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You are Not So Smart: Why Your Memory is Mostly Fiction, Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook and 46 Other Ways You're Deluding Yourself Paperback – 4 Oct 2012


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You are Not So Smart: Why Your Memory is Mostly Fiction, Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook and 46 Other Ways You're Deluding Yourself + You Can Beat Your Brain: How to Turn Your Enemies Into Friends, How to Make Better Decisions, and Other Ways to Be Less Dumb: 1 + You Are Now Less Dumb: How to Conquer Mob Mentality, How to Buy Happiness, and All the Other Ways to Outsmart Yourself
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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Oneworld Publications (4 Oct 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1851689397
  • ISBN-13: 978-1851689392
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.8 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 16,180 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By M. D. Holley TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 3 Jan 2013
Format: Paperback
A refreshingly well written, clear and entertaining book, which wears its learning lightly.

By telling the story through 47 small bite sized chapters, each of which deals with a common area of our lives, the author manages to make serious science entertaining and humorous; an easy and light read. The author is also careful to keep on solid ground and not to make spurious or 'wacky' statements.

It really is shocking and very humbling to have to come to terms with how deluded we all are. Some of the chapters made uncomfortable reading for me personally, as I reluctantly had to admit that I myself am totally deluded in the way the author suggests.

But the realisation that we are personally deluded is an important one, and if everyone accepted this truth the world might become a better place with less dogmatism and less hatred. Maybe they should teach this stuff in junior school.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Tim E Danton on 5 Feb 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The number of people I've "entertained" with facts and information from this book more than justifies its asking price. A great way to change the way you think about life, business and pretty much everything. The only thing that annoys is the way the author tries to squeeze "You are not so smart" into every darn point.
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54 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Mr. T. White TOP 500 REVIEWER on 1 Dec 2011
Format: Hardcover
Please ignore the fact that this book's title is suspiciously patronising, and instead try being open to the great wealth of possibilities this book offers as a compelling and most readable guide to the sheer irrationality of much human thinking. As you read each small yet satisfyingly complete chapter you'll find an error of rationality outlined, then the author uses facts and real life examples to show how you, too, are quite possibly not so dissimilar from your fellow humans, in at least some (but hopefully not all!) respects. For instance, in every great disaster, there will be people who appear to be stunned into just sitting in their seats (be it a plane crash, train derailment etc.) while others are screaming and running for the nearest escape route as soon as possible. Meanwhile, those who remain seated while being stunned into calm bewilderment, and yes, most extraordinarily this has happened time and time again in all kinds of major disasters - from the Titanic's sinking, to that fateful post millennial day in September... will invariably not live to tell the tale of what happened. Survivors later recount bizarre tales of how not everyone was panicking, as you might reasonably assume, and trying to escape as fast as possible. Instead, contrary to reason, those who remained in calm bewilderment were not only victims of fate but of what psychologists have come to term 'normalcy bias': The temporary but possibly fateful inability of reasoning whereby one judges extreme and potentially catastrophic situations, as being normal, while one's extreme state of confusion persists.Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. Marriage on 13 April 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A useful compilation of "pop psychology" and "pop neurology" - nothing I hadn't seen before in other books and TV programmes, but clearly if somewhat repetitively presented. It is more for dipping into than reading straight off, so put it somewhere for sampling. Its origin as a series of short pieces is apparent. McRaney is careful to reference his sources, which I liked - so many writers skip that when writing for a wide audience. The "translation" from American into British English is rather odd. Money has been converted into £, and some company names (used as examples) have been converted to their UK equivalents - but not all, and it still feels very US-centric.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Rob Davies on 27 Nov 2012
Format: Paperback
Excellent. I bought this on spec after glancing at it in an airport bookshop and was glad that I took the trouble to read it. It refers to a lot of experiments relating to psychology - much to my surprise I found this subject matter really interesting, even if one or two of the results were already familiar. If you think that psychology in nothing but all that early 20th C Freud-Jung psychotherapy guff, this is a good book to set you straight.

It is very fragmented in its structure, but that does make it easy to dip in to.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Adam Smith on 7 Oct 2012
Format: Paperback
The good;
A mixture of 48 common and not so common beliefs proved wrong with the truth by case studies, reports and surveys etc. Some very intriguing and practical such as the truth behind procrastination and habit kicking written in short (2-5 page) chapters with an easy summary.

The bad;
Some chapters 'truths' are left far too ambiguous and with little real world application or practical advice

The conclusion;
A charming sunday afternoon/bath tub read which can make you think and may will have some practical uses
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Opus on 1 Feb 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I recognised someone close to me in many chapters. Sadly, that someone was me. A very smart exercise by David McRaney.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By JAN HOLBEN on 3 Jan 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book as a fun read and it is that...but it is also more than that it gives me further evidence which Is useful for me in terms of how I work as a therapist with clients (to bring positive change) on how the human mind works and how memories of events can be so easily distorted.
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