Tuesday, 18 November 2014

How We Know What Isn't So: The Fallibility of Human Reason in Everyday Life Review

How We Know What Isn't SoHow We Know What Isn't So by Thomas Gilovich
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

How We Know What Isn't So is a researched book on social psychology by Thomas Gilovich, a psychology professor at Cornell. It talks about why our mind seeks dubious or erronous information to aid our biases, rather than negating or clarifying them, and supplements its claims by examples of researches that did so in the past.

Reading this book would help you to look at the usually pervading superstitions and medical 'quacks' or evidence in support of existence of paranormal activities, or any other incredulous information you might come across, even if it comes from an authentic source with skepticism, questioning, for example, the source of your credible source. It would help in doing your research with a more balanced point of view, seeing all sides, rather than simply "search(ing) for evidence that is biased towards confirmation."

The book has nothing new to offer if you look at the world closely, observing, why people believe certain things and some not.

The last chapter tries to tell why social scientists (Gilovich included) are better than the "hard" scientists or people from other fields like law to dispell erronous beleifs prevalent in everyday life.

It was an interesting book (including a chapter on ESP and why people believe in it) with lots of notes and explanations, and relatable examples given along with other books one can read on the subject if interested. Enjoyable read, through and through, but only if you are interested in knowing about the subject concerning life and everyday phenomenons like co-incidences.


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