Can You Believe It?

Heretics

Where do extreme beliefs come from and what do they tell us about ourselves? Read all about it in Will Storr’s very informative and entertaining new book “The Heretics”!

By examining extreme beliefs (and experiencing some himself – his account of attending a 10 day silent mediation retreat in the Blue Mountains is unintentionally hilarious) the Australian writer Will Storr has created an excellent account of the invisible, as in “unconscious”, forces that shape our lives.

Creationists, Ufologists, guru worshippers, homeopaths, Past Life Regressionists, Holocaust deniers, paranormal investigators and their “skeptical” opponents paint the picture of how a person’s model of the world, or what Will calls the “story that helps our brain make sense of the world”, leads them to fervently believe in one thing over another, reject all counterarguments and defend their positions and views to the last and in the face of all evidence (what constitutes such evidence is ultimately dependent on someone’s model as well of course).

Confirmation bias, how we create reality, how our brains lie to us, how we all think we’re better looking than we actually are, how we’re all subject to the spotlight effect and why three quarters of us think we’re better than average drivers, teachers or housemates are explained through numerous interviews with experts and illustrated by psychological and social studies.
Want to know the latest research of how manly million bits of information we are bombarded with every second (more than you think!), what the placebo effect is and how it has been studied (did you know that Valium only works when you know you’re taking it?), why good people do bad things (Zimbardo revisited), what really determines the effects of alcohol (it’s not how much you drink!), what the NLP presuppositions “the map is not the territory” and “respect the other person’s model of the world” are based on and why all our lives we are striving to be the Hero of our own story? It’s all in this book.

A must read for anyone interested in how the(ir) mind works – eye opening to say the least: you won’t look at your own thoughts, judgements, decisions and beliefs the same way ever again!

One of those books I really didn’t want to end, something I already felt sad about when I was only a quarter through! Ever happened to you?

Get your own copy here (download the Kindle version if you can – much cheaper and quicker!):

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