MiB: David McRaney on Belief, Opinion, and Persuasion



This week, we speak with science journalist David McRaney, who investigates the psychology of reasoning, decision-making and judgment on his blog “You Are Not So Smart.” The blog, which he launched in 2009, spawned a bestselling book, now available in 17 languages, as well as a podcast. McRaney’s most recent book, “How Minds Change: The Surprising Science of Belief, Opinion, and Persuasion,” came out this year.

We discuss how his thinking has evolved over time, from focusing on behavioral biases and why people are wrong, to learning what leads people to change their minds. Humans are social primates, so everybody is persuadable, but it is a specific process. It is less about facts, and more about their social support system, and their willingness to change their belief system. It is a complex but time-consuming, process.

He explains why we “feel we know things” rather than actually understanding the universe around us. All reality is virtual reality, as we experience the universe through our own internal model, rather than an objective view.

A list of his favorite books is here; A transcript of our conversation is available here Tuesday.

You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, YouTube, Bloomberg, and Acast. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here; all of our prior discussions of psychology and behavioral economics can be found here.

Be sure to check out our Masters in Business next week with Michael Levy, Chief Executive Officer of Crow Holdings. The firm is both a developer and investor in commercial real estate, specializing in multifamily, industrial, and office properties across 21 markets in the United States. Crow is the largest developer of multifamily-homes in the United States.



David McRaney Authored Books

How Minds Change: The Surprising Science of Belief, Opinion, and Persuasion by David McRaney

You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways You’re Deluding Yourself by David McRaney

You are Now Less Dumb: How to Conquer Mob Mentality, How to Buy Happiness, and All the Other Ways to Outsmart Yourself by David McRaney

You Can Beat Your Brain: How to Turn Your Enemies Into Friends, How to Make Better Decisions, and Other Ways to Be Less Dumb by David McRaney

David McRaney’s Favorite Books

The Science of Storytelling: Why Stories Make Us Human and How to Tell Them Better by Will Storr

US Guys: The True and Twisted Mind of the American Man by Charlie LeDuff

Pulphead: Essays by John Jeremiah Sullivan

Joe by Larry Brown

Books Barry Mentioned

The Heretics: Adventures with the Enemies of Science by Will Storr

The Hero’s Journey: Joseph Campbell on His Life and Work by Joseph Campbell


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Posted Under