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

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Gotham Books, 2012 - Humor - 303 pages
An entertaining illumination of the stupid beliefs that make us feel wise, based on the popular blog of the same name.

Whether you're deciding which smartphone to purchase or which politician to believe, you think you are a rational being whose every decision is based on cool, detached logic. But here's the truth: You are not so smart. You're just as deluded as the rest of us--but that's okay, because being deluded is part of being human.

Growing out of David McRaney's popular blog, You Are Not So Smart reveals that every decision we make, every thought we contemplate, and every emotion we feel comes with a story we tell ourselves to explain them. But often these stories aren't true. Each short chapter--covering topics such as Learned Helplessness, Selling Out, and the Illusion of Transparency--is like a psychology course with all the boring parts taken out.

Bringing together popular science and psychology with humor and wit, You Are Not So Smart is a celebration of our irrational, thoroughly human behavior.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - markwhiting - LibraryThing

Talks about things that many readers will have read about before, but stands as a good, easy to consume, review of the major cognitive biases and related research. Thinking Fast and Slow is a good, much longer, book if you are interested in learning more about these topics. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Skybalon - LibraryThing

Good summary of what many other books go into more satisfactory details about. But if you want a bunch of short reminders of all of the biases and dilutions that we all have, this is a pretty good ... Read full review

Contents

The Straw Man Fallacy
101
The JustWorld Fallacy
108
The Ultimatum Game
118
Cult Indoctrination
126
Supernormal Releasers
131
The Affect Heuristic
137
Dunbars Number
149
Selling Out 28 SelfServing Bias
159
The Illusion of Transparency
200
Learned Helplessness
206
Embodied Cognition
212
The Anchoring Effect
215
Attention
220
SelfHandicapping
228
SelfFulfilling Prophecies 43 The Moment
232
Consistency Bias
241

The Spotlight Effect
163
The Third Person Effect
167
Catharsis
171
The Misinformation Effect
176
Conformity
183
Extinction Burst
194
Social Loafing
197
The Representativeness Heuristic
247
Expectation
253
The Illusion of Control
261
The Fundamental Attribution Error
265
Acknowledgments
276
Bibliography
280
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About the author (2012)

A two-time winner of the William Randolph Hearst Award, journalist David McRaney writes the blog youarenotsosmart.com. A self-described psychology nerd, he lives in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

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