Then this book is absolutely for you. Hands down.
You Are Not So Smart by David McRaney
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.
I will tell you that I finished this book in four days. DAYS, people because I have discovered that I am quite possibly, the dumbest person on Earth. Not only were so many of these chapters completely over my head, but the ones that weren't I just could not really grasp. And I found myself insisting I didn't do any of these things, which apparently means I do do them yet my brain is trying to trick me into think I'm smart because it doesn't want to not smart. Do you get that? I think I'm stupid. Or maybe I'm really super smart but my brain is telling me I'm stupid so the world doesn't know that I'm really super smart.
I have no idea what to think.
But it was an absolutely fascinating read because in the 48 chapters, it will take down every belief you have and make you wonder why you have it. Why you really have it. I learned a lot about the brain for one thing. I learned about all kinds of bizarre experiments done on the brain and absolutely fascinating results of them. And not going to lie- but the whole time I'm reading this book I am thinking of an episode of The Ricky Gervais Show where Ricky is asking Karl if he controls his brain or his brain is controlling him. The episode is hilarious but now after this book I feel like I sound like Karl trying to rationalize any of it.
This book is a really interesting read and pretty much any nerdy/geeky/info-maniac person would really enjoy it. Matt said it would make for good bathroom reading since the chapters are short. And the fact that Matt even picked up the book, let alone read a few chapters, is HUGE. Absolutely HUGE because Matt doesn't read. He doesn't read my notes, my texts, instructions, nothing- but he read about half of this book. While using the bathroom. So David McRaney? Congratulations on that accomplishment alone! But this would be an interesting study for a psychology student because a lot of the information provided would be a gold mine for papers.
I am actually the first person on this tour (view schedule here) but I encourage you to check back to see what the other readers are saying. In the meantime, check out David's blog, which was actually a pretty entertaining way to kill an hour.
The best part? I have a copy of the book to giveaway to one of my US/Canada readers! Here's what you need to do to win it!
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