You Are Not So Smart

  • by David McRaney
  • Narrated by Don Hagen
  • 8 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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 46 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.


What the Critics Say

"In an Idiocracy dominated by cable TV bobbleheads, government propagandists, and corporate spinmeisters, many of us know that mass ignorance is a huge problem. Now, thanks to David McRaney's mind-blowing book, we can finally see the scientific roots of that problem. Anybody still self-aware enough to wonder why society now worships willful stupidity should read this book." (David Sirota, author of Back to Our Future: How the 1980s Explain the World We Live In Now)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Maybe a Little Smarter Now Than I Was Before

An excellent entertaining and informative listen.
Delivered in a laid-back style that seems to really suit the material. Lots of fact mixed in with a dry sense of humour that worked well in keeping my interest throughout. While I've heard a lot of the content before, I've never heard it all in one place or with such a witty and entertaining presentation.
Well worth the listen.
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- Derrick

Psychology made easy (and fun)

The narrative was monotone so early into the book I was concerned that would make it a grind to get through. Even the humour and occasional swearing don't deviate much from the baseline. However, that was easily counter-balanced by the excellent material. The book is in bite size chunks and while I really wanted to remember the names for each term described they were soon forgotten, in most cases they are clarifiedwith an easy to understand real life example.

I particularly liked the section on branding and definitely more aware of how we are all being played like pawns. Pespi or Coke, Apple or Microsoft. Likelihood is you are an avid fan of one, why is that? Just one of the things which the book sets off a lightbulb.

One of the few books I'd probably go back and listen to again. I imagine as a "read" its 5 stars but just 4 from me because of the delivery.
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- Mark

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-12-2011
  • Publisher: Gildan Media, LLC