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You Are Now Less Dumb: How to Conquer Mob Mentality, How to Buy Happiness, and All the Other Ways to Outsmart Yourself
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You Are Now Less Dumb: How to Conquer Mob Mentality, How to Buy Happiness, and All the Other Ways to Outsmart Yourself

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  3,580 ratings  ·  356 reviews
The author of the bestselling You Are Not So Smart shares more discoveries about self-delusion and irrational thinking, and gives readers a fighting chance at outsmarting their not-so-smart brains

David McRaney’s first book, You Are Not So Smart, evolved from his wildly popular blog of the same name. A mix of popular psychology and trivia, McRaney’s insights have struck a
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published July 30th 2013 by Gotham Books
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Average rating 3.93  · 
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 ·  3,580 ratings  ·  356 reviews

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Start your review of You Are Now Less Dumb: How to Conquer Mob Mentality, How to Buy Happiness, and All the Other Ways to Outsmart Yourself
The "dumb" that this book refers to isn't the kind that can be rectified with book learnin'... Oh, the irony! It's really the kind that can only be changed with awareness, conscious thought, and practice. This book is about all the ways that our brain makes us behave differently, without our even knowing it.

Things like confirmation bias, deindividuation (mob mentality), and hitting sometimes real damn close to home, in large ways and in small, the Sunk Cost Fallacy. To name a few.

This book
I wish I could realistically make and mean this statement to everyone I know, "Read David McRaney's books, and then let's talk." Facebook is a lab specimen for all the psychology issues he discusses in this book, and in its prequel book You Are Not So Smart. All that energy you spend posting authentic news articles to support a viewpoint in hopes of converting your friends who have an unsupported delusional opposing view? This only makes them cling to their view harder. It's called the Backfire ...more
Jared Mackinnon
Nov 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is the second book by David McRaney that has rocked my world. Though some people might not enjoy being knocked down a few pegs from whatever lofty or humble nest you've grown comfortable in, I found myself giggling like an idiot while confronting my own self delusions. There was a chapter on the 'Backfire Effect' that I had to read twice to really settle in to the implications of such an idea. In chapter 12 you read about 'The Robbers Cave Experiment', a most unsettling but wonderful ...more
Emmy Gregory
Jul 12, 2013 rated it it was ok
I was a bit frustrated with this book. I had high hopes, I liked the first one, and was very keen to get into this. It was disappointing. For one thing, it absolutely doesn't do anything to help you beat your brain or be less dumb. It's largely a rehash of the information from the first book. For another, it's really sloppy on facts, which is particularly offputting in a book that's supposed to champion science and skepticism. It may seem a little picky to come here and point out that Bach ...more
Jan 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
this book is a winning lottery ticket........................

This book is a must-read if you seek to change those years-old lens through which you see the world.
Each chapter i read i spent a while thinking it over and assimilating it to reality and "breaking through mob mentality"
David McRaney is amazingly skillful in spicing boring things up..he turns such a serious subject mater as the " natural flaws of the mind" into fun stories that would stick in your memory for long.

"you are now less
Oct 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, hardcover
Not quite as mind-blowing as the first book, but still a very interesting look at the quirks of humanity. I still think the first one should be required reading for everyone, and now I think this one should be, too.
Oct 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Out-dated paradigms are incredibly resilient and even when presented with new and corrected information many people resist updating their incorrect beliefs or way of seeing the world. In fact according to latest research people entrenched in their thinking will become further entrenched in it when you present them with corrected information. Then combine those people into a group and they create a culture and that culture becomes it's own feedback loop further reinforcing a confirmation bias. ...more
Nando Rossi
Sep 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Each chapter in this book reads like a blunt slap in the face. And it's for your own good, like when you find out that you're living in the Matrix, or that you are actually Tyler Durden. Blunt, no less.
It's very fun and written in an engaging way, which makes up for the pain. And it tells you all about the lies we have to tell ourselves at every second just to survive, and why we tell them (and sometimes, need them).
It's also got some great food for thought on why we develop mob mentality, and
Jul 13, 2014 marked it as to-read
Recommended to Bettie by: Brain Pickings
Description: The author of the bestselling You Are Not So Smart shares more discoveries about self-delusion and irrational thinking, and gives readers a fighting chance at outsmarting their not-so-smart brains
David McRaney’s first book, You Are Not So Smart, evolved from his wildly popular blog of the same name. A mix of popular psychology and trivia, McRaney’s insights have struck a chord with thousands, and his blog--and now podcasts and videos--have become an Internet phenomenon.

Read more
Dan Hart
Sep 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Where "You are Not so Smart" was a delicious tray of fallacy exploration, "You are Now less Dumb" feels like a meaty entree. In this one David moves slower with more intent, pushing us to read beyond the obvious to better understand why we act the ways we do.

Refusing to ever don the rosy glasses he speaks of in the final chapter, David manages to stay incredibly upbeat despite his objective analysis of our shared reality.

I do suggest reading "You are Not so Smart," first, as I believe that
Sep 09, 2013 rated it did not like it
It is a rehash of the same information found in his first book, "You Are Not So Smart." So read either book, not both. Then you will be less dumb.
Jul 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Pretty good. Occasionally condescending and kind of wrong-headed, like in denying the validity of identity. Even if you accept the validity of the points he makes against it, you can make a strong case for the functionality of identity. One of McRaney's big influences was a philosophy teacher, and I think that shows. Also, there is a throwaway line in the book about people pursuing justice on Reddit usually working out, and that's the kind of wild statement that could really use some sources.

Jul 09, 2014 rated it did not like it
Quite simply the most horrid book I have read in a while. The essence of the book is this: you can't trust yourself, you judge based on appearances. Self-enhancement, happiness, optimism are shams to help your mind preserve itself. Memory is fiction, everyone is average and we like to think we're special. Everything we read, learn and do is to aid self-serving, hindsight or confirmation biases. The closest state to reality is depression because you see the world for being what it is: just a ...more
Cindy Matthews
Oct 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
I do indeed feel "less dumb" after reading David McRaney's You Are Now Less Dumb. As a psych major, I've always enjoyed learning about behavioral studies and other observations of the human mind. The great thing is that You Are Now Less Dumb is written on a level everyone can enjoy while exploring the fascinating world of psychology.

Probably the most fascinating part for me was actually becoming part of a "mob mentality" moment this past week after I finished reading the book. It is amazing how
Leana M
Feb 03, 2014 rated it liked it
(More like 3.5 stars.) Some good information. Although a lot of points discussed are ideas in which I have previously pondered and made attempts to identify, such as, biases in myself, as well as, noting the biases in others. So subject matter was not as new or illuminating for me and perhaps other readers of science, psychology, and the overall human conditions. May be more eye opening and illuminating for yet others, and therefor more gratifying, pending one keeps an open mind and does not ...more
Seems like it was written by a smug guy who thought he was smart as sh*t, but kept getting busted down and avoided by everyone around him for being an unbearable smug-ass sh*t.

So he wrote an interesting, butt-hurt book about how "well everyone is dumb anyway- you mostly."
Mar 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
I thought this was really good. It's book on social psychological phenomena for the layman. It simplified some things but generally did a very good job exploring the concepts and making them relevant to people's lives. I ordered a copy for our library.
Alvin C.
May 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
You Are Now Less Dumb: How to Conquer Mob Mentality, How to Buy Happiness, and All the Other Ways to Outsmart Yourself- The subtitle says it all, and things are not as they seem. If we want to grow smarter, we must examine our own beliefs, as some of them are very wrong! Author David McRaney
Benjamin Wallace
We are just a big pile of predictability, aren't we? Now to figure out how to use this information for evil.
Apr 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Because we all delude ourselves. Here's a really great book about cognitive dissonance.
Zaki Emad
Jan 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Zaki by: Belal Al Droubi
I have found You Are Now Less Dumb to be insightful, well-written and hard to put down. I have also found it to be often witty and funny, which was refreshing.

David McRaney will have you believe that although it’s a great place to start, “I think, therefore I am” is not enough, what’s even better is thinking about what you’re thinking, its “whats”, “hows” and “whys”.

The book explains the erroneous modes of thinking that often go unnoticed while being hugely consequential on the personal and
Jan 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
If you were personally insulted (or at least very aggravated) by McRaney's previous book "You are not so smart", then this book will make you feel a little bit better about your place in the universe as a flesh cage riddled with biases you can't even pronounce. With the same witty humour as other books, this one has a slightly more hopeful tone and presents actual solutions to the various fallacies plaguing our lives. I enjoyed it very much, the audiobook was crisp and clear, and I'm glad I ...more
Jul 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Ahhh, that was Great.

McRaney & Hagen did it again. Amazing book, amazing writer and an amazing Narrator. Listening to this book was a great experience, both funny and informative in a way I think is crucial for everyone. More people need to know about the ideas discussed in this book for the good of society.
Dec 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
There are so many studies referenced in this book. Some topics were more intersting than others.
Jana Rađa
May 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
All brains are bards, all selves audiences to the tales of who they are.

Humans tend to think quite highly of themselves. We believe we are beings of logic and reason. The truth is that, although we are capable of logic and reason, we often fail at the task in quite predictable ways. Journalist David McRaney, a self-described psychology nerd, sets out to enlighten the reader about his/her psychological foibles in You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is
Brian Warren
Jul 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Do you retreat into your firmly held beliefs in the face of incontrovertible evidence to the contrary? Do you believe money can buy you happiness? Do you assume you’re at least a little bit smarter than most people? How about this one – do you believe that you or any group you associate with are capable of atrocious behavior? Chances are, you’re emphatically shaking your head “no” and reassuring yourself that you do none of the above dumb things in your daily life. The truth, however, is that ...more
Sep 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I listened to the audiobook version of You Are Now Less Dumb: How To Conquer Mob Mentality, How to Buy Happiness, and All the Other Ways to Outsmart Yourself. I loved it so much that I plan to get the Kindle version so that I can reference it. That’s one of the pitfalls of listening to non-fiction, it is hard to remember specific details without having it in writing to go back to. This book will definitely go down as one of my favorite non-fiction books of the year.

The basic premise of the book
Mar 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
I bought this book immediately after finishing You're Not as Smart as You Think, counting on it to basically be more of the same. This is true to an extent, but there were some key differences with this one.

The first thing I noticed was that there are fewer chapters, and each one is typically longer than in YNSYT. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, and at first I was excited about the idea of getting a little more in-depth on each topic.

Second, I really started to realize how heavily the author
Jun 20, 2014 rated it it was ok
For a book purportedly about overcoming human irrationality and our tendency towards lazy thinking and oversimplification, this book certainly falls into all of those traps with an alarming frequency. There are some decent insights (though honestly you're much better off reading Thinking Fast, Thinking Slow), but shock value seems to be valued above critical thinking here. The author often takes results from a small sample of experiments done with complete strangers and applies them to every ...more
Aug 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book officially explains why people still hold onto their beliefs even if they are faced with facts that states the opposite. For whatever reason, it's really reassuring to know that the real reason why we can't get along when it comes to politics, religion, global warming, etc. I can now be done with those argus, and I love the way the author wittily describes those situations. There truly never is any winning over.
I also loved the chapter about the Ben Franklin effect. I rally want to try
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At his blog You Are Not So Smart—and in the book of the same title—David focuses on why humans are so "unaware of how unaware we are." His newest book, You Are Now Less Dumb, expands on these ideas of self-delusion and offers ways to overcome the brain's natural tendencies.
“Don’t put people, or anything else, on pedestals, not even your children. Avoid global labels such as genius or weirdo. Realize those closest get the benefit of the doubt and so do the most beautiful and radiant among us. Know the halo effect causes you to see a nice person as temporarily angry and an angry person as temporarily nice. Know that one good quality, or a memory of several, can keep in your life people who may be doing you more harm than good. Pay attention to the fact that when someone seems nice and upbeat, the words coming out of his or her mouth will change in meaning, and if that same person were depressive, arrogant, or foul in some other way, your perceptions of those same exact words would change along with the person’s other features.” 16 likes
“A lot of what you presume to be evidence of your intelligence is just part of a vast cultural inheritance.” 7 likes
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