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Your Deceptive Mind: A Scientific Guide to Critical Thinking Skills

by Steven Novella

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794265,586 (4.02)1
What should you think? Who should you believe? Could you be deceiving yourself? These are questions that all critical thinkers of any age must constantly ask themselves. There is no more important skill in today's world than being able to think about, understand, and act on information in a way that is both effective and responsible. Critical thinking transforms you from a passive member of society into an active participant in the ideas and issues of the day. It empowers one to better understand nearly every single aspect of everyday life, from health and nutrition to science and technology to philosophical and spiritual belief systems. Our brains, according to Dr. Novella, are our greatest strength as critical thinkers. But they can also be the source of many weaknesses and impairments in critical thought. Your Deceptive Mind, takes a closer look at the neuroscientific details of critical thinking and how the (often unfamiliar) ways in which our brains are hardwired can distract and prevent us from getting to the truth of a particular matter.… (more)
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Showing 4 of 4
This is a good, fairly interesting look at the ways our minds play tricks on us, both in the limitations of our physical anatomy (our eyes have a blind spot in the center, and our brains fill that in with what's around it, which can sometimes be wrong) and the biases built into our brains due to the fact that we evolved in situations where snap decisions on limited information could save lives.

Novella talks about conspiracy theories, the dangers of believing your own theories on too little evidence, confirmation bias, and other ways our brains lead us astray. At times he gets overly dogmatic and repetitive, but it's mostly interesting and useful look at the ways we need to be aware of our own brains' ability to deceive us.

I bought this audiobook. ( )
  LisCarey | Jan 20, 2021 |
Excellent set of lecture on how your mind (You*) deceives you. Loved the examples & delivery. Definitely worth a revisit every now and then. ( )
  sami7 | Aug 3, 2020 |
No skill is more important in today's world than being able to think about, understand, and act on information in an effective and responsible way. What's more, at no point in human history have we had access to so much information, with such relative ease, as we do in the 21st century. But because misinformation out there has increased as well, critical thinking is more important than ever. These 24 rewarding lectures equip you with the knowledge and techniques you need to become a savvier, sharper critical thinker in your professional and personal life. By immersing yourself in the science of cognitive biases and critical thinking, and by learning how to think about thinking (a practice known as metacognition), you'll gain concrete lessons for doing so more critically, more intelligently, and more successfully. The key to successful critical thinking lies in understanding the neuroscience behind how our thinking works - and goes wrong; avoiding common pitfalls and errors in thinking, such as logical fallacies and biases; and knowing how to distinguish good science from pseudoscience. Professor Novella tackles these issues and more, exploring how the (often unfamiliar) ways in which our brains are hardwired can distract and prevent us from getting to the truth of a particular matter. Along the way, he provides you with a critical toolbox that you can use to better assess the quality of information. Even though the world is becoming more and more saturated information, you can take the initiative and become better prepared to make sense of it all with this intriguing course.
  Langri_Tangpa_Centre | Aug 9, 2019 |
Good

This is part of the Great courses series and includes 24 lectures that I listened to, so not strictly a book but I’m counting it as such for my challenge!

Novella’s assertion is that at no time in human history have we had access to so much information and so much misinformation. He covers the neuroscience of thinking, the need for critical thinking, a quick course on logical fallacies, biases, critical thinking, science and pseudoscience, conspiracy thinking and so much more. This is a marathon at Twelve and a half hours but very much worth it. Even as someone who is interested in the scientific method, critical thinking, scepticism and logical fallacies I learned some new things. I would say that every single student in our schools should be taught this course as well as media studies (for the understanding of propaganda and political bias). If they were I bet the world would be a better place. I have only scored it as “Good” as it repeated a lot of information I already know but I would recommend this course to everyone.

Overall – Great course of lectures that present critical thinking in easily digestible chunks

More information here: http://www.thegreatcourses.co.uk/tgc/Courses/course_detail.aspx?cid=9344 ( )
  psutto | Jul 1, 2014 |
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What should you think? Who should you believe? Could you be deceiving yourself? These are questions that all critical thinkers of any age must constantly ask themselves. There is no more important skill in today's world than being able to think about, understand, and act on information in a way that is both effective and responsible. Critical thinking transforms you from a passive member of society into an active participant in the ideas and issues of the day. It empowers one to better understand nearly every single aspect of everyday life, from health and nutrition to science and technology to philosophical and spiritual belief systems. Our brains, according to Dr. Novella, are our greatest strength as critical thinkers. But they can also be the source of many weaknesses and impairments in critical thought. Your Deceptive Mind, takes a closer look at the neuroscientific details of critical thinking and how the (often unfamiliar) ways in which our brains are hardwired can distract and prevent us from getting to the truth of a particular matter.

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