Past Meetup

Skeptical Salon - You Are Now Less Dumb by David McRaney

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"Self delusion makes you human, but you can do something about it. Delusion, that is. You’re stuck with the human thing."

David McRaney's first book, You Are Not So Smart (, evolved from his wildly popular blog of the same name ( A mix of popular psychology and trivia, McRaney's insights have struck a chord with thousands, and his blog--and now podcasts and videos--have become an Internet phenomenon.

A mix of popular psychology and trivia, You Are Now Less Dumb ( is grounded in the idea that we all believe ourselves to be objective observers of reality--except we’re not. But that’s okay, because our delusions keep us sane.

Expanding on this premise, McRaney ( provides eye-opening analyses of seventeen ways we fool ourselves every day, including:

Enclothed Cognition (the clothes you wear change your behavior and influence your mental abilities)
The Benjamin Franklin Effect (how you grow to like people for whom you do nice things and hate the people you harm).
Deindividuation (Despite our best intentions, we practically disappear when subsumed by a mob mentality)
The Misattribution of Arousal (Environmental factors have a greater effect on our emotional arousal than the person right in front of us)
Sunk Cost Fallacy (We will engage in something we don’t enjoy just to make the time or money already invested “worth it”)

McRaney also reveals the true price of happiness, and how to avoid falling for our own lies.

For those who would prefer to borrow a copy rather than purchase, this month's selection has 18 copies available at the Chicago Public Library (