"How can we tell the difference between what is true and false? The answer is science and critical thinking, a process that Thomas Kida, in this exceptionally readable and delightfully informative book, explicates with clarity. His ‘6 basic mistakes we make in thinking’ should be printed on a laminated wallet-sized card and examined every morning before we go out into the world."
Michael Shermer, Publisher, Skeptic magazine
“This is an informative, interesting, and entertaining contribution that includes many examples of the mistakes that Kida addresses. He goes beyond simply describing our false beliefs to describing the ways in which we acquire them .... This book is a valuable resource in the ongoing, difficult process of developing critical thinking.”
Columnist, Scientific American
Author of Why People Believe Weird Things
"[A] lively, well-reasoned look at the mental potholes that trouble us all. Written in an entertaining, easy-to-understand style, it is full of examples drawn from current events. Highly recommended for anyone who is interested in learning how to approach life with a clearer head. Pick up Kida’s Six Pack and take a long drink."
Stuart Vyse, Professor of Psychology, Connecticut College
Author of Believing in Magic: The Psychology of Superstition
Do you believe that you can consistently beat the stock market if you put in the effort? —that some people have extrasensory perception? —that crime and drug abuse in America are on the rise? Many people hold one or more of these beliefs although research shows that they are not true. And it’s no wonder since advertising and some among the media promote these and many more questionable notions.
Although our creative problem-solving capacity is what has made humans the successful species we are, our brains are prone to certain kinds of errors that only careful critical thinking can correct. This enlightening book discusses how to recognize faulty thinking and develop the necessary skills to become a more effective problem solver.
Author Thomas Kida identifies “the six-pack of problems” that leads many of us unconsciously to accept false ideas:
- We prefer stories to statistics
- We seek to confirm, not to question, our ideas.
- We rarely appreciate the role of chance and coincidence in shaping events.
- We sometimes misperceive the world around us.
- We tend to oversimplify our thinking.
- Our memories are often inaccurate.
Kida vividly illustrates these tendencies with numerous examples that demonstrate how easily we can be fooled into believing something that isn’t true.
In a complex society where success—in all facets of life—often requires the ability to evaluate the validity of many conflicting claims, the critical-thinking skills examined in this informative and engaging book will prove invaluable.
Book Binding: Paperback
Shipping Weight: 1lbs
Thomas Kida (Amherst, MA) is a professor in the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and the author of many articles on decision-making.
Click here to view the table of contents and sample chapters.