To one degree or another, we all misjudge reality. Our perception—of ourselves and the world around us—is much more malleable than we realize. This self-deception influences every major aspect of our personal and social life, including relationships, sex, politics, careers, and health.
In Kidding Ourselves, Joseph Hallinan offers a nuts-and-bolts look at how this penchant shapes our everyday lives, from the medicines we take to the decisions we make. It shows, for instance, just how much the power of many modern medicines, particularly antidepressants and painkillers, is largely in our heads. Placebos in modern-day life extend beyond hospitals, to fake thermostats and “elevator close” buttons that don’t really work … but give the perception that they do.
Kidding Ourselves brings together a variety of subjects, linking seemingly unrelated ideas in fascinating and unexpected ways. And ultimately, it shows that deceiving ourselves is not always negative or foolish. As increasing numbers of researchers are discovering, it can be incredibly useful, providing us with the resilience we need to persevere, in the boardroom, bedroom, and beyond.
Provocative, accessible, and easily applicable to multiple facets of everyday life, Kidding Ourselves is an extraordinary new exploration of our mind’s flexibility.
“In this brilliant and delightful expose of recent psychological research, Hallinan reveals that self-deception is also a potent drug for boosting hope, confidence, and creativity. For those of us who have lived by Feynman’s first principle, that you must not fool yourself, this provocative book is a shocking and encouraging eye-opener: good things can happen if we just shut up, relax, and believe.”
Leonard Mlodinow, New York Times bestselling coauthor of The Grand Design
“Pulitzer Prize winner Hallinan’s follow-up to Why We Make Mistakes continues his exploration of the mind’s shortcomings…A well-researched and accessibly written book on the flexibility of human perception and belief.”
“A breezy, anecdotal survey of self-deception and how it is not merely inevitable, but helpful and even essential.”
Brian Hutchison is a professional theater actor who has appeared in numerous Broadway, off-Broadway, and regional plays. He lives in New York City.
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- Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC
- Genre: Nonfiction/Psychology
- ISBN-13: 9781490625492