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on 27 April 2017
If you've ever been frustrated when debating a friend who has opinions that seem batsh#t crazy to you, read this book. It helps to understand why they think the way they do. But also think how it applies to yourself - increasing self-awareness can really help!
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on 25 November 2013
this is absolutely hirarious - very good pointers to make the most of your place in the world and how (and why) you see the world the way you do; delivered with humour and great examples.

I would definitely recommend this book. The topic is a bit "dry" but I found it excellent and I like learning new things so it was ideal.
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on 21 July 2017
Fantastic read...really interesting and helps you adjust your view on how to deal with others and be more aware we are not as smart as we think we are and to listen to others
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on 3 July 2017
This book shows you 'you are not so smart' without being condescending
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on 19 August 2017
Really a great companion.
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on 26 April 2013
I feel that understanding our failings can make it easier to gently laugh at ourselves rather than beat ourselves up. This book sheds light on how our minds work, and can reassure its readers that we're not losing our minds - yet!
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on 5 February 2013
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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on 26 March 2013
This is one of those books you will read and then ask yourself one or both of the following question:
i) Why have I not read this before now? Why has no-one recommended this to me?
ii) Why hasn't everyone read this book?

I really cannot heap praise on this book enough, for it checks the boxes for so many of the factors that make a text great. It is well-researched, based on empirical data, it is witty and slick, smooth to read. It has a flawless balance between anecdote and hard facts. It is well written, yet neither panders nor speaks down to the reader, and finally, it is packed and filled cover-to-cover with the most amazing facts and insights that will occupy your mental space day and night when you are in the process of reading it.

it is a rare book that you can pick up at the airport or train-station and find as enjoying to read as a trashy novel yet simultaneously realise that you are actually learning something and actually getting a return on your meagre investment.

I read this at the same time as a colleague (who I recommended it to) and we enjoyed countless discussions on the contents; sharing our thoughts and insights. I can only imagine what fun you could have with this if you read it for a book-club or a reading-circle. The conversations would never stop!
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on 30 August 2013
Having read this priceless and 'very' accessible book a number of times I can wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who has an interest in self-delusion..or maybe those who know they are able to self deceive - because this is an essential step in the right direction which buying this book would suggest you have already taken. 'You Are Not So Smart' lists so many cognitive biases, fallacies, effects, heuristics and errors - 48 in total - it is a small wonder that anything we say or do isn't tinged or laced with "cobbled together narratives" and ill informed opinions out of our human propensity not to recognise the danger of mental stumbling blocks, the power of the adaptative unconscious and our animal brains!!

Without trying to describe any content it is noticeable that many of the more powerful topics are dealt with in clusters such as the priming of expections, confirmation/hindsight biases and self-serving but fulfilling narcissism that can blight and prop up our behaviours. Just for the record the aforementioned mental traps alone might account for a stack of self-development books, and then to add another 44 should give the reader an indication of the amount of condensing that had to be done to keep the book relatively brief and digestible.

However David McRaney presents a copious amount of phenomenonological research from the field of social psychology which would make a great introduction for anyone wanting to study for a psychology course in the subject -- however, has there yet to be a course for this kind of stuff ever invented? (see below).

I dare anyone not to read each chapter without a wry smile of recognition and amusement, especially as the style is deadly witty and irrevrently upbeat with the continual shocking mantra that "you are not so smart". Whether the author's repetitious figurative flagellation can be taken as an exercise in some form of Buddhist humility certainly the time taken to ponder on the truth of each chapter - as opposed to the premise of the delusion - is some form of an egoic release and often the homespun homilies hit the mark more accurately than a Texas Sharp-shooter Fallacy!

I understand that this version has been written for the UK market, mostly lifted from the American original with some editorial changes and a refreshed front cover. There is in the acknowldgements section a rather poignent dedication to the inspiration for 'You Are Not So Smart' with a tribute to Jean Edwards, an influential past tutor, who in ancient Socratic style - though benefitting from sophisticated modern gadgetry - was able to create an air of discovery in the minds of her class to interogate the mystery of human perception.. boy, and what a mystery!! You are entering into the same mystery that the ancient philosopher tried to decipher.

Finally, Jean and her star pupil should be gainfully employed by the world's educational council.
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on 31 January 2016
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. I have bought 3 of these (2 as gifts), and everyone has really liked the book.
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