Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Don't Believe Everything You Think: The 6 Basic Mistakes We Make in Thinking” as Want to Read:
Don't Believe Everything You Think: The 6 Basic Mistakes We Make in Thinking
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Don't Believe Everything You Think: The 6 Basic Mistakes We Make in Thinking

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  550 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
Kida vividly illustrates these tendencies with numerous examples that demonstrate how easily we can be fooled into believing something that isn't true. In a complex society where success - in all facets of life - often requires the ability to evaluate the validity of many conflicting claims, the critical-thinking skills examined in this informative and engaging book will p ...more
Paperback, 286 pages
Published May 2nd 2006 by Prometheus Books (first published May 1st 2006)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Don't Believe Everything You Think, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Don't Believe Everything You Think

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill BrysonA Brief History of Time by Stephen HawkingCosmos by Carl SaganThe Selfish Gene by Richard DawkinsGuns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond
Best Science Books - Non-Fiction Only
452nd out of 1,064 books — 2,620 voters
What's Behind Your Belly Button? A Psychological Perspective ... by Martha Char LoveThe Alchemist by Paulo CoelhoDewey by Vicki MyronAuthentic Happiness by Martin E.P. SeligmanHappiness Is a Choice by Barry Neil Kaufman
Wjd library
38th out of 100 books — 4 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Ahmed Abdelhamid
Apr 05, 2012 Ahmed Abdelhamid rated it liked it
لا تصدق كل شيء تفكر فيه. لأنك ربما تقع في خطيئة من ستة على الأقل:
1. أنت تحب القصص أكثر من الإحصائات
فسيارة صديقك الذي لا تعمل, ليست دليلا أن كل منتجات ذات الشركة ردئية... ربما صديقك حظه سيء فقط.

2. أنت في الأصل تريد الوصول لما يؤكد ما في عقلك لا ما ينفيه
أسلحة الدمار الشامل في العراق أكبر مثل, على الرغم من وجود أي دليل مادي فإن الجميع حتى وقت الحرب كان مقتنعا بوجود أسلحة.
أنت تحب فلان, و تريد أن تصدق أنه على حق, ولو ثبت العكس

3. أنت ترى العالم بشكل مختلف
لا تصدق ما تدركه حواسك. لأن حواسك كلها قد تخدعك
Aug 20, 2012 Louis rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. It's an easy engaging read where the author covers the 6 basic mistakes we make in thinking and coming to conclusions or making decisions:
- We prefer stories to statistics
- We seek to confirm, not to question, our ideas
- We rarely appreciate the role of chance and coincidence in shaping events
- We sometimes misperceive the world around us
- We tend to oversimplify our thinking
- We have faulty memories

While I thought I was "aware" enough of these mental potholes that co
Amy Bailey
Dec 02, 2010 Amy Bailey rated it liked it
This book's title is very appropriate. It says exactly what it means. It outlines several different examples and causes for how human thought can actually work against us as a society. While I thought most of this made a lot of sense, especially in today's current political climate of intense polarity, I thought the author was off base about a few things. That's the reason for the 3 stars. I also thought the book could have been shorter, as it was pretty repetitive at times. Now on to the things ...more
Excellent summary of several common errors we're all prone to making in our thinking, especially if we're not on guard against them. This book flows well, and the author provides numerous examples of each category of mistake he describes. This should be a text for the required courses on critical thinking that should be in the curricula at every high school and college in the country - make that in the world.

There's some overlap here with the list of formal fallacies covered in a course on logic
Sarah Whitney
Oct 27, 2008 Sarah Whitney rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, sold, 2008
I'm not much a reviewer, but I do have a few thoughts to share regarding this book, especially considering its higher than average rating.

In addition to this book, I also wanted to read "How We Know What Isn't So: The Fallibility of Human Reason in Everyday Life" for some time now. Our local used bookshop had the previous and not the latter, so I picked it up.

My honest opinion is, don't waste your time, unless you're easily impressed or have truly never read anything on the subject matter before
Jan 05, 2016 Jacob rated it really liked it
This is a pretty good book, which reads somewhere between conversational and "psychology textbook". If you're familiar with basic psychology and common cognitive shortcuts / mistakes people's minds make (like from 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology: Shattering Widespread Misconceptions about Human Behavior, 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 Yourself, Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes ...more
Ernesto Rodríguez
Sep 25, 2014 Ernesto Rodríguez rated it really liked it
It seems we're on a breakthrough in history understanding how the brain works and why we think the way we think It's a wonderful subject and I'm finding more and more books about this. Very interesting read. I has six broad examples of this. I truly enjoyed it.
Apr 28, 2016 Jumana92 rated it it was amazing
Don’t believe everything you think Is a wonderful phycology book. It is so helpful for one, who has doubt about your thinking. people are not always right is the best description of the amazing book. If someone always thinks that his or her thinking is the right option, he or she probably needs to read this book. When people love someone they think his choice is always right. This book goes through a lot of situation when people think their choice is the best and the fact is not. The book shows ...more
Nov 27, 2011 Kathy rated it really liked it
This was a required book for a class, but it was an easy read and well worth the time. Although I am generally a skeptic by nature and I thought much of the author’s recommendations were common sense, the chapter on our tendencies to ignore statistics was very informative to me. I knew that it is true that people ignore statistics and believe false information, but I didn’t know how to actually figure it out mathematically; this book broke that formula down very quickly and easily.

I believe the
Jul 17, 2016 Wendy added it
REQUIRED READING - NINTH GRADE: This book is about a bunch of military school boys getting stuck on an island. They fend for themselves and they kill pigs for themselves. They end up turning into savages. The main characters are Piggy, Ralph, Jack, and Simon. This book was at times boring but still interesting. It's theme was that depending on your surroundings, your life can change drastically.

Humanities 110: Principles of Humanities: I liked this second reading much better. The instructor gav
Bob Collins
Jul 02, 2016 Bob Collins rated it really liked it
"You are what you think . . . geez, that's frightening!" - Lilly Tomlin.

Kida reviews some of the basic cognitive tendencies that can cause us to develop inaccurate beliefs and make incorrect decisions. These tendencies come from the subconscious and are not easy to detect when we encounter them - and we encounter them daily. In most cases, we still operate pretty well, even with these tendencies, but every once and a while, they can cause us real problems.

Although there is not fast and sure cure
Mar 28, 2010 Ellen rated it liked it
This book was a good overview of critical thinking pitfalls in modern times and a good introduction to critical thinking in general. Kida has a friendly style which draws you in and makes you feel like we are all in it together trying to become better critical thinkers. I suggest if you read this book to also plan to read a book that focuses more on the basics of critical thinking such as Critical Thinking: Tools for Taking Charge of Your Learning and Your Life
Mar 03, 2008 Dave rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: students from high school through college.
I first heard about this book on a podcast interview with the author. As an educator I find books that deal with conceptual change, biases and decision-making very interesting. Kida's book so far is living up to its promise.

I liked the book. It's not ground breaking or earth shaking news in critical thinking or decision making but the information is worth finding and reviewing. The book describes common pitfalls, that divert us from sound reasoning. I enjoyed some of the personal anecdotes and a
Steve Whiting
Feb 17, 2016 Steve Whiting rated it liked it
Everything you need to know is on the cover, where the 6 basic mistakes are enumerated - preferring stories to statistics, preferring confirmation to questioning, seeing causality in chance, errors of memory, oversimplifying and misinterpreting the evidence of our senses.

Kida explains how these 6 errors impact on our lives and how they colour our perceptions and memories, our estimations of risk and probability and many other areas.
Oct 08, 2009 Lotte rated it liked it
On the front cover is a list of the "six basic mistakes we make in thinking" so one can quickly determine what Kida covers. This fairly quick read is packed with interesting examples of mis-thinking. Although I read nothing groundbreaking, I often shook my head over the foolishness of others until I realized that the mistaken majority sometimes includes me too. I think everyone will recognize themselves in one or more chapters.
Debbie Greco
Jun 20, 2012 Debbie Greco rated it liked it
This book does a good job laying out a basic foundation for systematic critical thinking. I will definitely take away a bit of a check list. I did find the concepts and example started repeating themselves as I read. He is definitely not a fan of any kind of faith or religion, but otherwise some sound principles.
Wayland He
Mar 29, 2012 Wayland He rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed reading this book. I like how he breaks up into different sections and focuses on proving one point at a time. There were a few examples that he brought up in the book that didn't really make sense to me, but overall, the book was easy to follow and well-written. I recommend this to anyone who wants to be a better critical thinker.
Jan 17, 2016 Temecka rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015
I read this for class. I have to say in the beginning I did enjoy this book but the further I got into it the more it just seemed like what I had already read. I don't recommend this book. It wasn't worth my time. If you read it the first 4-5 chapters were worth reading but after that it just sounded like the same thing reworded.
Mar 19, 2009 Kevin rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology
6 basic mistakes we make in thinking. Excellent information on common thought fallacies we all fall into. It explains well the how's and why's of the steps that lead us astray into these misconceptions. Also heavily weighed on the skeptics side of thought.
Aug 21, 2010 Markii rated it it was amazing
[read while on vacation in Oahu- on the bus and on the beach]. quick, fun read. excellent intro to skepticism and critical thinking! (this plus shermer's "why people believe weird things" were my baptism into skepticism).
Jan 16, 2010 Sympawtico rated it really liked it
Good book on logic and critical thinking, full of fascinating and funny anecdotes to bring the point home.
Feb 06, 2011 Kevin rated it really liked it
A quick and easy review of the most common cognitive mistakes prompted by our evolutionarily-derived faulty wiring.
May 26, 2010 Cliff rated it liked it
A skeptic's rant on why we must not believe anything that doesn't come with copious quantities of objective evidence.

Pretty good information, but not very well written.
Dec 17, 2013 Gargoyle rated it liked it
Readable, good coverage of the topic but very basic. Covers the same ground as others and therefore disappointing in that respect. Only three stars based on content.
Doctor VanNostrum
Feb 01, 2016 Doctor VanNostrum rated it it was ok
There were some merits in this book, but I found it repetitive, at times. It accomplished its stated goal of listing some flaws in thinking, but there were some points that I found contradictory.
Jul 10, 2016 Nathan rated it it was ok
Not exactly my first choice in literature. The values taught in the book are good, but overall the novel is rather dull.
May 10, 2011 Rob rated it really liked it
Learned a lot. Learned to appreciate math a little more. Learned to be a better skeptic. A great read after Carl Sagan's The Demon-Haunted World. We need more books like these.
Guilherme rated it it was amazing
Sep 30, 2012
Donna M
Donna M rated it really liked it
Jul 26, 2010
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Blind Spots: Why Smart People Do Dumb Things
  • A Mind of Its Own: How Your Brain Distorts and Deceives
  • On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not
  • How We Know What Isn't So: The Fallibility of Human Reason in Everyday Life
  • Beyond Feelings: A Guide to Critical Thinking
  • The Science of Good and Evil: Why People Cheat, Gossip, Care, Share, and Follow the Golden Rule
  • How to Think about Weird Things: Critical Thinking for a New Age
  • Nonsense on Stilts: How to Tell Science from Bunk
  • SuperSense: Why We Believe in the Unbelievable
  • The Skeptic's Dictionary: A Collection of Strange Beliefs, Amusing Deceptions, and Dangerous Delusions
  • Personality: What Makes You the Way You Are
  • Irrationality
  • The Thinker's Toolkit: 14 Powerful Techniques for Problem Solving
  • Welcome to Your Brain: Why You Lose Your Car Keys But Never Forget How To Drive and Other Puzzles of Everyday Behavior
  • Blunder: Why Smart People Make Bad Decisions
  • The Seven Sins of Memory: How the Mind Forgets and Remembers
  • Us and Them: Understanding Your Tribal Mind
  • 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology: Shattering Widespread Misconceptions about Human Behavior

Share This Book

“we form many incorrect beliefs because we have natural tendencies to evaluate evidence in a biased and faulty manner.” 1 likes
“a skeptic's mantra is "extraordinary beliefs require extraordinary evidence.” 1 likes
More quotes…