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

3.94 avg rating
( 2,281 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780029117064: How We Know What Isn't So: The Fallibility of Human Reason in Everyday Life

Thomas Gilovich offers a wise and readable guide to the fallacy of the obvious in everyday life.

When can we trust what we believe—that "teams and players have winning streaks," that "flattery works," or that "the more people who agree, the more likely they are to be right"—and when are such beliefs suspect? Thomas Gilovich offers a guide to the fallacy of the obvious in everyday life. Illustrating his points with examples, and supporting them with the latest research findings, he documents the cognitive, social, and motivational processes that distort our thoughts, beliefs, judgments and decisions. In a rapidly changing world, the biases and stereotypes that help us process an overload of complex information inevitably distort what we would like to believe is reality. Awareness of our propensity to make these systematic errors, Gilovich argues, is the first step to more effective analysis and action.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Thomas Gilovich is a professor of psychology at Cornell University and author of The Wisest One in the Room (with Lee Ross), How We Know What Isn’t So, Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes, and Social Psychology. He lives in Ithaca, New York.

From Kirkus Reviews:

The subtexts of this first-class critique of human (non)reason are that we all tell ourselves lies (at least some of the time)...that if you want to believe it's true, it is (faith healing, ESP)...that humans can't help seeing patterns where none exist (in clouds, in disastrous events, in gamblers' streaks). Furthermore, if you would like to learn more about how not to deceive yourself, you might take a course in one of the ``soft'' probabilistic sciences like psychology. This might be construed as self-serving, since Gilovich happens to teach psychology at Cornell. However, the point is well taken because such courses should expose students to a minimum of statistics--such as the law of regression, which says that when two variables are partially related, extremes in one variable are matched, on average, by less extreme variables in the other. (Children of tall parents are tall, but not as tall as their parents.) Gilovich attributes the general lack of appreciation of the law to ``the compelling nature of judgment by representation''--by which the predicted outcome should be as close to the data as possible: the son of a 6'5'' dad should be close to 6'5''. Gilovich also points to other pitfalls in reasoning, such as failure to record negative outcomes (how many times do you dream of an old friend and not bump into him the next day?). And he discusses deeper motives--e.g., fear of dying, prospects of power or immortality, and similar self-aggrandizing traits that fortify superstitions and the will to believe. Altogether, a satisfying splash of skepticism and reason in a world where the Lake Wobegon phenomenon--``the women are strong, the men are good-looking and all the children are above average''- -prevails. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Gilovich, Thomas
Published by Free Press 1993-01-01 (1993)
ISBN 10: 0029117062 ISBN 13: 9780029117064
New Paperback Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
BookOutlet
(Thorold, ON, Canada)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Free Press 1993-01-01, 1993. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. Publisher overstock, may contain remainder mark on edge. Bookseller Inventory # 9780029117064B

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
5.11
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 4.59
From Canada to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Thomas Gilovich
Published by SIMON SCHUSTER, United States (1993)
ISBN 10: 0029117062 ISBN 13: 9780029117064
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description SIMON SCHUSTER, United States, 1993. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. When can we trust what we believe - that teams and players have winning streaks , that flattery works , or that the more people who agree, the more likely they are to be right - and when are such beliefs suspect? Thomas Gilovich offers a guide to the fallacy of the obvious in everyday life. Illustrating his points with examples, and supporting them with the latest research findings, he documents the cognitive, social and motivational processes that distort our thoughts, beliefs, judgements and decisions. In a rapidly changing world, the biases and stereotypes that help us process an overload of complex information inevitably distort what we would like to believe is reality. Awareness of our propensity to make these systematic errors, Gilovich argues, is the first step to more effective analysis and action. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780029117064

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
9.85
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Thomas Gilovich
Published by The Free Press 1993-04-26 (1993)
ISBN 10: 0029117062 ISBN 13: 9780029117064
New Quantity Available: 5
Seller
Chiron Media
(Wallingford, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description The Free Press 1993-04-26, 1993. Book Condition: New. Brand new book, sourced directly from publisher. Dispatch time is 24-48 hours from our warehouse. Book will be sent in robust, secure packaging to ensure it reaches you securely. Bookseller Inventory # NU-GRD-00411538

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
8.57
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 2.99
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Thomas Gilovich
Published by SIMON SCHUSTER, United States (1993)
ISBN 10: 0029117062 ISBN 13: 9780029117064
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller
The Book Depository US
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description SIMON SCHUSTER, United States, 1993. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. When can we trust what we believe - that teams and players have winning streaks , that flattery works , or that the more people who agree, the more likely they are to be right - and when are such beliefs suspect? Thomas Gilovich offers a guide to the fallacy of the obvious in everyday life. Illustrating his points with examples, and supporting them with the latest research findings, he documents the cognitive, social and motivational processes that distort our thoughts, beliefs, judgements and decisions. In a rapidly changing world, the biases and stereotypes that help us process an overload of complex information inevitably distort what we would like to believe is reality. Awareness of our propensity to make these systematic errors, Gilovich argues, is the first step to more effective analysis and action. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780029117064

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
12.12
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Thomas Gilovich
Published by Free 1993-04-26, New York |London (1993)
ISBN 10: 0029117062 ISBN 13: 9780029117064
New paperback Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
Blackwell's
(Oxford, OX, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Free 1993-04-26, New York |London, 1993. paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # 9780029117064

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
9.50
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Thomas Gilovich
ISBN 10: 0029117062 ISBN 13: 9780029117064
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
BWB
(Valley Stream, NY, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Book Condition: New. Depending on your location, this item may ship from the US or UK. Bookseller Inventory # 97800291170640000000

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
12.59
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Gilovich, Thomas
Published by Free Press
ISBN 10: 0029117062 ISBN 13: 9780029117064
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
Mediaoutlet12345
(Springfield, VA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Free Press. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0029117062 *BRAND NEW* Ships Same Day or Next!. Bookseller Inventory # NATARAJB1FI752137

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
9.66
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.05
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

Gilovich, Thomas
ISBN 10: 0029117062 ISBN 13: 9780029117064
New Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Pbshop
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description 1993. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book.Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # IB-9780029117064

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
9.93
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.05
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

Gilovich, Thomas
Published by Simon & Schuster
ISBN 10: 0029117062 ISBN 13: 9780029117064
New Softcover Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
Kennys Bookstore
(Olney, MD, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Simon & Schuster. Book Condition: New. 1993. Reprint. Paperback. When can we trust what we believe, and when are such beliefs suspect? Here, Gilovich offers a guide to the fallacy of the obvious in everyday life, documenting the cognitive, social and motivational processes that distort our thoughts, beliefs, judgements and decisions. Num Pages: 224 pages, index. BIC Classification: JMH; JMR. Category: (P) Professional & Vocational; (UP) Postgraduate, Research & Scholarly; (UU) Undergraduate. Dimension: 234 x 155 x 14. Weight in Grams: 254. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780029117064

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
13.91
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

Gilovich, Thomas
Published by Simon & Schuster (1993)
ISBN 10: 0029117062 ISBN 13: 9780029117064
New Softcover Quantity Available: > 20
Rating
[?]

Book Description Simon & Schuster, 1993. Book Condition: New. 1993. Reprint. Paperback. When can we trust what we believe, and when are such beliefs suspect? Here, Gilovich offers a guide to the fallacy of the obvious in everyday life, documenting the cognitive, social and motivational processes that distort our thoughts, beliefs, judgements and decisions. Num Pages: 224 pages, index. BIC Classification: JMH; JMR. Category: (P) Professional & Vocational; (UP) Postgraduate, Research & Scholarly; (UU) Undergraduate. Dimension: 234 x 155 x 14. Weight in Grams: 254. . . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780029117064

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
13.98
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From Ireland to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book