Tag: confirmation biases

You Are Not So Smart by David McRaney

Posted November 13, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Non-Fiction / 2 Comments

You Are Not So Smart by David McRaneyTitle: You Are Not So Smart (Goodreads)
Author: David McRaney
Narrator: Don Hagen
Published: Gotham, 2011
Pages: 301
Genres: Non-Fiction
My Copy: Audiobook

Buy: AmazonBook DepositoryKindle (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

We all believe we are rational and logical beings but just how accurate is that? You Are Not So Smart explores a range of different psychological and sociological ideas to show how much we don’t know. From cognitive biases, confirmation biases to the spotlight effect this book explores many ideas in a light hearted and accessible way.

I don’t know much about psychology but this book really gave me an interesting insight into cognitive biases. This is what I would call pop psychology; little pieces of information to think about without going into great detail. I never read the You Are Not So Smart blog but this book seemed interesting and I was curious about how the mind works.

Now that I’ve read this book, I have started listening to the You Are Not So Smart podcast, but haven’t read much of the blog. From what I can see, every chapter is a blog post, same format, same style and word for word. Makes it easy to write a book and if you are passionate about a topic it seems to work well.

The book started off really bland for me, I thought I would struggle to get through the book but then I became accustomed to the style. Then I was fascinated and couldn’t stop talking and thinking about what I learnt. As many people know, I have this blog to blog about my autodidactic adventures. It  is weird; I thought going to university would give me more to blog about but it didn’t. This book has given me some good posts, and an interest in psychology.

I’m beginning to see the appeal to non-fiction, if it is fascinating, gets me thinking and gives me more blog posts from Knowledge Lost, then I’m happy. I’m going to try to read more non-fiction and I’m hoping to learn more about psychology. Yet another category to add to the blog that has been neglected for far too long.

This is easy to read and, as I said, took me a little while to get use to but I’m a fan. I’ll even read his next book; even if it is the same. I’ve been listening to the podcast and it has given me a few other books to read. Including the book I’ll be reviewing next, Perv: The Sexual Deviant in All of Us (review in a few days). Pop psychology, told in an easy and sometimes humorous way, but then again isn’t that what pop psychology is meant to be?