Sunday, November 10, 2013

Book Review: You Are Now Less Dumb

You Are Now Less Dumb: How to Conquer Mob Mentality, How to Buy Happiness, and All the Other Ways to Outsmart YourselfYou Are Now Less Dumb: How to Conquer Mob Mentality, How to Buy Happiness, and All the Other Ways to Outsmart Yourself by David McRaney
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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 people on the Internet will use the anonymity it gives to act out in mean-spirited ways against others without fear of reprisal, believing that everyone in the group feels the same way and thus justifying their not-so-nice actions. If people really knew how others were thinking, would they join in the crowds that gather around suicidal people on bridges and start shouting, "Jump! Jump, why don't you?" Perhaps not.

And I've learned my lesson--never try to convince an online friend to switch his/her political viewpoint. Even if you post photos of bare, unadorned facts you are only making your friends' beliefs that much stronger because of the inborn need humans have to defend whatever it is we spend lots of time on. (You don't waste your time on "dumb things", right?) So, I'll no longer try to convince certain folks that allowing the elderly, disabled, and children to starve or go without health care isn't in our country's best interest, because to those who disagree with me on this topic it always will be. (One wonders what would happen to their attitude if their loved ones ever became part of the starving crowd.)

Yes, the world would definitely become a happier place if more read You Are Now Less Dumb and became... well less dumb!

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