Why People Believe Weird Things

Why People Believe Weird Things

Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time

Book - 2002
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The co-founder of "Skeptic" magazine explains why people are so willing to believe in mind reading, alien abductions, ghosts, and other manifestations of pseudoscience, and discusses how such wrong thinking can lead to very real danger.
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : St. Martin's Griffin, [2002]
Edition: First Holt Paperbacks edition, Revised and expanded
ISBN: 9780805070897
0805070893
Characteristics: xxvi, 349 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm

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t
tocch101
Apr 12, 2014

Not really what I thought it was going to be, but thinking of the psychology of belief and justification of it was interesting.

n
naturalist
Feb 05, 2014

Further reading: "Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science" Martin Gardner 1914-2010 Dover Publications 1952, rev. 1957 ISBN: 0486203948 University of Alberta, Cameron – Science & Technology 2 copies Q 173 G22 1957, .... "Science: Good, Bad and Bogus" (1981) Martin Gardner 1914-2010 Prometheus Books 1989 ISBN: 0879755733 MacEwan University - City Centre Campus 1 copy Q173 .G354 1989 University of Alberta Augustana 1 copy Q 173 G354 1989, .... "Cults of Unreason" Christopher Riche Evans, Ph.D. 1931-1979 Harrap 1973 ISBN: 0245518703 University of Alberta Rutherford-Humanities & Social Science 1 copy BF 1999 E92 1973

d
danielestes
Feb 04, 2014

I remember when I first realized that people believed weird things—religions, superstitions, questionable medicinal remedies, astrology, etc.—I was astonished to say the least. What causes this magical thinking? Why is it so pervasive? And perhaps most troubling of all, what weird things did I believe but didn't realize it? Michael Shermer's aptly titled Why People Believe Weird Things is a skeptical, and yet kind, exploration of this subject.

Shermer's writing is scientific while still being succinct. The book I'm reviewing is slightly out of date though I can see there's an updated edition. I recommend either because a healthy skepticism is timeless. One chapter in particular is especially useful: "How Thing Goes Wrong: Twenty-five Fallacies That Lead Us to Believe Weird Things." It's a critical thinking 101 class summed up in less than twenty pages.

blsanders Jun 29, 2012

This paperback is in such bad shape I'm returning it unread. The cover is falling off, and I've got a rubber band around it holding it together, The text is marked up and highlighted. It really needs to be retired. Too bad it's the only copy.

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