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You Can Beat Your Brain: How To Turn Your Enemies Into Friends, How To Make Better Decisions, And Other Ways To Be Less Dumb: Volume 1 Paperback – 3 Oct 2013

4.4 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • You Can Beat Your Brain: How To Turn Your Enemies Into Friends, How To Make Better Decisions, And Other Ways To Be Less Dumb: Volume 1
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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
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  • The Invisible Gorilla: And Other Ways Our Intuition Deceives Us
Total price: £26.81
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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Oneworld Publications (3 Oct. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780743742
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780743745
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 38,815 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Utterly absorbing and entertaining… McRaney’s follow-up to his best-selling You Are Not So Smart is just as provocative and punctures self-delusion with equal force."

(Daily Mail)

Review

'The fusion of wry prose and enlightening minilessons is what makes this book so special—page after page, readers will be laughing, learning, and looking at themselves in new ways. McRaney is a fine stylist, easily balancing anecdote, analysis, and witty asides. Despite a flippant and self-helpy title, this book is seriously informative.'
Publisher's Weekly

'One of our favourite writers'
Lifehacker.com

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this on the strength of his previous book, You Are Not So Smart. This book follows a similar chapter structure and there some bits which feel like repeats. But the content is very good. It's less of a self-help book and more of a good introduction to psychology, written for the popular audience. You learn about the different ways in which your brain is fooled so that you can combat your own psychology and the style is engaging and flowing. Would recommend.
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I bought this book on the strength of McRaney's last book, You Are Not So Smart, which I also highly recommend. It's an enjoyable exposition exposition of the psychological literature, which otherwise would be quite dry; he does an excellent job at drawing the various threads together and weaving them into a high-readable narrative. I only have one bone to pick: in the chapter on ego depletion, which relies heavily on research by Roy Baumeister, he says "no matter what the self-help books say, the research suggests that willpower isn't a skill", whereas in Baumeister's book Willpower, he says that you can actually get better at self-control through practice. Other than that though, I found it enlightening - and who knows, maybe it will help me beat my brain.
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Format: Paperback
This is a best-selling book that has been prominent in book stores and will no doubt introduce new readers into some quirky new findings about the way our brain works. For certain some of the studies bring up surprising and often counter-intuitive results. The research methods are of course devised with control groups to route out the false conclusions that we casually arrive at in everyday life for supporting our own biases, prejudices, stereotypes, choices and decisions. It is right therefore that such books should make us check our data more carefully.
One area I really enjoyed was about how to inject excitement into relationships. Such an important piece of knowledge which perhaps goes some way to explaining why good but unexciting people are left mystified by nasty but wilder people seem to enjoy more success in relationships than them.
The book is a witty easy read that is likely to be enjoyed by fans of 59 Seconds: Think a little, change a lot, Superfreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference and suchlike.
However, the cover makes a lot of bold claims that might mislead the reader into thinking that the book offers a more transformative experience than it actually delivers , so please be aware of its limitations.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The author has explained certain behavioural concepts arising in relation to the way our brain is wired and how we are still able to change these externally to some extent. It is provides an in depth analysis of behaviour in layman's terms. Brilliant read.
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Format: Paperback
Aaaaaah, so close, so close - a seriously worthy tome that would've definitely garnered 5 stars but for a few thoroughly irritating quibbles:

Firstly... the very, very misleading cover. It's the sort of thing that implies that a) it'll be frothily lightweight throughout (it's not), and b) it'll grant you NLP-like powers that will enable you to re-structure your entire life (it doesn't).

Secondly... the gratingly schizoid 'pitch' between American reference points (and spelling), and entirely token-ist British ones (which I assume were added when the US original text was re-edited for a UK readership). Occasional mentions of Coronation Street or bangers and mash seem very patronising addenda.

Thirdly... the 'sense of humour' - ah, yes, the quipping, always the quipping. Goes with the cover, I suppose... but there's no need to bookend some seriously, well-explained pop psychology with so many laboured gags (see 'Coronation Street' and 'bangers and mash', above).

Other than that... this is a really sound book - eclectic, intelligent, engaging... and it really does make you (or me, anyway...) reflect on the everyday tropes of life and how it's lived. Just a shame about some of the more serious style gaffes...
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This follow-up to 'you are not so smart', continues to chronicle how we delude ourselves that some of the decisions we make are our own, and how our brains lie to us in order to give a sense of continuity in the world.
Titled 'you are now less dumb' for the American market the author has made some subtle changes to make it much more appropriate to the United Kingdom, supermarkets changing from Walmart to Asda for example.
Want to learn how to turn your enemies into your friends? Then this book is for you
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When I first read this book, I thought that it wasn't as good as the first. It felt a little dryer, and not as funny. But after going back to it, it is actually better than the first, and is quite deep. It really makes quite complex ideas palatable. I preferred it to 'Thinking fast and slow' and Incognito (Eagleman) .
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great work.

Very useful collection of simple communication techniques that can radically change the nature of human relationships.

The author did a very good job at researching this stuff, well done.

Highly recommend it for anyone working in a business or political environment.
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