An entertaining illumination of the stupid beliefs that make us feel wise, based on the popular blog, youarenotsosmart.com. 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 Smartis a celebration of self-delusion. It's like a psychology class, with all the boring parts taken out, and with no homework. Collecting more than sixty of the lies we tell ourselves every day, McRaney has produced a fascinating synthesis of cutting-edge psychology research to turn our minds inside out. You Are Not So Smartcovers a wide range of topics drawn from all aspects of life, such as coffee (it doesn't stimulate you; it's just a cure for caffeine withdrawal), placebo buttons (those fake thermostats and crosswalk knobs that give us the illusion of control), 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), and 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). Packed with interesting sidebars and quick guides on cognition and common fallacies, You Are Not So Smartis infused with humor and wit.
A two-time winner of the William Randolph Hearst Award, journalist David McRaney writes the blog youarenotsosmart.com. A self-described psychology nerd, he lives in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.