Bozo Sapiens

  • by Michael Kaplan, Ellen Kaplan
  • Narrated by Victor Bevine
  • 9 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Our species, it appears, is hardwired to get things wrong in myriad different ways. Why did recipients of a loan offer accept a higher rate of interest when a pretty woman's face was printed on the flyer? Why did one poll on immigration find the most despised aliens were ones from a group that did not exist? What made four of the Air Force's best pilots fly their planes, in formation, straight into the ground? Why does giving someone power make him more likely to chew with his mouth open and pick his nose? And why is your sister going out with that biker dude?
In fact, our cognitive, logical, and romantic failures may be a fair price for our extraordinary success as a species - they are the necessary cost of our adaptability. Michael and Ellen Kaplan swoop effortlessly across neurochemistry, behavioral economics, and evolutionary biology, among other disciplines, to answer, with both clarity and wit, the questions above and larger ones about what it means to be human.
NOTE: Some changes to the original text have been made with the authors' approval.


What the Critics Say

"The mother-son co-authors...turn their considerable authorial skills and wit to human behavior, from our isolated cave-dwelling ancestors to today's globalized, interconnected world... Gourmet reading - rich in ideas, global references and amusing and provocative examples, served with great style." (Kirkus Reviews)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A tour de force

I've recently read/listened-to half a dozen good books about human cognitive bias, including Ariely's "Predictably Irrational", Tavris & Aronson's "Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me)", and Chabris & Simons' "The Invisible Gorilla". However, this book is my favorite. It's concise, comprehensive, and it kept me entertained from start to finish. Perceptual, memory and reasoning biases are discussed. The authors even touch on philosophy.

To me, the only weakness of the book is that, while each chapter is takes a particular cognitive phenomenon as a theme, there's not a strong structure across the entire book. This made it a little more difficult for me to recall everything that was discussed. On the other hand, if you're like me, you'll want to listen to this book all over again.
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- Ivan

Delusional Rationalism

Think you're a rational, reasonable human being? Think again. The Kaplans explore the many psychological, cultural and societal phenomena which influence the human thinking process. All too often we are oblivious to these influences, believing our decisions and actions are based on objectively verifiable "reality." A fascinating insight into the operation of the human mind.
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- Diane

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-01-2009
  • Publisher: Audible Studios