Don't Believe Everything You Think: The 6 Basic Mistakes We Make in Thinking

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Prometheus Books, 2006 - Psychology - 286 pages
2 Reviews
Do you believe that you can consistently beat the stock market if you put in the effort? --that some people have extrasensory perception? --that crime and drug abuse in America are on the rise? Many people hold one or more of these beliefs although research shows that they are not true. And it's no wonder since advertising and some among the media promote these and many more questionable notions.

Although our creative problem-solving capacity is what has made humans the successful species we are, our brains are prone to certain kinds of errors that only careful critical thinking can correct. This enlightening book discusses how to recognize faulty thinking and develop the necessary skills to become a more effective problem solver.

Author Thomas Kida identifies "the six-pack of problems" that leads many of us unconsciously to accept false ideas:

         We prefer stories to statistics.
         We seek to confirm, not to question, our ideas.
         We rarely appreciate the role of chance and coincidence in shaping events.
         We sometimes misperceive the world around us.
         We tend to oversimplify our thinking.
         Our memories are often inaccurate.
Kida vividly illustrates these tendencies with numerous examples that demonstrate how easily we can be fooled into believing something that isn't true. In a complex society where success--in all facets of life--often requires the ability to evaluate the validity of many conflicting claims, the critical-thinking skills examined in this informative and engaging book will prove invaluable.

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User Review  - quantum_flapdoodle - LibraryThing

This is a very interesting, well written book that debunks common myths about how we think and remember. It provides a great corrective to those who think that human anecdotes are better evidence than hard data. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - sirfurboy - LibraryThing

There is some very good stuff in this book on tools for critical thinking. But there is also a rather worrying example of exactly the kind of sloppy thinking Kida is supposed to be warning us against ... Read full review


A Six Pack of Problems
Weird Beliefs and Pseudoscientific Thinking

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About the author (2006)

Thomas Kida is a professor in the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and the author of many articles on decision-making.

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