Willful Blindness: Why We Ignore the Obvious at Our Peril by Margaret Heffernan looks at some of the more fascinating cognitive failures of the human mind: Denial, Delusion, and Self-Deception.
Humans frequently ignore painful or frightening truths, subconsciously believing that denial can protect us. Instead, our delusions make us ever more vulnerable, and whatever suffering we choose to ignore continues unabated. The implications for policy makers, investors, and just about everyone else are enormous.
The reviews for the book have been outstanding:
• “A call to arms to any whistle-blowers who see what lies ahead and have the courage to speak up.”—Kirkus
• “A thoughtful and entertaining treatise on the seductiveness—and consequences—of ignoring what’s right in front of our eyes … Heffernan’s cogent, riveting look at how we behave at our worst encourages us to strive for our best.”—Publishers Weekly
• “Willful Blindness is an engaging read, packed with cautionary tales ripped from today’s headlines as well as a trove of research on why we often stick our head in the sand. With deft prose and page after page of keen insights, Heffernan shows why we close our eyes to facts that threaten our families, our livelihood, and our self-image—and, even better, she points the way out of the darkness.”—Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive and A Whole New Mind
• “An intelligent and eye-opening look at the pervasiveness of willful blindness across society. Margaret Heffernan presents overwhelming evidence of the need for mindfulness as part of the cure.”—Ellen J. Langer, author of Mindfulness and Counterclockwise: Mindful Health and the Power of Possibility
• “Willful Blindness combines compelling anecdotes, insightful interviews, and convincing scientific evidence to confront the mental distortions that conspire to blind us. Heffernan skillfully shows that by questioning the reasons for our actions and beliefs, we can take positive steps to avoid deluding ourselves.”—Daniel Simons, coauthor of The Invisible Gorilla: And Other Ways Our Intuitions Deceive Us
• “Margaret Heffernan is an unblinking observer of what makes us tick in work and life. This is a book that everyone should read with eyes—and minds—wide open!”—Alan M. Webber, author of Rules of Thumb: 52 Truths for Winning at Business Without Losing Your Self
• “Heffernan speaks with a relentlessly constructive voice, brave curiosity, a passion for truth, and the practical mindset of someone who has built and led successful organizations herself. She motivates us to resist our own tendency to ignore the truths around us, and provides the insights and tools for us to empower others to do the same.”—Mary C. Gentile, Ph.D., author of Giving Voice to Values: How to Speak Your Mind When You Know What’s Right
Book Intro, Chapters 1 and 10 after the jump . . .
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