You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways You're Deluding Yourself is a book about how humans lie to themselves everyday and how these delusions are a vital part of the human experience. In fact, it celebrates these lies even while explaining how illogical the human mind can be.
You Are Not So Smart is written based on decades worth of psychological research studies. It applies scientific evidence about how the human mind works to everyday situations. The book is broken into 46 chapters, each an example of a different lie most, if not all, humans tell themselves. These unconscious mental processes are usually unproductive although they are usually harmless. In many situations they are actually helpful. In the worst case situations, though, the delusions can hinder or even prevent positive change in our lives.
The book explains psychological concepts in everyday speech. It discusses cognitive biases including hindsight bias and confirmation bias, and it explains Dunbar's Number, along with its implications in social media and modern society. It talks about everything from heuristics and fallacies to the real reason people are so loyal to their favorite brands.
You Are Not So Smart author David McRaney is best known as a journalist, having served as a reporter, editor, photographer and in his current position at a television station as the director of new media. He has a passion for psychology which inspired his blog, also titled You Are Not So Smart. The blog was turned into a book in 2012.
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 forty-six 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.
Download and start listening now!