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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,670 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Joseph T. Hallinan Narrator: Marc Cashma Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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We forget our passwords. We pay too much to go to the gym. We think we'd be happier if we lived in California (we wouldn't), and we think we should stick with our first answer on tests (we shouldn't). Why do we make mistakes? And could we do a little better?

We human beings have design flaws. Our eyes play tricks on us, our stories change in the retelling, and most of us are fairly sure we're way above average. In Why We Make Mistakes, journalist Joseph T. Hallinan sets out to explore the captivating science of human error: how we think, see, remember, and forget, and how this sets us up for wholly irresistible mistakes.

In his quest to understand our imperfections, Hallinan delves into psychology, neuroscience, and economics, with forays into aviation, consumer behavior, geography, football, stock picking, and more. He discovers that some of the same qualities that make us efficient also make us error prone. We learn to move rapidly through the world, quickly recognizing patterns--but overlooking details. Which is why thirteen-year-old boys discover errors that NASA scientists miss--and why you can't find the beer in your refrigerator. 

Why We Make Mistakes
 is enlivened by real-life stories--of weathermen whose predictions are uncannily accurate and a witness who sent an innocent man to jail--and offers valuable advice, such as how to remember where you've hidden something important. You'll learn why multitasking is a bad idea, why men make errors, women don't, and why most people think San Diego is west of Reno (it's not).

Why We Make Mistakes will open your eyes to the reasons behind your mistakes--and have you vowing to do better the next time.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jennifer | 2/3/2014

    " This the kind of book that is filled with so many interesting stories that I found myself sharing the anecdotes with my non-reader spouse. It is amazing how we err in simple ways. The purpose or method behind common error types is explained here by Hallinan. He helpfully closes the book with a chapter on how to avoid many of these mistakes yourself. An informative read! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Joe Soria | 1/27/2014

    " A good read but similar to many other observational psychology type texts in tone and with the studies and research. It all seemed too familiar but interesting nonetheless. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Tammy | 1/27/2014

    " Pretty interesting book...did skim parts of it though. If only it taught me not to be so bothered when I DO make mistakes! But it's nice to be reminded that we all make mistakes! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Joanne | 1/12/2014

    " A light and easy read - good for situations where you can't always pay close attention and concentrate (like airports, public restaurants, my house). Not as superficial as the Gladwell books but based on a similar model of interpreting sociological and psychological studies for the lay person. Some interesting anecdotes that are likely to entertain but not fascinate. "

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About the Author

Joseph T. Hallinan is a former writer for the Wall Street Journal, a winner of the Pulitzer Prize, and a former Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. He lives in Chicago with his wife and three children.