You're not as clever as you think you are…so here's a book to tell you how to think smarter
00:23 GMT, 12 November 2012
So you think you know how the world works Think again.
In his book, You Are Not So Smart, David McRaney argues that though we believe we see the world as it really is, we are generally deluded.
'The latest discoveries in psychology reveal we have no clue why we act or think the way we do,' he says.
Despite this, you create narratives to explain your feelings, thoughts and behaviours, and no matter how inaccurate, these become the story of your life.
Ever find yourself with a group of friends, doing something that none of you really wants to do
For example, you might think that asking friends for help is the best way to make an informed decision, but nothing could be further from the truth.
Research shows that if you really want help with a problem, asking a group of people is the worst thing you can do.
If you’ve ever found yourself with a gang of friends eating in a restaurant that none of you really wanted to go to, you’ll know this all too well.
'Groups survive by maintaining harmony,' says McRaney. 'It is usually far easier (and safer) to agree with other people’s ideas than to stand against the group.'
That's also why you may find yourself offering a piece of advice you know deep-down isn't really your honest opinion, but you're swayed by what you imagine your friend, and the group, thinks.
So when faced with a problem, try asking just one trusted friend instead — or make up your mind on your own.
Extracted from You Are Not So Smart by David McRaney (Oneworld, 8.99). 2012 David McRaney. To order a copy for 7.99 (including P&P), tel: 0843 382 0000.