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Publisher's Summary

Why people are not as gullible as we think 

Not Born Yesterday explains how we decide who we can trust and what we should believe - and argues that we're pretty good at making these decisions. In this lively and provocative book, Hugo Mercier demonstrates how virtually all attempts at mass persuasion - whether by religious leaders, politicians, or advertisers - fail miserably. Drawing on recent findings from political science and other fields ranging from history to anthropology, Mercier shows that the narrative of widespread gullibility, in which a credulous public is easily misled by demagogues and charlatans, is simply wrong. 

Why is mass persuasion so difficult? Mercier uses the latest findings from experimental psychology to show how each of us is endowed with sophisticated cognitive mechanisms of open vigilance. Computing a variety of cues, these mechanisms enable us to be on guard against harmful beliefs, while being open enough to change our minds when presented with the right evidence. Even failures - when we accept false confessions, spread wild rumors, or fall for quack medicine - are better explained as bugs in otherwise well-functioning cognitive mechanisms than as symptoms of general gullibility. 

Not Born Yesterday shows how we filter the flow of information that surrounds us, argues that we do it well, and explains how we can do it better still.

©2020 Hugo Mercier (P)2020 Recorded Books

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  • jonathan a. matus
  • 21-02-2021

the audio playback does not work!

this is strange. the audio playback does not work for this book!( and only this book)

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  • KasiaHP
  • 03-10-2020

Challenged my views

A good book should be eye opening and this one certainly is. It challenged my views on the way we think and why we create rumors, believe in conspiracy theories and share fake news.

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  • Log Jammin
  • 18-06-2020

Nigeria scam to twitter mobs to ideology explained

high quality reading of a wide ranging, well supported analysis of Homo sapiens congenital skepticism juxtaposed with some of mankind's most seemingly illogical and ridiculous beliefs. Mercier & Sperber's 'Enigma of Reason' is a good companion to this work.

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