My rating: 4 of 5 stars
As a follow-up to David McRaney’s previous book You Are Not So Smart, You Are Now Less Dumb not only has a more positive spin to the title, it’s an overall better book. While the former reads much like what it was–a collection of blog posts assembled into book form–the latter is a more fleshed-out examination of how and why we act the way do, with tips on how to be “less dumb”, even if some of the tips amount to little more than “Here is some awful behavior you may find yourself engaging in, try to be aware of it.”
While the book follows the light tone of the first previous entry, each chapter offers more detailed analysis and studies covering many aspects of our social behavior. Some of the things revealed are not exactly revealing (most of the confirmation bias material) while others are downright chilling, like the chapter describing mob mentality, complete with examples of people yelling at potential suicide jumpers to jump–and then the jumpers doing just that, resulting in their deaths.
This isn’t a book that will change your life or make you overhaul the way you conduct yourself around others but it is informative, insightful and may make you that much more aware of the way you act, both positively and negatively. And that’s not a bad thing.