The 7 Laws of Magical Thinking: How Irrational Beliefs Keep Us Happy, Healthy, and Sane

3.6 avg rating
( 519 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9781594630873: The 7 Laws of Magical Thinking: How Irrational Beliefs Keep Us Happy, Healthy, and Sane
View all copies of this ISBN edition:
 
 

What is so special about touching a piano John Lennon once owned? Why do we yell at our laptops? What drove the Yankees to dig up the Red Sox jersey secretly buried beneath their new stadium? And what's up with the phrase "Everything happens for a reason"?

Psychologists have documented a litany of cognitive biases—misperceptions of reality—and explained their positive functions. Now, Matthew Hutson shows that all of us, even the staunchest skeptics, engage in magical thinking all the time—and that we can use it to our advantage, if we know how to outsmart it.

Drawing on cognitive science, neuroscience, psychology, and anthropology, Hutson shows us that magical thinking has been so useful to us that it's hardwired into our brains. It encourages us to think that we actually have free will. It helps us believe that we have an underlying purpose in the world. It can even protect us from the paralyzing awareness of our own mortality. In other words, magical thinking is a completely irrational way of making our lives make sense.

With wonderfully entertaining stories, personal reflections, and sharp observations, Hutson has written a book that is entertaining, useful, and ever so slightly alarming.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

From the Back Cover:

7 REASONS TO READ The 7 Laws of Magical Thinking

1: "Matthew Hutson promises to convince the most hard-core skeptics and rationalists that they believe in magic, and he succeeds—with wit and clarity and scientific rigor." 
—SHARON BEGLEY, author of Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain 

2: "A remarkably creative synthesis of the science behind magical thinking threaded through with a very personal narrative that engages the reader." 
—BRUCE HOOD, PH.D., author of SuperSense and The Self Illusion 

3: "With wit and respect for both the rational and the irrational, Hutson reveals the pervasiveness of superstition and 'magical thinking,' even among people who consider themselves totally rational." 
—ALAN LIGHTMAN, PH.D., author of Einstein's Dreams 

4: "This is a book that you pick up but can't put down. Hutson, intelligently and entertainingly, gives us the best kind: one that gives us insight to our very core. Highly recommended!" 
—ORI BRAFMAN, coathour of Sway and Click 

5: "In this brilliant, exhilarating book, Matthew Hutson surveys the new science of belief and irrationality to reveal the delights of the human capacity for magical thinking." 
—DACHER KELTNER, PH.D., author of Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life 

6: "In this wickedly funny and deeply clever book, Matthew Hutson makes a radical claim: all of us, whether we accept it or not, believe in magic." 
—PAUL BLOOM, PH.D., author of Descartes' Baby and How Pleasure Works 

7: "This book about thinking is magical. It's the perfect blend of astonishing stories, up-to-date science, awe, beauty, disgust, and humor. It's science journalism at its best." 
—JONATHAN HAIDT, PH.D., author of The Happiness Hypothesis and The Righteous Mind

About the Author:

Matthew Hutson, a former editor at Psychology Today, has a B.S. in cognitive neuroscience from Brown University and an M.S. in science writing from MIT. He has written for Wired, Discover, Popular Mechanics, Scientific American Mind, The Boston Globe, and The New York Times Magazine. He lives in New York City. Visit MagicalThinkingBook.com.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780452298903: The 7 Laws of Magical Thinking: How Irrational Beliefs Keep Us Happy, Healthy, and Sane

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0452298903 ISBN 13:  9780452298903
Publisher: Plume, 2013
Softcover

9781851689576: The 7 Laws of Magical Thinking

Onewor..., 2001
Softcover

9781851689347: The 7 Laws of Magical Thinking

Onewor..., 2012
Softcover

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Hutson, Matthew
Published by Hudson Street Press (2012)
ISBN 10: 1594630879 ISBN 13: 9781594630873
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Save With Sam
(North Miami, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Hudson Street Press, 2012. Hardcover. Condition: New. Brand New!. Seller Inventory # VIB1594630879

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 54.44
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

2.

Hutson, Matthew
Published by Hudson Street Press (2012)
ISBN 10: 1594630879 ISBN 13: 9781594630873
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Murray Media
(NORTH MIAMI BEACH, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Hudson Street Press, 2012. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P111594630879

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 61.95
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

3.

Matthew Hutson
Published by Hudson Street Press (2012)
ISBN 10: 1594630879 ISBN 13: 9781594630873
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Books Express
(Portsmouth, NH, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Hudson Street Press, 2012. Hardcover. Condition: New. Ships with Tracking Number! INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE Shipping available. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!. Seller Inventory # 1594630879n

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 211.06
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds