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You Are Not So Smart

March 18, 2014

You are not so smartDavid McRaney

This book reviews a collection of biases and shortcuts used by the human mind and how they serve us in the modern world. Each chapter focuses on a particular bias or fallacy and provides a very relatable example to demonstrate this. There are 48 chapters and each chapter points to a scientific study as a point of fact. Below I’ll list each chapter with links to the various subjects on wikipedia.

Each chapter is quite short, but the subject matter is worthy of considerably more attention and study. The book definitely intrigued me and I intend to spend more time trying understand how these cognitive biases and fallacies influence me.


  1. Priming
  2. Confabulation
  3. Confirmation Bias
  4. Hindsight Bias
  5. Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy
  6. Procrastination
  7. Normalcy Bias
  8. Introspection
  9. Availability Heuristic
  10. Bystander Effect

  11. Dunning-Kruger Effect
  12. Apophenia
  13. Brand Loyalty
  14. Argument from Authority
  15. Argument from Ignorance
  16. Straw Man Fallacy
  17. Ad Hominem Fallacy
  18. Just World Fallacy
  19. Public Goods Game
  20. Ultimatum Game
  21. Subjective Validation
  22. Cult Indoctrination
  23. Groupthink
  24. Supernatural Releasers
  25. Affect Heuristic
  26. Dunbar’s Number
  27. Selling Out
  28. Self-Serving Bias
  29. Spotlight Effect
  30. Third Person Effect
  31. Catharsis
  32. Misinformation Effect
  33. Conformity
  34. Extinction Burst
  35. Social Loafing
  36. Illusion of Transparency
  37. Learned Helplessness
  38. Embodied Cognition
  39. Anchoring Effect
  40. Attention
  41. Self-Handicapping
  42. Self-Fulfilling Prophecies
  43. The Moment
  44. Consistency Bias
  45. Representativeness Heuristic
  46. Expectation
  47. Illusion of Control
  48. Fundamental Attribution Error

For reference, I included a link to Wikipedia’s page for a List of Cognitive Biases.


From → Books

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