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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 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 by David McRaney
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You Are Not So Smart Quotes (showing 1-30 of 50)
“If you are thinking about buying a particular make of new car, you suddenly see people driving that car all over the roads. If you just ended a longtime relationship, every song you hear seems to be written about love. If you are having a baby, you start to see babies everywhere. Confirmation bias is seeing the world through a filter.”
David McRaney, 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
“You are a confabulatory creature by nature. You are always explaining to yourself the motivations for your actions and the causes to the effects in your life, and you make them up without realizing it when you don't know the answers. Over time, these explanations become your idea of who you are and your place in the world. They are your self... You are a story you tell yourself.”
David McRaney, 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
“Having a dissenting opinion on movies, music, or clothes, or owning clever or obscure possessions, is the way middle-class people fight one another for status...Hipsters, then, are the direct result of this cycle of indie, authentic, obscure, ironic, clever consummerism...It is ironic in the sense the very act of trying to run counter to the culture is what creates the next wave of culture people will in turn attempt to counter.”
David McRaney, 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
“In 1965, a psychologist named Martin Seligman started shocking dogs.
He was trying to expand on the research of Pavlov--the guy who could make dogs salivate when they heard a bell ring. Seligman wanted to head in the other direction, and when he rang his bell, instead of providing food, he zapped the dogs with electricity. To keep them still, he restrained them in a harness during the experiment. After they were conditioned, he put these dogs in a big box with a little fence dividing it into two halves. He figured if the dog rang the bell, it would hop over the fence to escape, but it didn't. It just sat there and braced itself. They decided to try shocking the dog after the bell. The dog still just sat there and took it. When they put a dog in the box that had never been shocked before or had previously been allowed to escape and tried to zap it--it jumped the fence.
You are just like these dogs.
If, over the course of your life, you have experienced crushing defeat or pummeling abuse or loss of control, you convince yourself over time that there is no escape, and if escape is offered, you will not act--you become a nihilist who trusts futility above optimism.
Studies of the clinically depressed show that they often give in to defeat and stop trying. . .
Any extended period of negative emotions can lead to you giving in to despair and accepting your fate. If you remain alone for a long time, you will decide loneliness is a fact of life and pass up opportunities to hang out with people. The loss of control in any situation can lead to this state. . .
Choices, even small ones, can hold back the crushing weight of helplessness, but you can't stop there. You must fight back your behavior and learn to fail with pride. Failing often is the only way to ever get the things you want out of life. Besides death, your destiny is not inescapable.”
David McRaney, 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
“You want to believe that those who work hard and sacrifice get ahead and those who are lazy and cheat do not. This, of course, is not always true. Success is often greatly influenced by when you were born, where you grew up, the socioeconomic status of your family, and random chance”
David McRaney, 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
“If you see lots of shark attacks in the news, you think, 'Gosh, sharks are out of control.' What you should think is 'Gosh, the news loves to cover shark attacks.”
David McRaney, 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
“When you need something to be true, you will look for patterns; you connect the dots like the stars of a constellation. Your brain abhors disorder. You see faces in clouds and demons in bonfires. Those who claim the powers of divination hijack these natural human tendencies. They know they can depend on you to use subjective validation in the moment and confirmation bias afterward.”
David McRaney, 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
“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.”
David McRaney, 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
“If someone you know gets sick from taking a flu shot, you will be less likely to get one even if it is statistically safe. In fact, if you see a story on the news about someone dying from the flu shot, that one isolated case could me enough to keep you away from the vaccine forever. On the other hand, if you hear a news story about how eating sausage leads to anal cancer, you will be skeptical, because it has never happened to anyone you know, and sausage, after all, is delicious. The tendency to react more rapidly and to a greater degree when considering information you are familiar with is called the availability heuristic.”
David McRaney, 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
“To escape consumerism and conformity, you must turn your back and ignore the mainstream culture. The shackles when then fall away, the machines will grind to a halt, the filters will dissolve, and you will see the world for what it really is. The illusory nature of existence will end and we will all, finally, be real.”
David McRaney, 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
“Women will buy products in an attempt to become the impossible goal. Men will buy products in an attempt to mate with the impossible goal.”
David McRaney, 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
tags: funny
“Capable psychonauts who think about thinking, about states of mind, about set and setting, can get things done not because they have more willpower or drive, but because they know productivity is a game played against a childish primal human predilection for pleasure and novelty that can never be excised from the soul. Your effort is better spent outsmarting yourself than making empty promises through plugging dates into a calendar or setting deadlines for push-ups.”
David McRaney, 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
“To be sure, you would like to live in a world where people in white hats bring people in black hats to justice, but you don't.
Don't let this discourage you, though. You can accept that life is unfair and still relish it. You aren't in total control of your life, but there is a nice big chunk of your life over which you have complete authority--beat that part to a pulp. Just remember the unfair nature of the world, the randomness of birthright, means people often suffer adversity and enjoy opulence through no effort of their own. If you think the world is just and fair, people who need help may never get it. Realize that even though we are all responsible for our actions, the blame for evil acts rests on the perpetrator and never the victim. No one deserves to be raped or bullied, robbed or murdered. To make the world more just and fair, you have to make it harder for evil to thrive, and you can't do this just by reducing the number of its potential targets.”
David McRaney, 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
“J. E. Littlewood, a mathematician at Cambridge University, wrote about the law of truly large numbers in his 1986 book, "Littlewood's Miscellany." He said the average person is alert for about eight hours every day, and something happens to the average person about once a second. At this rate, you will experience 1 million events every thirty-five days. This means when you say the chances of something happening are one in a million, it also means about once a month. The monthly miracle is called Littlewood's Law.”
David McRaney, 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
“Wait long enough, and what was once mainstream will fall into obscurity. When that happens, it will become valuable again to those looking for authenticity or irony or cleverness. The value, then, is not intrinsic. The thing itself doesn’t have as much value as the perception of how it was obtained or why it is possessed. Once enough people join in, like with oversized glasses frames or slap bracelets, the status gained from owning the item or being a fan of the band is lost, and the search begins again.
You would compete like this no matter how society was constructed. Competition for status is built into the human experience at the biological level. Poor people compete with resources. The middle class competes with selection. The wealthy compete with possessions.
You sold out long ago in one way or another. The specifics of who you sell to and how much you make—those are only details.”
David McRaney, 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
“The more pessimistic your explanatory style, the easier it is to slip into learned helplessness.”
David McRaney, 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
“The future is the result of actions, and actions are the result of behavior, and behavior is the result of prediction.”
David McRaney, 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
“You have a deep desire to be right all of the time and a deeper desire to see yourself in a positive light both morally and behaviorally. You can stretch your mind pretty far to achieve these goals.”
David McRaney, 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
“THE MISCONCEPTION: You are a rational, logical being who sees the world as it really is. THE TRUTH: You are as deluded as the rest of us, but that’s OK, it keeps you sane.”
David McRaney, 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
“Power breeds certainty, and certainty has no clout against the unpredictable, whether you are playing poker or running a country.”
David McRaney, 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
“It is the result of thinking, not the process if thinking, that occurs spontaneously in consciousness.”
David McRaney, 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
“In experiments at Baylor University where people were given Coke and Pepsi in unmarked cups and then hooked up to a brain scanner, the device clearly showed a certain number of them preferred Pepsi while tasting it. When those people were told they were drinking Pepsi, a fraction of them, the ones who had enjoyed Coke all their lives, did something unexpected. The scanner showed their brains scrambling the pleasure signals, dampening them. They then told the experimenter afterward they had preferred Coke in the taste tests.”
David McRaney, 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
“You are aware only of a small amount of the total information your eyes take in, and even less is processed by your conscious mind and remembered.”
David McRaney, 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
“It isn't you don't want to help; you just don't want to help a cheater or do more than a slacker - even if your not helping leads to ruining the game for you and everyone else”
David McRaney, 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
“When you fear you will confirm a negative stereotype, it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy not because the stereotype is true, but because you can't stop worrying that you could become an example proving it.
This self-fulfilling prophecy, being only a matter of perception, can be easily sublimated. Another study by Steele measured the math abilities of men versus women. When the questions were easy, the women and men performed the same. When they were difficult, the women's scores plummeted lower than did those of their male peers. When they ran the tests again with new participants, but this time before handing out the problems told the subjects that men and women tended to perform equally on the exam, the scores leveled out. The women performed just as well as did the men. The power of the stereotype--women are bad at math--was nullified.”
David McRaney, 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
“You make plans and decisions assuming randomness and chaos are for chumps. The illusion of control is a peculiar thing because it often leads to high self-esteem and a belief your destiny is yours for the making more than it really is. This over-optimistic view can translate into actual action, rolling with the punches and moving ahead no matter what. Often, this attitude helps lead to success. Eventually, though, most people get punched in the stomach by life. Sometimes, the gut-punch doesn’t come until after a long chain of wins, until you’ve accumulated enough power to do some serious damage. This is when wars go awry, stock markets crash, and political scandals spill out into the media. Power breeds certainty, and certainty has no clout against the unpredictable, whether you are playing poker or running a country. Psychologists point out these findings do not suggest you should throw up your hands and give up. Those who are not grounded in reality, oddly enough, often achieve a lot in life simply because they believe they can and try harder than others. If you focus too long on your lack of power, you can slip into a state of learned helplessness that will whirl you into a negative feedback loop of depression. Some control is necessary or else you give up altogether. Langer proved this when studying nursing homes where some patients were allowed to arrange their furniture and water plants—they lived longer than those who had had those tasks performed by others. Knowing about the illusion of control shouldn’t discourage you from attempting to carve a space for yourself out of whatever field you want to tackle. After all, doing nothing guarantees no results. But as you do so, remember most of the future is unforeseeable. Learn to coexist with chaos. Factor it into your plans. Accept that failure is always a possibility, even if you are one of the good guys; those who believe failure is not an option never plan for it. Some things are predictable and manageable, but the farther away in time an event occurs, the less power you have over it. The farther away from your body and the more people involved, the less agency you wield. Like a billion rolls of a trillion dice, the factors at play are too complex, too random to truly manage. You can no more predict the course of your life than you could the shape of a cloud. So seek to control the small things, the things that matter, and let them pile up into a heap of happiness. In the bigger picture, control is an illusion anyway.”
David McRaney, 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
“The Third Person Effect THE MISCONCEPTION: You believe your opinions and decisions are based on experience and facts, while those who disagree with you are falling for the lies and propaganda of sources you don’t trust. THE TRUTH: Everyone believes the people they disagree with are gullible, and everyone thinks they are far less susceptible to persuasion than they truly are.”
David McRaney, 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
“In science, you move closer to the truth by seeking evidence to the contrary. Perhaps the same method should inform your opinions as well.”
David McRaney, 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
“Do you vote? If not, is it because you think it doesn’t matter because things never change, or politicians are evil on both sides, or one vote in several million doesn’t count? Yeah, that’s learned helplessness.”
David McRaney, 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

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