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Why We Make Mistakes

How We Look Without Seeing, Forget Things in Seconds, and Are All Pretty Sure We Are Way Above Average

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eBook published by Broadway Books (Crown Publishing Group)

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About This Book
We forget our passwords. We pay too much to go to the gym. We think we’d be happier if we lived in California (we wouldn’t), and we think we should stick with our first answer on tests (we shouldn’t). Why do we make mistakes? And could we do a little better?

We human beings have design flaws. Our eyes play tricks on us, our stories change in the retelling, and most of us are fairly sure we’re way above average. In Why We Make Mistakes, journalist Joseph T. Hallinan sets out to explore the captivating science of human error—how we think, see, remember, and forget, and how this sets us up for wholly irresistible mistakes.

In his quest to understand our imperfections, Hallinan delves into psychology, neuroscience, and economics, with forays into aviation, consumer behavior, geography, football, stock picking, and more. He discovers that some of the same qualities that make us efficient also make us error prone. We learn to move rapidly through the world, quickly recognizing patterns—but overlooking details. Which is why thirteen-year-old boys discover errors that NASA scientists miss—and why you can’t find the beer in your refrigerator.

Why We Make Mistakes
is enlivened by real-life stories—of weathermen whose predictions are uncannily accurate and a witness who sent an innocent man to jail—and offers valuable advice, such as how to remember where you’ve hidden something important. You’ll learn why multitasking is a bad idea, why men make errors women don’t, and why most people think San Diego is west of Reno (it’s not).

Why We Make Mistakes will open your eyes to the reasons behind your mistakes—and have you vowing to do better the next time.
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We forget our passwords. We pay too much to go to the gym. We think we’d be happier if we lived in California (we wouldn’t), and we think we should stick with our first answer on tests (we shouldn’t). Why do we make mistakes? And could we do a little better?

We human beings have design flaws. Our eyes play tricks on us, our stories change in the retelling, and most of us are fairly sure we’re way above average. In Why We Make Mistakes, journalist Joseph T. Hallinan sets out to explore the captivating science of human error—how we think, see, remember, and forget, and how this sets us up for wholly irresistible mistakes.

In his quest to understand our imperfections, Hallinan delves into psychology, neuroscience, and economics, with forays into aviation, consumer behavior, geography, football, stock picking, and more. He discovers that some of the same qualities that make us efficient also make us error prone. We learn to move rapidly through the world, quickly recognizing patterns—but overlooking details. Which is why thirteen-year-old boys discover errors that NASA scientists miss—and why you can’t find the beer in your refrigerator.

Why We Make Mistakes
is enlivened by real-life stories—of weathermen whose predictions are uncannily accurate and a witness who sent an innocent man to jail—and offers valuable advice, such as how to remember where you’ve hidden something important. You’ll learn why multitasking is a bad idea, why men make errors women don’t, and why most people think San Diego is west of Reno (it’s not).

Why We Make Mistakes will open your eyes to the reasons behind your mistakes—and have you vowing to do better the next time.
Product Details
eBook (256 pages)
Published: February 17, 2009
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Imprint: Broadway Books
ISBN: 9780767931472
Other books byJoseph T. Hallinan
  • Going Up the River

    Going Up the River
    Travels in a Prison Nation
    The American prison system has grown tenfold in thirty years, while crime rates have been relatively flat: 2 million people are behind bars on any given day, more prisoners than in any other country in the world — half a million more than in Communist China, and the largest prison expansion the world has ever known. In Going Up The River, Joseph Hallinan gets to the heart of America’s biggest growth industry, a self-perpetuating prison-industrial complex that has become entrenched without public awareness, much less voter consent. He answers, in an extraordinary way, the essential question: What, in human terms, is the price we pay? He has looked for answers to that question in every corner of the “prison nation,” a world far off the media grid — the America of struggling towns and cities left behind by the information age and desperate for jobs and money. Hallinan shows why the more prisons we build, the more prisoners we create, placating everyone at the expense of the voiceless prisoners, who together make up one of the largest migrations in our nation’s history.

    Las trampas de la mente

    Las trampas de la mente
    Por que miramos sin ver, olvidamos las cosas y...
    This engaging study delves into psychology, neuroscience, and economics, with forays into aviation, consumer behavior, geography, football, and stock picking, in a quest to explore the captivating science of human error.  It explores how people think, see, remember, and forget and how this sets them up for wholly irresistible mistakes. Enlivened by real-life stories—of weathermen whose predictions are uncannily accurate and a witness who sent an innocent man to jail—this book offers valuable advice, such as how to remember where something important has been hidden, and sheds light on the reasons behind common mistakes people make.   Este estudio atractivo ahonda en la psicología, la neurociencia y la economía, con incursiones en la aviación, la conducta del consumidor, la geografía, el fútbol americano y el escoger de acciones, en una búsqueda para explorar la ciencia cautivadora del error humano. Explore cómo las personas piensan, ven, recuerdan y olvidan y cómo esto las hace cometer errores completamente irresistibles. Animado por anécdotas verdaderas—de hombres del tiempo cuyos pronósticos son asombrosamente precisos y un testigo que envió a un hombre inocente a la cárcel—este libro ofrece consejos valiosos, como cómo recordar donde se ha escondido algo importante, y arroja luz sobre las razones detrás de los errores comunes que comete la gente.

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