Book Review: You Are Not So Smart

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 YourselfYou 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 by David McRaney

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book is okay as far as it goes. I think the author overstates the point – his recurring motif in every chapter being ‘you are not so smart’. However, the point isn’t true. As the figures he quotes show time and again, a significant number of people fall into the categories he teaches – often as much as 75% – but that still leaves a large number who don’t. It’s truer then to say ‘you tend to be not so smart’.

This is important as the author falls into his own ‘straw man’ trap as he attempts to demonstrate everything we think we know about ourselves is false.

That aside, it’s a book full of fascinating information with every chapter jam-packed full of psychological research results. Many of these experiments I’ve heard before but then I am qualified in Psychology albeit not to professional level and take a keen interest particularly in social psychology.

Rather than read this book, I listened to the Audible listening book version. I wish I hadn’t. The narrator was deadly dull and made what is a fascinating subject a real drudge. Nevertheless, I’d still recommend this book to anyone with a beginning interest in the subject – but don’t believe everything McRaney tells you. Treat this as a Wikipedia of social psychology. You need supporting core texts to really get a balanced view.

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