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Not Born Yesterday: The Science of Who We Trust and What We Believe

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  28 ratings  ·  4 reviews
Why people are not as gullible as we think

Not Born Yesterday explains how we decide who we can trust and what we should believe--and argues that we're pretty good at making these decisions. In this lively and provocative book, Hugo Mercier demonstrates how virtually all attempts at mass persuasion--whether by religious leaders, politicians, or advertisers--fail miserably.
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Hardcover, 384 pages
Published January 28th 2020 by Princeton University Press
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Steve
Feb 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Nice book, well-reasoned, denying that people are generally gullible - especially about things that are important to their daily life and decision-making. For every person that falls for a scam, thousands of others ignore it or laugh at it. When mobs of people seem to be inspired by a demagogue to do awful things, it may be that these people have their own longstanding motives for their behavior and the leaders have simply jumped in front of an already existing proto-mob.

Merciers justification
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Nat
Mar 08, 2020 added it
This is a helpful corrective to panic about the effects of "fake news" and propaganda on democracy. Mercier's view is that meaningful, "intuitive" beliefs that bear on action are very difficult to change. That's both reassuring (because people aren't just swayed back and forth by political propaganda) and challenging (since it means it's hard to make substantial progress in changing your opponents' underlying beliefs). That makes the Spinozan view of belief formation behind some recent work in ...more
Joe
Mar 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Useful contribution to the literature of trust and credibility based on comprehensive research and thoughtful analysis. Excellent read for general public, journalists, and all those who influence, or attempt to influence, public opinion. Especially for those who think the public is gullible.
Antonio
Mar 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
The premise of the book is timely and interesting. The author knows what he's talking about. However, I just wished I was more engaged by his prose
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