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How We Know What Isn't So, by Thomas Gilovich
“A splendid, informed, accurate, witty, clear commonsense book.”
“Fascinating…an important book. Scientifically sound and engagingly written.”
—Elliot Aronson, Professor of Psychology, Un of California, Santa Cruz
We all know that more babies are not born under a full moon and that infertile couples are not more likely to conceive after adoption, but why do these beliefs persist even though they can repeatedly be shown to be false?
Thomas Gilovich explains the inherent biases and critical thinking mistakes on which we base our beliefs, and explains how we can overcome these natural biases.
The book includes:
- seeing patterns in randomness;
- confirmation bias (i.e the tendency to look for evidence that confirms our beliefs,
even when we have no special attachment to those beliefs);
- overlooked data;
- mental corner cutting strategies;
- useful biases that can develop a dangerous inertia;
- reinterpreting evidence to match preexisting beliefs;
- how science is used to overcome bias;
- selective memory;
- the Lake Wobegon Effect where all are above average;
- cherry picking;
- antidotal stories;
- social pressure;
- strategies for overcoming our natural biases.
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