Feb 24, 2012

Book review: You're Not So Smart by David McRaney

"This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill - the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill - you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes."  This famous Matrix quote could have been the starting lines of this wonderful book You're Not So Smart by David McRaney. After reading this, there really is no turning back. You will see the world differently. And you will see yourself differently.

If it wasn't clear already, this book is about psychology. It tells 48 things about behavior and people, that changes the way you see the world. There's so many great things in the book, that it's impossible to raise any one out from there. There are articles about how our behavior can and is manipulated, how we incorrectly believe the world to be, how our memory works and lots and lots of more. I'm sure I'm going to write many things related to this book for months ahead.

The book is like a Mythbusters of human behavior. Every article even starts by telling misconception and truth, bit similarly to mythbusters. The only thing in this book is that all the myths are busted. These are not made up by David McRaney, but all of these are from psychological studies from all over the world. David has just made it easy and joyful to read.

I have to warn that it's not easy to read. You have to really be open to yourself when reading this. There will be moments, that you say to yourself, I'm not like that. It's the other people who are like that, not me. But no, you and I, and most of us suit exactly to these statements presented in this book. That is exactly the point, most of us think that they are smarter than most of us. So wanted or not, this book is about you. How you are tricked and affected by the things you don't believe that affects you. You think you are smart and on top of your thoughts and actions, but you are not. You are more fragile than you think.

I do now, that studied from science is not the absolute truth. Those keep on evolving all the time. So I've read it with some precautions in mind. Still there's so much good proof for many these cases that I do believe in those. Keep open, but careful mind when reading this.

It's hard to say to whom this would be for. I would like to say for all, but I know some are not even smart enough to want to read this. So I hope anyone who are willing to know more about human behavior would read this. It is one of the best books I've ever read.

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

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