He or she must not have read this book that closely at all, or only looked at it once and missed a few things (which is understandable) but never double checked their work which all editors should do.
I would highly not recommend reading this book unless you absolutely had to like I did because it was assigned to you to read. This book basically consists of the author rambling on and on and repeating herself multiple times, just in different ways. Nevertheless, it gets old pretty quickly. I only forced (and yes "forced" is a good word for it) myself to read the whole book because I had to for college. If I hadn't have had to read it for college, I would have quit reading it after the first fifty pages..... it's that unbearable. Maybe I didn't like it because I am not interested in psychology (from other reviews I've read on Goodreads, a lot of people do like it for whatever reason), I don't know. I just wouldn't advise reading it for fun.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780061176050
Subtitle:
Adventures in the Margin of Error
Author:
Schulz, Kathryn
Publisher:
Ecco
Subject:
General
Subject:
General Psychology & Psychiatry
Subject:
Psychology : General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Publication Date:
20110104
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
8 x 5.3125 x 0.612613 in 8.40 oz

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Health and Self-Help » Psychology » General
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Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error Used Trade Paper
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$7.95 In Stock
Product details 416 pages Ecco - English 9780061176050 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,

“Both wise and clever, full of fun and surprise about a topic so central to our lives that we almost never even think about it.”
—Bill McKibben, author of Earth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet

In the tradition of The Wisdom of Crowds and Predictably Irrational comes Being Wrong, an illuminating exploration of what it means to be in error, and why homo sapiens tend to tacitly assume (or loudly insist) that they are right about most everything. Kathryn Schulz, editor of Grist magazine, argues that error is the fundamental human condition and should be celebrated as such. Guiding the reader through the history and psychology of error, from Socrates to Alan Greenspan, Being Wrong will change the way you perceive screw-ups, both of the mammoth and daily variety, forever.

"Synopsis" by , To err is human. Yet most of us go through life assuming (and sometimes insisting) that we are right about nearly everything, from the origins of the universe to how to load the dishwasher. In Being Wrong, journalist Kathryn Schulz explores why we find it so gratifying to be right and so maddening to be mistaken. Drawing on thinkers as varied as Augustine, Darwin, Freud, Gertrude Stein, Alan Greenspan, and Groucho Marx, she shows that error is both a given and a gift—one that can transform our worldviews, our relationships, and ourselves.
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