You Are Not So Smart

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You Are Not So Smart Audiobook

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Review #1

You Are Not So Smart audiobook free

I’ve chosen to write this review to provide a more balanced perspective on this book, as I believe some people may have unrealistic expectations regarding its content. On the whole, I found the book enjoyable and have even incorporated it into my Freshman Composition courses. However, it’s essential to approach it with a certain level of discernment. It’s worth noting that the author is a journalist, not a psychologist, so one should not anticipate a deep level of expertise. Instead, view it as a piece of journalism—an accessible yet somewhat simplified exploration of complex scientific theories.

Perhaps as a society, we should reconsider our reliance on journalists to serve as our primary educators on various subjects. I observed a one-star review on Amazon that appeared overly melodramatic, possibly due to the reader’s anticipation of profound enlightenment or the uncovering of profound self-revelations within the author’s blog posts transformed into book chapters.

However, it’s important not to overemphasize this book’s significance. It offers a delightful and approachable perspective on concepts that many of us, including the author, may not possess the education or training to comprehend fully in their scientific intricacies. It’s quite likely that psychologists’ viewpoints on some of these theories have evolved since the book’s publication.

In summary, approach the book for what it is—an opportunity to gain a foundational understanding of how our brains function. For more in-depth study, I recommend turning to books authored by genuine experts in the field.

Review #2

You Are Not So Smart audiobook Series Shifters Unbound

McRaney serves as a compelling example that the most effective communicators of scientific theories aren’t always the researchers themselves. His book is, without a doubt, one of the finest I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading! Through 48 concise chapters, he masterfully illuminates 48 significant discoveries within the realm of Psychology.

Naturally, he begins with ‘Priming,’ which revolves around the notion that subtle environmental cues can influence our behavior. In an extraordinary study recounted on page 11, participants were tasked with handling words associated with either ‘politeness’ or ‘rudeness.’ Later, they encountered a busy researcher engaged in conversation; those primed with ‘politeness’ interrupted him after an average of 8.7 minutes, while their ‘rudeness’ primed counterparts did so after merely 5.4 minutes. (Takeaway: Surrounding educational environments with cues emphasizing diligence and cooperation can be highly effective; priming indeed yields results! [Explore: YouTube: Psychology and ELT – Priming])

Next up is ‘Procrastination’: In another experiment detailed on page 45, subjects were asked to select movies they would watch in the future, and most chose some serious ones. However, when subjects had to choose movies for the very same evening, they gravitated towards lighter, ‘Legally Blonde’ type films. (Takeaway: We tend to delay tasks we must complete, so encouraging students to commit well in advance can mitigate this tendency!)

‘The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy’ presents a study on page 234 that every educator should peruse. Certain teachers were informed that specific students in their class had excelled on IQ tests (though this information was entirely fabricated, as the children were chosen randomly). As expected, these students performed remarkably well on homework, benefiting from the increased attention they received. (Takeaway: Expectations often manifest their own fulfillment; regrettably, this phenomenon applies not only to students we perceive as geniuses…)

Here’s a valuable nugget that can significantly impact Classroom Management: In another study, subjects were asked if they would volunteer their time for a cancer drive. One group was simply asked, and only 4% of them actually showed up. Conversely, another group was asked to volunteer and then questioned again if they intended to participate—nearly all of them did! (Takeaway: When assigning tasks to your students, consider adding a follow-up question: ‘Do you believe you will follow through on this?’)

Setting aside its practicality, the book also unveils a vast window into the inner workings of our brains. You’ll undoubtedly experience numerous ‘a-ha!’ moments and share a few chuckles along the way. When reading about the ‘Self-serving bias,’ you’ll recognize aspects of yourself, and ‘The Dunning-Kruger Effect’ will ring familiar for 98% of bloggers. (Oops, did I just say that? 🙂 )

Review #3

Audiobook You Are Not So Smart by Cris Dukehart

I was led to this book by the recommendations of another author who aimed to help individuals overcome “modern character neurosis.” This author, a psychoanalyst, emphasized the importance of delving into the content of one’s unconscious, primarily through analysis and other methods to enhance self-awareness.

The essence of this book revolves around the concept of awareness, or more precisely, it candidly highlights just how unaware people often are, despite their contrary beliefs. It delves into the logical fallacies that govern thinking when individuals operate on autopilot, relying on mental shortcuts and heuristics to simplify decision-making. The introduction offers straightforward examples of these processes, like multitasking while driving or navigating a journey, where one’s mind can wander through various thoughts while still proficiently piloting the vehicle. Subsequently, each chapter addresses a major logical fallacy, such as confirmation bias or confabulation.

The chapters vary in length, some containing content that was familiar to me from philosophy, thought experiments, and discussions on reasoning. However, the book also includes case studies, insights from psychological research experiments, and examples from everyday life. The writing style and pacing are excellent, making it possible to read a couple of chapters at a time. Personally, I found myself often pausing to digest what I had read before continuing. While some concepts, like confirmation bias, were already in my knowledge from other sources or media discussions, there was plenty of new material in this book. It’s enjoyable to read such content and recognize instances when you’ve behaved or thought in a similar manner, or more frequently, when you’ve observed others doing so (it can be challenging to acknowledge these tendencies within ourselves).

I derived so much pleasure from reading this book that I’ve gone ahead and purchased another work by the same author in a similar vein. Additionally, I’ve sought out online materials on the subjects covered in this book. I wholeheartedly recommend it to others seeking to enhance their self-awareness and understanding of cognitive biases and fallacies.

Review #4

Audio You Are Not So Smart narrated by Cris Dukehart

I extend my gratitude to David McRaney. It’s high time for some individuals to awaken from their comfortable, coffee-fueled illusions of control and mastery. Nevertheless, it’s not surprising how this situation has developed. It’s the prevailing mindset that keeps us confined, functioning as trouble-free consumers of the products we are meant to consume, all the while contributing to the ever-expanding GDP. Regrettably, those who would benefit most from reading this book are likely to pass it up because it challenges their comfort zones.

The book’s title brought to mind another author, Larry Winget, who also specializes in puncturing people’s self-deceptions. I must admit that my initial reaction to the title was negative. After all, the dominant messages we encounter daily aim to remind us that our human qualities, aside from cold reason, are unwelcome, undervalued, and even untrustworthy in our highly corporate-driven society. John Ralston Saul’s book, “On Equilibrium,” provides a comprehensive discussion of this subject. Saul’s perspective is uplifting, asserting that our human qualities, including common sense, ethics, imagination, memory, intuition, and reason when used in proper harmony, are entirely reliable. Saul’s argument also suggests that a society centered solely on one human quality, reason, to the exclusion of all others, distorts our inherent qualities and serves only the interests of those truly in control—large corporations.

Review #5

Free audio You Are Not So Smart – in the audio player below

To begin, I’d like to mention that I am currently a third-year psychology student, so I do possess a foundational understanding of the subject matter.

I discovered this book to be captivating, and I read through it rather swiftly. However, it’s the type of book that can be enjoyed by reading a chapter here and there at your leisure. The book was generally well-explained, occasionally infused with humor. I encountered a wealth of information that had not been covered in my academic studies. Nevertheless, I have awarded the book only four stars for a couple of reasons. Firstly, there were several chapters in which I already had prior knowledge, and I felt that the inclusion of significant studies could have enhanced the explanations. Furthermore, I noticed that certain concepts were supported by selective evidence, and as I read, I was aware of empirically sound research contradicting the author’s perspective on certain matters.

In conclusion, this book is an intriguing read that I would recommend to individuals, whether or not they possess a background in psychology, who have an interest in comprehending the workings of the mind and our tendency to deceive ourselves.

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