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Publisher's Summary

An entertaining illumination of the stupid beliefs that make us feel wise.
You believe you are a rational, logical being who sees the world as it really is, but journalist David McRaney is here to tell you that you're as deluded as the rest of us. But that's OK - delusions keep us sane. You Are Not So Smart is a celebration of self-delusion. It's like a psychology class, with all the boring parts taken out, and with no homework.Based on the popular blog of the same name, You Are Not So Smart collects more than 46 of the lies we tell ourselves everyday, including:


Dunbar's Number - Humans evolved to live in bands of roughly 150 individuals, the brain cannot handle more than that number. If you have more than 150 Facebook friends, they are surely not all real friends.
Hindsight bias - When we learn something new, we reassure ourselves that we knew it all along.
Confirmation bias - Our brains resist new ideas, instead paying attention only to findings that reinforce our preconceived notions.
Brand loyalty - We reach for the same brand not because we trust its quality but because we want to reassure ourselves that we made a smart choice the last time we bought it.

©2011 David McRaney (P)2011 Gildan Media Corp
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Critic Reviews

"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)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Russell on 08-23-12

Should Be Required Reading Before Voting

It doesn't hurt to be humbled occasionally. As we listen to those confident so called experts who confirm our political biases during an election cycle, knowing the information from this book could help us take a step backwards and reevaluate.

I recommended this to my daughter and we had a great discussion about how people can be manipulated and how difficult it is to really have an open mind on some of the topics we supposedly have solved and take for granted.

I may not ultimately have budged from some of my biases, but my conceit about being right has taken a blow and that is a good thing.

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34 of 35 people found this review helpful


By Christopher on 07-04-12

It's official, I'm an idiot

I think it's safe to say that I found myself park in my car, sitting with the door ajar, still listening to this book more than any other book I've listened to. The format is very simple and it's conveyed in such a way that laypeople like me can feel smart for understanding it's complexity. [cute play on words huh?]

It's an amazing book of self deprecation, of laughing at yourself as you drive because you do the exact same thing the book is describing, word for word and you did it just this morning and you thought you were so clever when you did it. The man who reads it does a superb job and is just as effective as hooking you as the book itself.

It's also a real and serious help if you at all interested in working on yourself in a way that isn't something touchy feely and an even better way to understand and gain empathy about all of us and why we do the stupid s**t we do.

You can listen to this book in the same way you watch "How do They Make That" documentaries on the Science Channel and get some great information out of it and/or as a book that can help you identify deeper thought issues you might have.

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60 of 63 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Derrick on 01-30-12

Maybe a Little Smarter Now Than I Was Before

An excellent entertaining and informative listen.
Delivered in a laid-back style that seems to really suit the material. Lots of fact mixed in with a dry sense of humour that worked well in keeping my interest throughout. While I've heard a lot of the content before, I've never heard it all in one place or with such a witty and entertaining presentation.
Well worth the listen.

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13 of 13 people found this review helpful


By Conrad on 05-27-12

Amazing

This is one of the most played books in my Audible library. In fact It is currently the MOST played book in my library. Lots of food for thought, and offers you a new way to look at yourself. YOU are not so smart.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Paul Douglas on 01-15-17

Fascinating look into the human psyche

David's work on both his books and podcast is top notch. Well researched content, 'punchy', entertaining, well laid out and the narrator suits the style. Look forward to listening again.

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By Braden on 07-20-16

I thought this was optional

Struggled to finish just because its a series of articles which if you just power through all seem to meld together. But the content is interesting!!

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1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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