“You Are Not So Smart is a book about all the wonderful ways you delude yourself everyday.” This is psychology research thats easy to digest and will change your perspective on so many things. We are irrational, we make decisions and then justify them and we are susceptible to a whole host of biases – learning what they are can help us to mitigate them as well as understand ourselves and others better.
The author has blogged quite extensively in anticipation of the book’s release. The latest post, the Benjamin Franklin effect is especially relevant to Honor Academy alumni. It explains so much about why people like ESOAL, why the UPG and similar retreats can be damaging and why our allegiance/pledge to a group tricks us into staying in harmful situations. It is too long to reprint the entire post here, but if you want to know what you’ll learn, here is the summary:
Notice when a painful initiation leads to irrational devotion, or when unsatisfying jobs start to seem worthwhile. Remind yourself pledges and promises have power, as do uniforms and parades. Remember in the absence of extrinsic rewards you will seek out or create intrinsic ones. Take into account the higher the price you pay for your decisions the more you value them. See that ambivalence becomes certainty with time. Realize lukewarm feelings become stronger once you commit to a group, club or product. Be wary of the roles you play and the acts you put on, because you tend to fulfill the labels you accept.