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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"In an Idiocracy dominated by cable TV bobbleheads, government propagandists, and corporate spinmeisters, many of us know that mass ignorance is a huge problem. Now, thanks to David McRaney's mind-blowing book, we can finally see the scientific roots of that problem. Anybody still self-aware enough to wonder why society now worships willful stupidity should read this book."
--David Sirota, author of "Back to Our Future: How the 1980s Explain the World We Live in Now--Our Culture, Our Politics, Our Everything"
“Simply wonderful. An engaging and useful guide to how our brilliant brains can go badly wrong.” Professor Richard Wiseman – author of 59 Seconds
“Fascinating! You’ll never trust your brain again.” Alex Boese – author of Elephants on Acid and Electric Sheep
“A much-needed field guide to the limits of our so-called consciousness.” William Poundstone – author of Are You Smart Enough to Work at Google?
“Want to get smarter? Read this book.”
David Eagleman – neuroscientist and author of Incognito
“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 us. Give yourself every advantage you can and read this book.”
Alexis Ohanian – co-founder of Reddit.com
‘populist [and] witty’ Evening Standard
"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 us. It turns out we're much more irrational than most of us think, so give yourself every advantage you can and read this book."(Alexis Ohanian - co-founder of Reddit.com)
Want to get smarter quickly? Read this book(David Eagleman - neuroscientist and author of Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain)
"Simply wonderful. An engaging and useful guide to how our brilliant brains can go badly wrong."(Richard Wiseman - bestselling author of :59 Seconds)
A much-needed field guide to the limits of our so-called consciousness. McRaney presents a witty case for just how witless we all are.(William Poundstone)
"Fascinating... After reading this book, you'll never trust your brain again."(Alex Boese - bestselling author of Elephants on Acid and Electric Sheep) See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
Some chapters 'truths' are left far too ambiguous and with little real world application or practical advice
A charming sunday afternoon/bath tub read which can make you think and may will have some practical uses
Once you get past what seems to be a patronising title, it is fascinating. It explains a lot about how humans think - you can easily identify with almost everything within the book. I found it interesting and it made me think. Whilst most books relate to research in an academic way, this author brings it down to a more digestible level, which makes you think and, to be honest, I identified traits that myself and people I know have. I have read this twice now.
We really are not as individual as we think we are!
The problem with the book is in its unique selling point. By having lots of short chapters each of which deal with one aspect of the mind and memory none of them can be very long. This means that the author hasn't got room for much in the way of shading and delivers quite blunt statements backed up with some scientific studies. This makes it an interesting read and one to dip into but if you are engaged by one of the things he discusses you will probably need to do some more solid reading about it elsewhere.
The author also doesn't have the opportunity to tell you about how you might deal with the issues he raises or how you might overcome them in your daily life. This means that if you read this book in large chunks you will become a bit bemused about yourself and your perceptions.
Worth a read as long as you realise the limitations of the style - I also don't appreciate being told I am not smart (it might be true but that doesn't make it more palatable from someone I have never met).
Most Recent Customer Reviews
McRaney is living proof that the best popularisers of scientific theory are not necessarily researchers themselves. His book is one of the best I have ever read! Read morePublished 13 days ago by Nick Michelioudakis
At last I can confirm what an idiot I really am. Great book. Recommended for sure.Published 1 month ago by Alan Roche
Great dash through a canon of modern day psychology to provide new insights, unusual discoveries and new thinking. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Andy Green
Great overview of loads of different psychological principles. Even if you know them all already, which you might do, it's still worth the read and includes some great examples,... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Jordan Buck
This is an absolutely brilliant book. It is very easy to read, and is split in to over 40 loosely conencted chapters, so you don't necessarily have to read it all in one go. Read morePublished 5 months ago by l8machine
Great book. Very interesting and engaging way to introduce complex research in a way anyone can understandPublished 6 months ago by Bob