Why We Make Mistakes: How We Look Without Seeing, Forget Things in Seconds, and Are All Pretty Sure We Are Way Above Average

Why We Make Mistakes: How We Look Without Seeing, Forget Things in Seconds, and Are All Pretty Sure We Are Way Above Average

We forget our passwords. We pay too much to go to the gym. We think we'd be happier if we lived in California (we wouldn't), and we think we should stick with our first answer on tests (we shouldn't). Why do we make mistakes? And could we do a little better?

We human beings have design flaws. Our eyes play tricks on us; our stories change in the retelling; and most of us are fairly sure we’re way above average. In Why We Make Mistakes, journalist Joseph T. Hallinan sets out to explore the captivating science of human error—how we think, see, remember, and forget, and how this sets us up for wholly irresistible mistakes.

In his quest to understand our imperfections, Hallinan delves into psychology, neuroscience, and economics, with forays into aviation, consumer behavior, geography, football, stock picking, and more. He discovers that some of the same qualities that make us efficient also make us error prone. Why We Make Mistakes is enlivened by real-life stories--of weathermen whose predictions are uncannily accurate and a witness who sent an innocent man to jail--and offers valuable advice, such as how to remember where you’ve hidden something important. He explains why multitasking is a bad idea, why men make errors women don’t, and why most people mistakenly believe San Diego is west of Reno. Why We Make Mistakes will open your eyes to the reasons behind your mistakes and have you vowing to do better the next time.

Title:Why We Make Mistakes: How We Look Without Seeing, Forget Things in Seconds, and Are All Pretty Sure We Are Way Above Average
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780767928052
Format Type:

    Why We Make Mistakes: How We Look Without Seeing, Forget Things in Seconds, and Are All Pretty Sure We Are Way Above Average Reviews

  • Caroline

    Have you ever forgotten your pin number? Have you gone upstairs to find something and forgotten what it was? Have you been unable to find things in the stationary cupboard? Do you recognise faces but ...

  • Trevor

    I’ve spent the last three days reading parts of this book to whoever will listen or (perhaps more accurately) whoever is in earshot. This really is a wonderful book and I don’t think I can recomme...

  • Caroline

    ***NO SPOILERS***Why We Make Mistakes is an eye-opening shocker that may leave its most arrogant, self-assured readers a bit...traumatized. Actually, only the humblest of readers will close this book ...

  • Chrissie

    Where to start?! I don’t enjoy self-help books, so I was reluctant to try this. I am very, very glad I did. I want to begin by thanking the two Carolines that both told me how very good the book is....

  • Trip

    A survey of cognitive biases and other limitations of the human brain, with references and bibliography. The conclusions:* Take notes on your mistakes, so you can learn from them.* Get a Devil's Advoc...

  • Books Ring Mah Bell

    Science light. Quick, interesting examples of how we humans manage to goof up on everything from selecting credit cards (one can be swayed by a pretty face to take that high interest rate!) to cutting...

  • Lena

    Of the various books I've read on the quirks of human cognition and how they affect our lives, this is one of the most readable. Journalist Joseph Hallinan has a storyteller's ability to take some of ...

  • Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship

    This easy-to-read book, written by a journalist, summarizes a great many recent psychological studies revealing various deficiencies in people’s perceptions, memory, and judgment. Unfortunately, its...

  • Arminius

    I really enjoyed how this book highlighted the important points in bold. I will list a lot of these. The first chapter talks about how we see things. For example, when a purse is snatched from a women...

  • David

    "Behavioral Economics for Dummies" would be a suitable subtitle for this book. The author isn’t a researcher or expert on the topic, or even someone with a particular message, just a journalist look...