How Minds Change
How do our beliefs and opinions change so drastically from one period of time to another?
David McRaney has uncovered and woven together the latest research across fields of psychology—research that reveals that even though it seems like real change takes generations to become visible, it can happen within a lifetime, within minutes. McRaney explores changes big and small, from gun control and marijuana legalization, to the changes we experience every day. He reveals new ways we can see and bring about change in our individual lives, at work, at home, and in our personal relationships.
Bringing an audience member up on stage during his presentation, McRaney demonstrates a "guided metacognition technique" to showcase the flexibility of human thinking.
You Are Unaware of How Unaware You Are
Being a person is hard, so every copy of the human brain comes pre-installed with a collection of self-delusions to help get you out of bed and keep you sane. Whether it's your battle with procrastination, your fanatical devotion to a particular brand or political party, or your tendency to fall for quackery, there is a lot you can learn from science about how you salve cognitive dissonance and live in the shadow of fictional personal narratives. Author of the book You Are Not So Smart, David McRaney, takes you on a tour of the cognitive biases, logical fallacies, and invisible heuristics you use every day to make sense of the world. From stories about how Benjamin Franklin turned a hater into a fan, how Bill Clinton used to wear a magical amulet, to how getting picked last can make it impossible to resist chocolate chip cookies, McRaney takes his audience through a fun and funny tour of the most interesting research in psychology in an attempt to better understand the mental stumbling blocks littered through the normal human mind. The end result, he hopes, is a shared sense of humility that can help make life better for both individuals and institutions.
David McRaney is an expert on changing our thinking in his new book How Minds Change
Internationally bestselling author DAVID MCRANEY is an expert in the psychology of reasoning, and he explores the science – and the experience – of transformation in his new book, How Minds Change. McRaney's new book is a business must-read, earning a spot on consulting company McKinsey's & Co's summer reading guide. His previous books You Are Not So Smart and You Are Now Less Dumb have become international bestsellers, cementing his position as a thought leader. Told with McRaney’s trademark sense of humor, compassion, and scientific curiosity, How Minds Change an eye-opening journey among cult members, conspiracy theorists, and political activists, ultimately challenging us to question our own motives and beliefs. Delving into the latest research of psychologists and neuroscientists, McRaney offers a brain-bending and big-hearted investigation into the surprising science of belief, opinion, and persuasion.
The renowned reasoning expert and podcaster leaves us with a powerful question to consider as we face a misinformation epidemic and increasing polarization: can we rise to the occasion with empathy? Mastercard Senior VP, Mimi Alemayehou, says McRaney has the answer: "Worried that paranoia, irrationality, and intransigence are destroying civilization? Fear not. Believes on deeply held, hot-button issues can be changed, often with astonishing speed. McRaney's deft storytelling explains how." McRaney reveals new ways we can see and bring about change in our individual lives, at work, at home, and in our personal relationships in thought-provoking writing, keynotes, and conversations.
David McRaney is a science journalist, lecturer, author, fascinated with brains, minds, and culture.
He created the blog/book/podcast You Are Not So Smart to get a better understanding of self-delusion and motivated reasoning, but he did a lot of other things before that: construction, selling leather coats, he even owned two pet stores for a few years.
He started the blog in 2009, and it became an internationally bestselling book shortly after, now available in 17 languages. It then became a podcast that was once part of Boing Boing, one of the internet's first independent magazines. Today on that podcast he continues to interview scientists who study the psychology of reasoning, decision-making, and judgment.
His second book, You Are Now Less Dumb, was released in 2013, and his third book, How Minds Change was released in 2022 to worldwide acclaim. He just wrapped up a five-city book tour in the Netherlands and continues to give lectures month to month around the world about how people do and do not change their minds, the intricacies and nuances of persuasion, and how to safeguard yourself and your institution from the pitfalls of motivated reasoning.
In his early days, he cut his teeth as a newspaper reporter covering Hurricane Katrina on the Gulf Coast and in the Pine Belt region of the Deep South. Later, he covered things like who tests rockets for NASA, what it is like to run a halfway home for homeless people who are HIV-positive, and how a family sent their kids to college by making and selling knives.
Since then, he has been an editor, photographer, voiceover artist, television host, journalism teacher, lecturer, and tornado survivor. He also worked for several years as the head of digital media for WDAM-TV where he produced The Green Couch Sessions, a TV show about the music of the Deep South. He's also done some commercial work. He has written for Heineken, Duck Tape, and a few others, and recently appeared in a Reebok ad he also helped write.
After finishing How Minds Change, he wrote, produced, and recorded a six-hour audio documentary exploring the history of the idea and the word – genius – which is the subject of his next book.