Good Thinking: What You Need to Know to be Smarter, Safer, Wealthier, and Wiser
Critical-thinking skills are essential for life in the 21st century. In this follow-up to his introductory guide Think, and continuing his trademark of hopeful skepticism, Guy Harrison demonstrates in a detailed fashion how to sort through bad ideas, unfounded claims, and bogus information to drill down to the most salient facts. By explaining how the human brain works, and outing its most irrational processes, this book provides the thinking tools that will help you make better decisions, ask the right questions (at the right time), know what to look for when evaluating information, and understand how your own brain subconsciously clouds your judgment.
Think you're too smart to be easily misled? Harrison summarizes scientific research showing how easily even intelligent and well-educated people can be fooled. We all suffer from cognitive biases, embellished memories, and the tendency to kowtow to authority figures or be duped by dubious 'truths' packaged in appealing stories. And as primates we are naturally status seekers, so we are prone to irrational beliefs that seem to enhance our sense of belonging and ranking. Emotional impulses and stress also all too often lead us into traps of misperception and bad judgment.
Understanding what science has discovered about the brain makes you better equipped to cope with its built-in pitfalls. Good Thinking – the book and the practice – makes clear that with knowledge and the right thinking skills, anyone can lead a safer, wiser, more efficient, and productive life.