The author of this book, David McRaney, is a rather smart guy who has taken every psychological study he can find and written about it on his blog. Along came a publishing house representative and discovered the blog You Are Not So Smart and persuaded the blogger to turn it into a book.
I think this book could be a valuable tool for psychology students and graduate students for easy reference and discussion of all the trials and studies that have been administered to college students and sold to corporations, advertisers and politicians. Some of the findings are very old, and some are of the current trials and hoops that are being used by the spin doctors to manipulate and persuade people to buy, buy, buy and vote, vote, vote.
I liked the format of the book. It presented a Misconception: You choose to accept or refuse an offer based on logic. Then stated the Truth: When it comes to making a deal, you base your decision on your status. Following up with 4 to 5 pages of the testing done to complete the discussion and demonstrate the truth in action. I liked being reminded of these studies and learning about new studies being done and it made me think.
About half way through the book, I got angry. The author did not give us any hope of “fixing” these responses and I did not like the feeling of being duped by so many forces using these results to make money and manipulate people – en masse. McRaney was so smart about reporting and interpreting these studies because a psychology teacher in college had taught him how to think. The non-thinkers were fated to live out their lives by being classically responsive to various stimuli created by the folks who instigated the tests. I felt that the writer was cynical in his approach and I wanted him to be pro-active in helping us discover how to teach others how to think and overcome.
I have 8 pages of notes of statements that will help me market my blog Wise Ears my professional listening services – I found value in the book.
I began to understand how some individuals in my own life have such driving “control” needs and why I worked so hard to free myself and not become their victim. I comprehend that we clearly need to identify people with such high “control” needs earlier in the cycle in order to change abuse and bullying. I could integrate enough of the studies and information to see that what we presently do is hindering and encouraging the bully/the abuser and how our society rewards these individuals often with great amounts of money. (Think of large banks and oil companies as Abusers.)
I would not advise anyone who feels helpless or depressed to dive into this book.
I would recommend that everyone attempt to turn off the television and news shows for at least a month and test if this would make a difference. I have found the books which offer suggestions of how to change a habit or a process along with the studies more helpful. I would feel encouraged if I thought more people were training themselves to think and question.
It is a very interesting book and it has value and merit.
My favorite quote turned out to be on the jacket:
“In an idiocracy dominated by cable television bobbleheads, government propagandists, and corporate spinmeisters, many of us know that mass ignorance is a huge problem. Now, thanks to David McRaney’s mindblowing book, we can finally see the scientific roots of the problem. Anybody still self-aware enough to wonder why society now worships willful stupidity should read this book.” ~David Sirota, author of Back to Our Future.
I am not going to read this book a second time, but I am going to keep the copy I received from TLC Book Tours and Gotham Book Publishers as a reference.
If you purchase anything from Amazon from my site I will receive a few beans in my bucket.
Do you ever feel as though you are being manipulated and controlled? I wish I had some quick response or funny quip to roll off my tongue, but have often found the only strategy that works for me is getting away from “ them”. I do not have a TV for this reason and I do not randomly or recreationally shop because I can be a producer’s dream! How do you ignite the circuits of your thinker?