Hattiesburg author and JCJC alumnus releases his new book
Written By: David McRaney-Teresa Martin
Email Address: email@example.com
Date Submitted: 2011-11-08 09:41:47
McRaney's new career, he explained, has been in the works for years. "This has been an wild ride, these last two years," said McRaney. "I started a blog about self delusion as a side-project, and it became very popular in a short period of time. I used all the tools I've learned at JCJC, Southern Miss, in newspapers, and then in new media to put together something which spoke to my passions in psychology. People responded well to it, and a book deal came soon after."
McRaney said the idea for the blog, youarenotsosmart.com, and later the book came from inspiration he received in his first psychology class. "I had an amazing psychology professor named Jean Edwards who really opened my eyes. She loved to point out how deluded everyone was. The blog is just me trying to recapture the head-spinning, multiple-epiphany delivering experience I had when I was first introduced to real psychology by an amazing teacher. Even though I eventually decided to pursue a degree and career in journalism, I spend the first two years of college taking psychology courses, and all those classes came back out again in conversations at parties or on long trips in the car. This blog became a way to smash those two paths back together again. I’m always hoping it will give people the same thrill I got when I started seeing myself as a deluded, irrational being struggling to make sense of things."
"The blog has received millions of hits this year, and with the release of the book I suspect it will be even more popular," he said. "It's surreal, but satisfying. I love showing the country what a Pine Belt author, what a Mississippi writer, can do."
that’s okay because being deluded is part of being human.
psychology research that explains our decision-making. You Are Not So Smart answers questions like: Why can’t we seem to break that bad habit? Why are group projects always a pain? And why are first impressions so hard to overcome? And each short chapter—covering topics such as Learned Helplessness, Selling Out, and the Illusion of Transparency—is like a psychology course with all the boring parts taken out.
* Dunbar's Number - Humans evolved to live in bands of roughly 150 individuals, the brain cannot handle more than that number. If you have more than 150 Facebook friends, they are surely not all real friends.
* Hindsight bias - When we learn something new, we reassure ourselves that we knew it all along.
* Confirmation bias - Our brains resist new ideas, instead paying attention only to findings that reinforce our preconceived notions.
* Brand loyalty - We reach for the same brand not because we trust its quality but because we want to reassure ourselves that we made a smart choice the last time we bought it.
"Every chapter is a welcome reminder that you are not so smart-yet you're never made to feel dumb. You Are Not So Smart is a dose of psychology research served in tasty anecdotes that will make you better understand both yourself and the rest of us. It turns out we're much more irrational than most of us think, so give yourself every advantage you can and read this book."
-Alexis Ohanian, Co-Founder of Reddit.com
-Jason Kottke, Kottke.org
-David Sirota, author of Back to Our Future: How the 1980s Explain the World We Live In Now
A two-time winner of the William Randolph Hearst Award and named one of the top 10 College Journalists in the nation by Scripps Howard Foundation in 2006, journalist David McRaney writes the blog youarenotsosmart.com. A self-described psychology nerd, he lives in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.