The Intelligence Trap: Why Smart People Make Dumb Mistakes

RB Media

Narrated by Simon Slater

10 hr 19 min

An eye-opening examination of the stupid things smart people do-and how to cultivate skills to protect ourselves from error. "As a rule, I have found that the greater brain a man has, and the better he is educated, the easier it has been to mystify him" (Harry Houdini to Arthur Conan Doyle). Smart people are not only just as prone to making mistakes as everyone else- they may be even more susceptible to them. This is the "intelligence trap," the subject of David Robson's fascinating and provocative book. The Intelligence Trap explores cutting-edge ideas in our understanding of intelligence and expertise, including "strategic ignorance," "meta- forgetfulness," and "functional stupidity." Robson reveals the surprising ways that even the brightest minds and most talented organizations can go wrong-from some of Thomas Edison's worst ideas to failures at NASA, Nokia, and the FBI. And he offers practical advice to avoid mistakes based on the timeless lessons of Benjamin Franklin, Richard Feynman, and Daniel Kahneman.
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Additional Information

Publisher
RB Media
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Published on
Aug 6, 2019
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Duration
10h 19m 53s
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ISBN
9781980042600
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Language
English
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Genres
Psychology / Cognitive Psychology & Cognition
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Eligible for Family Library

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The guru to the gurus at last shares his knowledge with the rest of us. Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman's seminal studies in behavioral psychology, behavioral economics, and happiness studies have influenced numerous other authors, including Steven Pinker and Malcolm Gladwell. In Thinking, Fast and Slow, Kahneman at last offers his own, first book for the general public. It is a lucid and enlightening summary of his life's work. It will change the way you think about thinking.

Two systems drive the way we think and make choices, Kahneman explains: System One is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System Two is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. Examining how both systems function within the mind, Kahneman exposes the extraordinary capabilities as well as the biases of fast thinking and the pervasive influence of intuitive impressions on our thoughts and our choices. Engaging the reader in a lively conversation about how we think, he shows where we can trust our intuitions and how we can tap into the benefits of slow thinking, contrasting the two-system view of the mind with the standard model of the rational economic agent.

Kahneman's singularly influential work has transformed cognitive psychology and launched the new fields of behavioral economics and happiness studies. In this path-breaking book, Kahneman shows how the mind works, and offers practical and enlightening insights into how choices are made in both our business and personal lives--and how we can guard against the mental glitches that often get us into trouble.

Includes a bonus PDF of illustrations, scientific charts, graphs, and diagrams
For fans of Freakonomics and Thinking, Fast and Slow, here is a book by Hans Rosling, the scientist called "a true inspiration" by Bill Gates, that teaches us how to see the world as it truly is. Factfulness: The stress-reducing habit of only carrying opinions for which you have strong supporting facts. When asked simple questions about global trends-what percentage of the world's population live in poverty; why the world's population is increasing; how many girls finish school-we systematically get the answers wrong. So wrong that a chimpanzee choosing answers at random will consistently outguess teachers, journalists, Nobel laureates, and investment bankers. In Factfulness, Professor of International Health and global TED phenomenon Hans Rosling, together with his two long-time collaborators, Anna and Ola, offers a radical new explanation of why this happens. They reveal the ten instincts that distort our perspective-from our tendency to divide the world into two camps (usually some version of us and them) to the way we consume media (where fear rules) to how we perceive progress (believing that most things are getting worse). Our problem is that we don't know what we don't know, and even our guesses are informed by unconscious and predictable biases. It turns out that the world, for all its imperfections, is in a much better state than we might think. That doesn't mean there aren't real concerns. But when we worry about everything all the time instead of embracing a worldview based on facts, we can lose our ability to focus on the things that threaten us most. Inspiring and revelatory, filled with lively anecdotes and moving stories, Factfulness is an urgent and essential book that will change the way you see the world and empower you to respond to the crises and opportunities of the future.

Have you ever . . .

Invested time in something that, in hindsight, just wasn't worth it?Paid too much in an eBay auction?Continued to do something you knew was bad for you?Sold stocks too late, or too early?Taken credit for success, but blamed failure on external circumstances?Backed the wrong horse?

These are examples of what the author calls cognitive biases, simple errors all of us make in day-to-day thinking. But by knowing what they are and how to identify them, we can avoid them and make better choices: whether in dealing with personal problems or business negotiations, trying to save money or earn profits, or merely working out what we really want in life—and strategizing the best way to get it.

Already an international bestseller, The Art of Thinking Clearly distills cutting-edge research from behavioral economics, psychology, and neuroscience into a clever, practical guide for anyone who's ever wanted to be wiser and make better decisions. A novelist, thinker, and entrepreneur, Rolf Dobelli deftlyshows that in order to lead happier, more prosperous lives, we don't need extra cunning, new ideas, shiny gadgets, or more frantic hyperactivity—all we need is less irrationality.

Simple, clear, and always surprising, this indispensable book will change the way you think and transform your decision making—at work, at home, every day. From why you shouldn't accept a free drink to why you should walk out of a movie you don't like, from why it's so hard to predict the future to why you shouldn't watch the news, The Art of Thinking Clearly helps solve the puzzle of human reasoning.

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY SLATE

For fans of Anne Rice, The Historian, and The Night Circus, an astonishing debut, a novel of epic scope and suspense that conjures up all the magic and menace of Victorian London
 
1892: James Norbury, a shy would-be poet newly down from Oxford, finds lodging with a charming young aristocrat. Through this new friendship, he is introduced to the drawing-rooms of high society and finds love in an unexpected quarter. Then, suddenly, he vanishes without a trace. Alarmed, his sister, Charlotte, sets out from their crumbling country estate determined to find him. In the sinister, labyrinthine London that greets her, she uncovers a hidden, supernatural city populated by unforgettable characters: a female rope walker turned vigilante, a street urchin with a deadly secret, and the chilling “Doctor Knife.” But the answer to her brother’s disappearance ultimately lies within the doors of the exclusive, secretive Aegolius Club, whose predatory members include the most ambitious, and most bloodthirsty, men in England.
 
In her first novel, Lauren Owen has created a fantastical world that is both beguiling and terrifying. The Quick will establish her as one of fiction’s most dazzling talents.
 
Praise for The Quick

“A suspenseful, gloriously atmospheric first novel, and a feast of gothic storytelling that is impossible to resist.”—Kate Atkinson

“A cracking good read . . . Owen takes the gothic conventions of the vampire novel in a refreshing new direction.”—Deborah Harkness, author of A Discovery of Witches and The Book of Life
 
“A good old-fashioned vampire novel . . . What fun.”—The New York Times Book Review (Editor’s Choice)
 
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“The book’s energy, its wide reach and rich detail make it a confident example of the ‘unputdownable’ novel.”—The Economist
 
“A seamless blend of Victorian London and rich imagination.”—Tana French, author of In the Woods
 
“A thrilling tale . . . This book will give you chills even on a hot day.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune
 
“Stylishly sinister . . . will have you sleeping with the lights on.”—O: The Oprah Magazine
 
“A sly and glittering addition to the literature of the macabre.”—Hilary Mantel, author of Wolf Hall
 
“A big, sly bucketful of the most tremendous fun . . . [Owen] weaves what’s here with what’s beyond as easily as J. K. Rowling does.”—Slate
 
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Nobody wants to fail. But in highly complex organizations, success can happen only when we confront our mistakes, learn from our own version of a black box, and create a climate where it’s safe to fail.
 
We all have to endure failure from time to time, whether it’s underperforming at a job interview, flunking an exam, or losing a pickup basketball game. But for people working in safety-critical industries, getting it wrong can have deadly consequences. Consider the shocking fact that preventable medical error is the third-biggest killer in the United States, causing more than 400,000 deaths every year. More people die from mistakes made by doctors and hospitals than from traffic accidents. And most of those mistakes are never made public, because of malpractice settlements with nondisclosure clauses.

For a dramatically different approach to failure, look at aviation. Every passenger aircraft in the world is equipped with an almost indestructible black box. Whenever there’s any sort of mishap, major or minor, the box is opened, the data is analyzed, and experts figure out exactly what went wrong. Then the facts are published and procedures are changed, so that the same mistakes won’t happen again. By applying this method in recent decades, the industry has created an astonishingly good safety record.

Few of us put lives at risk in our daily work as surgeons and pilots do, but we all have a strong interest in avoiding predictable and preventable errors. So why don’t we all embrace the aviation approach to failure rather than the health-care approach? As Matthew Syed shows in this eye-opening book, the answer is rooted in human psychology and organizational culture.

Syed argues that the most important determinant of success in any field is an acknowledgment of failure and a willingness to engage with it. Yet most of us are stuck in a relationship with failure that impedes progress, halts innovation, and damages our careers and personal lives. We rarely acknowledge or learn from failure—even though we often claim the opposite. We think we have 20/20 hindsight, but our vision is usually fuzzy.

Syed draws on a wide range of sources—from anthropology and psychology to history and complexity theory—to explore the subtle but predictable patterns of human error and our defensive responses to error. He also shares fascinating stories of individuals and organizations that have successfully embraced a black box approach to improvement, such as David Beckham, the Mercedes F1 team, and Dropbox.
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