The Invisible Gorilla

Well that was an easy and pretty interesting read, covering what Chabris and Simons claim, with some authority, are the main ways we delude ourselves about our understanding of the world, including the belief that we see, remember, and judge situations we encounter accurately.  I liked way they examine our belief that confidence equals ability, showing that the appearance of confidence fools us every time, when it is mostly bluster or ignorance.

They cover and debunk some interesting false beliefs of recent years, such as the fact that classical music helps develop the brain, or that subliminal advertising (flashing words onto the screen too quickly to be read) can make us buy popcorn, coke or anything else.  The section on the supposed link between autism and the MMR vaccine was interesting, and their destruction of this myth very useful.  They make a good job of moving from the specific to the general too – how to avoid being duped by sensational claims about sure fire ways of investing on the stock-market – and of explaining the difference between correlation and causation.

Good stuff.

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