You Are Not So Smart

  • by David McRaney
  • Narrated by Don Hagen
  • 8 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.

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What the Critics Say

"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

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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- Russell

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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- Christopher

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-12-2011
  • Publisher: Gildan Media, LLC