Why We Make Mistakes: How We Look Without Seeing, Forget Things in Seconds, and Are All Pretty Sure We Are Way Above Average
We forget our passwords. We pay too much to go to the gym. We think we'd be happier if we lived in California (we wouldn't), and we think we should stick with our first answer on tests (we shouldn't). Why do we make mistakes? And could we do a little better?
We human beings have design flaws. Our eyes play tricks on us, our stories change in the retelling, and most of us a...more
with references and bibliography. The conclusions:
* Take notes on your mistakes, so you can learn from them.
* Get a Devil's Advocate, even if you have to do it yourself.
* No, you aren't that good at multitasking. You really aren't.
* The plural of "anecdote" is not "data". The singular of "anecdote" is "advertising".
* Have someone without your habits check for mistakes.
* Get some sleep, damn it!
* Happy people are smarter.
If I read a book, as opposed to listen to an audio book, I tend to turn down the corners of pages that say something interesting – I decided early in this book to try not to over do this, as it became clear early on I would have to turn down virtually every page. This one...more
Quick, interesting examples of how we humans manage to goof up on everything from selecting credit cards (one can be swayed by a pretty face to take that high interest rate!) to cutting off the wrong leg in surgery. (Overconfidence is a bitch!)
The author explains mysteries of life, such as, "why did I give that stripper so much more for that lap dance this week?" answer: she's in that fertile cycle, where she appears more lovely (and maybe even smells better too!)
He also explains...more
Hallinan begins his book with a chapter titled "We Look But We Don't Always See," addressing how limitati...more
Easy science read on why we make the kinds of mistakes we do. I thought it was excellently written, and the audiobook version was well done...though some of the 'try it yourself at home' quizzes don't translate as well...more
In a st...more
We all know we do dumb things, and that we persist in doing dumb things even when we have every reason to know better. This book explains why. We don't pay attention. We don't read directions. We make snap judgments based on scant data. We think we know more than we do. Our eyes fool us.
While it's tempting to think that reading this book might reduce one's tenden...more
1) Why men don't ask for directions (totally agree with this)
2) Why gamblers are overconfident (agree. again)
3) Who makes the most mistakes
4) There is no such thing as human multi-tasking
A fun, easy and informative book. Joseph Hallinan has a good sense of humor while still keeping things tight and moving. Unusually arranged and presented (jumped around it...more
Hallinan is a journalist and that shows in the writing. While delving into the research he delivers his new found knowledge with an easy pen, making the book great fun to read. The best message I took from the...more
"We forget our passwords. We pay too much to go to the gym. We think we’d be happier if we lived in California (we wouldn’t), and we think we should stick with our first answer on tests (we shouldn’t). Why do we make mistakes? And could we do a little better? We human beings have design flaws. Our eyes play tricks on us, our stories change in the retelling, and most of us are fairly sure we’re way above average. In Why We Make Mistakes, journalist Joseph T. Hallinan sets out to explore the capti...more
A woman hanged herself in a tree on a busy street. Yet, no one reported the suicide for more than 14 hours even though her body was clearly visible. Why? Because the incident occurred on October 31st and passersby mistook the body for a Halloween decoration. This horrifying example demonstrates the way context – as well as traits that are innately human – plays a role in how people make errors. As Joseph T. Hallinan explains, human beings are biased, ove...more
Why do we screw up? We get distracted like the pilots of the airplane who flew into the ground because they all become preoccupied why a light bulb had gone out (the light bulb had failed, not the device it was measuring). We become set in our so...more
1. We Look but Don't Always See
2. We All Search for Meaning
3. We Connect the Dots [i.e., we make inferences based on irrelevancies]
4. We Wear Rose-Colored Glasses
5. We Can Walk and Chew Gum - but Not Much Else [i.e., multi-tasking is a myth]
6. We're in the Wrong Frame of Mind
I do however think that thinking positive...more