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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 Yourself

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"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 … see full wiki

1 review about You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many...

What you think and "know" is so far from reality...

  • Aug 26, 2012
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This is one of those rare books that force you (if you're honest) to confess that everything you thought you knew may well not be as true as you belived... 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 Yourself by David McRaney. What's worse is that even after knowing about these influencing factors, you'll still likely make the same mistakes. It's a fascinating look into how we think and process "reality"...

Contents:
Priming; Confabulation; Confirmation Bias; Hindsight Bias; The Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy; Procrastination; Normalcy Bias; Introspection; The Availability Heuristic; The Bystander Effect; The Dunning-Kruger Effect; Apophenia; Brand Loyalty; The Argument from Authority; The Argument from Ignorance; The Straw Man Fallacy; The Ad Hominem Fallacy; The Just-World Fallacy; The Public Goods Game; The Ultimatum Game; Subjective Validation; Cult Indoctrination ; Groupthink; Supernormal Releasers; The Affect Heuristic; Dunbar's Number; Selling Out; Self-Serving Bias; The Spotlight Effect; The Third Person Effect; Catharsis; The Misinformation Effect; Conformity; Extinction Burst; Social Loafing; The Illusion of Transparency; Learned Helplessness; Embodied Cognition; The Anchoring Effect; Attention; Self-Handicapping; Self-Fulfilling Prophecies; The Moment; Consistency Bias; The Representativeness Heuristic; Expectation; The Illusion of Control; The Fundamental Attribution Error; Acknowledgments; Bibliography

McRaney writes in a humorous, irreverent style that points out the fallacies in our thinking without underselling the hard science and psychology behind why these patterns exist. Given that he covers such a wide array of mental errors and assumptions, there should be no possibility that a reader could *honestly* finish this book and declare that they don't fall prey to any of the issues. Um, sure...

It's also an interesting read in that while you are taking in his information and examining your own actions, you need to be aware that you could be falling into the same error (or one of the *other* errors listed). For instance, once you know about confirmation bias, you may feel you understand why political party are all idiots who miss and ignore all the real facts about their beliefs. But aren't you glad that you can see through that and can point out all their fallacies with stories and news that's right there in plain view? :)

One of my favorites is the Spotlight Effect. That's where you think that everyone is viewing and judging everything you say and do. If you're in a gathering of people, you're imagining that everyone is talking about you or taking notes for later comparison. In reality, no one cares and few are even paying attention. That's a good reminder to me to just let things go and realize that unless I'm working really hard at it, few people will notice a blunder and fewer still will even remember five minutes later. There is no spotlight. That is, unless you're running for President... in which case, there *is* a spotlight. :)

You Are Not So Smart may take a bit of time to get through (the font is really small), but it's a fascinating read and look into the human mind and what it does to get us through the day.

Disclosure:
Obtained From: Library
Payment: Borrowed

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