David McRaney: You are not so smart

Prepare to see an overload of shattered misconceptions. YANSS is a blog, a book and a podcast by David McRaney; the blog posts take the recurring format of presenting a misconception paired with the truth. Here is a list of our favorite posts with their openers, which are an education in themselves.

Procrastination

The Misconception: You procrastinate because you are lazy and can’t manage your time well.

The Truth: Procrastination is fueled by weakness in the face of impulse and a failure to think about thinking.

The Ben Franklin Effect

The Misconception: You do nice things for the people you like and bad things to the people you hate.

The Truth: You grow to like people for whom you do nice things and hate people you harm.

The Overjustification Effect

The Misconception: There is nothing better in the world than getting paid to do what you love.

The Truth: Getting paid for doing what you already enjoy will sometimes cause your love for the task to wane because you attribute your motivation as coming from the reward, not your internal feelings.

The Illusion of Asymmetric Insight

The Misconception:  You celebrate diversity and respect others’ points of view.

The Truth: You are driven to create and form groups and then believe others are wrong just because they are others.

Placebo Buttons

The Misconception: All buttons placed around you do your bidding.

The Truth: Many public buttons are only there to comfort you.

Confirmation Bias

The Misconception: Your opinions are the result of years of rational, objective analysis.

The Truth: Your opinions are the result of years of paying attention to information which confirmed what you believed while ignoring information which challenged your preconceived notions.

Ego Depletion

The Misconception: Willpower is just a metaphor.

The Truth: Willpower is a finite resource.

The Sunk Cost Fallacy

The Misconception: You make rational decisions based on the future value of objects, investments and experiences.

The Truth: Your decisions are tainted by the emotional investments you accumulate, and the more you invest in something the harder it becomes to abandon it.