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

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

ISBN13: 9781592406593
ISBN10: 1592406599
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

"McRaney, a Hattiesburg, Miss., resident and two-time winner of the William Randolph Hearst Award, writes simplified descriptions of psychology experiments on his blog youarenotsosmart.com. He soon found success, receiving between 17,000 to 25,000 hits a day with 6,000 subscribers to the site's RSS feed. Now McRaney's past blog posts resurface in this collection, which he describes as 'a compendium of information about self-delusion and the wonderful ways we succumb to it.' The format first presents 'The Misconception' ('You are a strong individual who doesn't conform unless forced to') and 'The Truth' ('It takes little more than an authority figure or social pressure to get you to obey, because conformity is a survival instinct'). The 'Conformity' chapter describes how hoax phone calls convinced fast-food managers to strip-search employees, followed by the famous Stanley Milgram obedience experiment in which unsuspecting subjects delivered electric shocks to a screaming actor. Other brief essays cover quitting an addiction cold turkey, first impressions, behavior as a reflection of personality, blind taste tests, and self-fulfilling prophecies. In popularizing these experiments, extracted from psychology books and journals, McRaney is poised to follow in the footsteps of folklorist Jan Harold Brunvand, who also mined academic publications when he popularized urban legends in a series of books." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

An entertaining illumination of the stupid beliefs that make us feel wise, based on the popular blog of the same name. 

Whether you’re deciding which smartphone to purchase or which politician to believe, you think you are a rational being whose every decision is based on cool, detached logic. But here’s the truth: You are not so smart. You’re just as deluded as the rest of us—but that’s okay, because being deluded is part of being human.

Growing out of David McRaney’s popular blog, You Are Not So Smart reveals that every decision we make, every thought we contemplate, and every emotion we feel comes with a story we tell ourselves to explain them. But often these stories aren’t true. Each short chapter—covering topics such as Learned Helplessness, Selling Out, and the Illusion of Transparency—is like a psychology course with all the boring parts taken out.

Bringing together popular science and psychology with humor and wit, You Are Not So Smart is a celebration of our irrational, thoroughly human behavior.

About 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.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

sharrona, October 20, 2012 (view all comments by sharrona)
Informative, entertaining, and downright FUN! Even after hearing about many pitfalls and traps our brains are subject to, there's really no preventing it. We are human, after all! It will make you nod your head in recognition of things you do, and groan at their foolishness and inevitability. Highly recommended!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Robert Hurtig, January 1, 2012 (view all comments by Robert Hurtig)
This book is a nice collection of how we think, or rather how we think we think and how what we think we think is flawed. It's written in a way where if you need to stop, or want to take a break, well there's no harm in it because each chapter is stand-alone, one chapter = one way that we think, mostly because this book was based off of the author's blog. You'll want to read this if you're interested in examining your thought processes to weed out a few flaws, or if you're just interested in how people think.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
View all 2 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9781592406593
Author:
Mcraney, David
Publisher:
Gotham Books
Author:
McRaney, David
Subject:
Essays
Subject:
Psychology : General
Subject:
Philosophy : General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20111031
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
7.51 x 5.1 x 0.86 in 0.53 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Humor » Anthologies
Featured Titles » Humor
Featured Titles » Spirituality and Wellness
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » Cognitive Science
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » General
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » Mind and Consciousness
Humanities » Philosophy » General
Reference » General

You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways You're Deluding Yourse Used Hardcover
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$13.50 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Gotham Books - English 9781592406593 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "McRaney, a Hattiesburg, Miss., resident and two-time winner of the William Randolph Hearst Award, writes simplified descriptions of psychology experiments on his blog youarenotsosmart.com. He soon found success, receiving between 17,000 to 25,000 hits a day with 6,000 subscribers to the site's RSS feed. Now McRaney's past blog posts resurface in this collection, which he describes as 'a compendium of information about self-delusion and the wonderful ways we succumb to it.' The format first presents 'The Misconception' ('You are a strong individual who doesn't conform unless forced to') and 'The Truth' ('It takes little more than an authority figure or social pressure to get you to obey, because conformity is a survival instinct'). The 'Conformity' chapter describes how hoax phone calls convinced fast-food managers to strip-search employees, followed by the famous Stanley Milgram obedience experiment in which unsuspecting subjects delivered electric shocks to a screaming actor. Other brief essays cover quitting an addiction cold turkey, first impressions, behavior as a reflection of personality, blind taste tests, and self-fulfilling prophecies. In popularizing these experiments, extracted from psychology books and journals, McRaney is poised to follow in the footsteps of folklorist Jan Harold Brunvand, who also mined academic publications when he popularized urban legends in a series of books." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by ,
An entertaining illumination of the stupid beliefs that make us feel wise, based on the popular blog of the same name. 

Whether you’re deciding which smartphone to purchase or which politician to believe, you think you are a rational being whose every decision is based on cool, detached logic. But here’s the truth: You are not so smart. You’re just as deluded as the rest of us—but that’s okay, because being deluded is part of being human.

Growing out of David McRaney’s popular blog, You Are Not So Smart reveals that every decision we make, every thought we contemplate, and every emotion we feel comes with a story we tell ourselves to explain them. But often these stories aren’t true. Each short chapter—covering topics such as Learned Helplessness, Selling Out, and the Illusion of Transparency—is like a psychology course with all the boring parts taken out.

Bringing together popular science and psychology with humor and wit, You Are Not So Smart is a celebration of our irrational, thoroughly human behavior.

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