Good Thinking: What You Need to Know to be Smarter, Safer,


Good Thinking: What You Need to Know to be Smarter, Safer, Wealthier, and Wiser Critical thinking skills are essential for life in the st century In this follow up to his introductory guide Think, and continuing his trademark of hopeful skepticism, Guy Harrison demonstrates in a detailed fashion how to sort through bad ideas, unfounded claims, and bogus information to drill down to the most salient facts By explaining how the human brain works, and outing its most irrational processes, this book provides the thinking tools that will help you make better decisions, ask the right questions at the right time , know what to look for when evaluating information, and understand how your own brain subconsciously clouds your judgment Think you re too smart to be easily misled Harrison summarizes scientific research showing how easily even intelligent and well educated people can be fooled We all suffer from cognitive biases, embellished memories, and the tendency to kowtow to authority figures or be duped by dubious truths packaged in appealing stories And as primates we are naturally status seekers, so we are prone to irrational beliefs that seem to enhance our sense of belonging and ranking Emotional impulses and stress also all too often lead us into traps of misperception and bad judgment Understanding what science has discovered about the brain makes you better equipped to cope with its built in pitfalls Good Thinking the book and the practice makes clear that with knowledge and the right thinking skills, anyone can lead a safer, wiser, efficient, and productive life From the Trade Paperback edition

  • Kindle Edition
  • 290 pages
  • Good Thinking: What You Need to Know to be Smarter, Safer, Wealthier, and Wiser
  • Guy P. Harrison
  • English
  • 23 May 2019

About the Author: Guy P. Harrison

I write about many things but my primary focus is on science and skepticism I believe that our world could be a little better and a lot less crazy ifpeople simply understood how science works and appreciated the protective value of skeptical thinking in everyday life.I ve held numerous positions in the news industry, including editorial writer, world news editor, sports editor, photographer, page designer, and columnist I m also a veteran travel writer, having visited and written about many people and places inthan 25 countries on five continents I have had some very rewarding jobs teaching history and science to bright young students and working with abused and neglected children My degree is in history and anthropology University of South Florida I ve won some nice awards for my writing and photography but doubt anyone really cares about that other than my sweet mother.When I m not staring at a blank computer screen hoping that an interesting sequence of words will appear, I m likely to be running, hiking, reading a science book, working out at a gym, or trying to teach life lessons to my children via repeated forced viewings of Star Trek original series, of course When normal people are busy thinking about politics, economics, and the Kardashians, I m usually daydreaming about time travel, the singularity rapture of the nerds ancient Greece, extremophiles, the possibility of extraterrestrial life, and robots.My latest book is 50 Popular Beliefs That People Think are True It s a fun grand tour of unusual unproven claims such as astrology, psychics, ghosts, UFOs, faith healing, and so on as viewed through the lens of science and skepticism It s published by Prometheus Books.



10 thoughts on “Good Thinking: What You Need to Know to be Smarter, Safer, Wealthier, and Wiser

  1. says:

    Good Thinking What You Need to Know to be Smarter, Safer, Wealthier, and Wiser by Guy P Harrison Good Thinking is a first rate and practical follow up to his previous excellent book title Think Where Think was about questioning everything, Good Thinking is about presenting practical ways to leadproductive lives by leading a lifestyle that is conducive to a healthier brain Accomplished author, historian, anthropologist and just all around good human being Guy P Harrison provides the Good Thinking What You Need to Know to be Smarter, Safer, Wealthier, and Wiser by Guy P Harrison Good Thinking is a first rate and practical follow up to his previous excellent book title Think Where Think was about questioning everything, Good Thinking is about presenting practical ways to leadproductive lives by leading a lifestyle that is conducive to a healthier brain Accomplished author, historian, anthropologist and just all around good human being Guy P Harrison provides the public with a useful gem This beneficial 288 page book includes the following twelve chapters 1 The Case for Good Thinking, 2 Where do Brains Come From , 3 Explore Your Brain, 4 Who s Minding the Brain , 5 Bringing Human Vision into Focus, 6 Don t Forget How Memory Works, 7 The Shadow Brain, 8 The Enemy Within, 9 Three Crazy Things That Live in Your Head, 10 An Alternate View of Alternative Medicine, 11 Good Thinking vs Bad Ideas, and 12 Okay, So Now What.Positives 1 The master of clarity and dare I say good thinking Harrison s books are a treat to read Well researched and conveyed in an engaging, enjoyable fashion.2 A great topic, why good thinking is important and some easy guidelines to a healthy brain This book includes an expedition into the brain, specifically your brain 3 Excellent format, professional treatment Each chapter begins with a chapter worthy quote, highlights important sections, and good use of photos, diagrams to complement narrative.4 A practical and useful book There is sound and inspirational advice provided The invaluable bundle of critical thinking, skepticism, appreciation for science, and a basic understanding of the human brain fits nicely into one simple term Good thinking The only solution to the problem of bad thinking is good thinking and all it entails 5 A great defender of science and reason Sound information is nice to have, but knowing how to think matters most 6 Provides a list of twelve common mistakes to avoid 7 How businesses use their knowledge of the brain for profit For profit cable news companies, for example, know that scaring their viewers keeps them watching 8 Sound research to back up points According to one study, Americans alone spendthan 34 billion per year on alternative medicines and therapies, most of which don t work and some of which are dangerous 9 The evolution of the human brain Once we had evolved big brains, something else unusual happened Around 50,000 years ago, there was an explosion of cultural behaviors that we recognize today as purely human 10 An accessible look of the brain Here are some things you should know about your two hippocampi Size is the first indicator of condition The bigger, the better is the general rule A small or shrinking hippocampus has been associated with memory problems and Alzheimer s disease 11 Outstanding facts The blood and oxygen demands are exceptional, if not outrageous Based on a 150 pound person, the adult brain accounts for only about 2 percent of bodyweight but requires 20 to 25 percent of the body s blood supply 12 Very helpful advice on how to keep a healthy brain Many researchers are suggesting that excessive sugar in the diet may be linked to an increased risk of depression and dementia Even some great advice on when it s best to do challenging brain work, find out 13 Interesting findings regarding memories In short, our memories are creations that may or may not be based upon real events, and the brain s filing system is far from ideal not only can our memories be influenced and tweaked with ease, but it is also possible to have entire memories of events that never happened implanted in our brains 14 Practical societal advice More scientific specialized research is needed that relates directly to the use of eyewitnesses in law enforcement Pure research efforts do not always transfer well to the criminal law environment The IAT, introduced in 1998, can expose subconscious biases against not only racial groups but also such biases as those against sexual orientation, age, skin color, body weight, height, disability, and nationality 15 An excellent chapter that addresses most common and problematic cognitive biases 1 confirmation bias, 2 anchoring bias, and 3 hindsight bias.16 Putting alternative medicine in its place Ernst believes that the single biggest reason of all for alternative medicine s popularity is that many of the people who sell it are very good at lying The public has to rely on the authorities of scientists and science based medical professionals 17 The fascinating topic of conspiracies The seven simple ways to beat bad ideas.18 Thought provoking questions that amuse me What if we could transfer our memories to an AI program that continues to learn and remember experiences from that point Would this form of mental cloning qualify as immortality 19 Explains why good thinking is important Good thinking can improve lives now, and it has the potential to make the world a better place for everyone 20 Comprehensive notes and formal bibliography.Negatives 1 There is some overlap with his previous book Think 2 I was hoping for a chapter on societies that have had the most success in developing good thinking One can come to our own conclusions but I would have been curious to know what Mr Harrison s perspective was.3 Being an avid reader, I m familiar with a lot of the references made.4 I really enjoy hearing from people that confirms my own beliefs but it would also be nice to hear from those folks that I disagree with As an example, I would have been curious to hear from those who support the homeopathic industry In summary, this book is another wonderful addition to my library Harrison provides sound and inspirational advice on how to lead arational life I m familiar with a lot of the material presented in this book but I always learn something new and useful Make a sound decision and get this book, I highly recommend it Further recommendations Think Why You Should Question Everything , 50 Popular Beliefs People Think Are True and 50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God by the same author, Critical Thinking by Wayne Bartz, An Appetite for Wonder and The Magic of Reality by Richard Dawkins, Demon Haunted World by Carl Sagan, Faith vs Fact by Jerry A Coyne, This Explains Everything edited by John Brockman, Nonsense A Handbook of Logical Fallacies by Robert J Gula The Science of Miracles by Joe Nickell, Do You Believe in Magic by Paul A Offit, Tales of the Rational by Massimo Pigliucci, Voodoo Science by Robert Park, Science Matters by Robert M Hazen Fool Me Twice Fighting the Assault on Science by Shawn Lawrence, Lies, Damned Lies, and Science by Sherry Seethaler, and Science Under Siege by Kendrick Frazier

  2. says:

    I was a little worried picking up Good Thinking, the premise seemed a lot audacious and I was unfamiliar with the author so I had a brief concern that I was just going to be sold their particular brand of good thinking.My worries were misplaced, its rare to find an author with both critical thinking chops and a passion for change and this book fulfills both purposes Harrison skewers many in his thesis, but does so in what I think is a reasonably compassionate albeit firm way.Overall I wouldn I was a little worried picking up Good Thinking, the premise seemed a lot audacious and I was unfamiliar with the author so I had a brief concern that I was just going to be sold their particular brand of good thinking.My worries were misplaced, its rare to find an author with both critical thinking chops and a passion for change and this book fulfills both purposes Harrison skewers many in his thesis, but does so in what I think is a reasonably compassionate albeit firm way.Overall I wouldn t necessarily recommend Good Thinking to those just starting a journey of critical thinking, nor those already neck deep in a PhD, Good Thinking sits as a useful middle of road tome on critical thinking

  3. says:

    This is a rambling, repetitious book that proposes science is God, and one cannot believe in anything unproved by science, if one wants to be known as a critical thinker The author also preaches humility, which was amusing since after reading the book, the about the author page, and some of Mr Harrison s website, one has the feeling he would not recognize humility if it hit him in the face Read instead Carl Sagan s The Demon Haunted World Science as a Candle in the Dark Even though it This is a rambling, repetitious book that proposes science is God, and one cannot believe in anything unproved by science, if one wants to be known as a critical thinker The author also preaches humility, which was amusing since after reading the book, the about the author page, and some of Mr Harrison s website, one has the feeling he would not recognize humility if it hit him in the face Read instead Carl Sagan s The Demon Haunted World Science as a Candle in the Dark Even though it needed better editing and had a bit of a doomsday mentality, Dr Sagan still did a much better job of doing what Guy Harrison tried to do with this book Note I received a free copy of this book fromVine in exchange for an honest review

  4. says:

    Rugged reminders on how onerous, how much of a daily challenge it is to make good decisions We live in a modern culture that lulls us in to making the quick, easy, profitable to others , often unhealthy, non choice From picking out soap to safe driving, to making career choices, we resist good thinking Our brains develop, quickly, lazy do loops of rote Harrison, in his wrap up chapter, states the toughest life long decision we must make is whether or not to have children There is nothing h Rugged reminders on how onerous, how much of a daily challenge it is to make good decisions We live in a modern culture that lulls us in to making the quick, easy, profitable to others , often unhealthy, non choice From picking out soap to safe driving, to making career choices, we resist good thinking Our brains develop, quickly, lazy do loops of rote Harrison, in his wrap up chapter, states the toughest life long decision we must make is whether or not to have children There is nothing harder, and no going back on, than raising and training a loving, balanced human This book has made me take longer to look at the choices I make I ask why three times before any bite of food I drivedefensively, use my turn signals and look out for every distracted driver I choose to lovethe cherished people in my life

  5. says:

    Anatomy learning is fun for me, so my favorite part was shrinking down for the brain tour, and explanations on how it all works in the first half of the book Second half is choc full of some quite long explanations and examples of critical thinking checking facts, questioning , or lack of thinking in a few instances, most of which I found reasonably interesting, at least enough to keep me reading, with just the odd check to see if we were there yet All in all I learnt something and I may Anatomy learning is fun for me, so my favorite part was shrinking down for the brain tour, and explanations on how it all works in the first half of the book Second half is choc full of some quite long explanations and examples of critical thinking checking facts, questioning , or lack of thinking in a few instances, most of which I found reasonably interesting, at least enough to keep me reading, with just the odd check to see if we were there yet All in all I learnt something and I may be a littleof a sceptic in the future

  6. says:

    Fantastic, easy read about the brain and all the influence and importance it has in our lives This should be on everybody s reading list if you are interested in reaching your full potential, living well and healthy and want to know all the little tricks your brain plays on you in daily life Good thinking is 100% the only way to go in this fake news saturated, chaotic and scary world

  7. says:

    This book has brought my understanding of critical thinking to new level It explores how all thinkings are associated with our brains, and gives good advices on how to save yourselves from bad and impulsive decisions I highly recommend this book

  8. says:

    This is a very good book for general readers As with his previous books, Guy P Harrison s style is very friendly and accessible, not overly complicated or difficult to grasp The title is a bit misleading when it says wealthier As Guy stresses in the book, good thinking won t make youmoney necessarily, but it can save you money by not spending it on nonsense Just a distinction I think is worth mentioning up front.His first chapter alone is worth reading, as it makes a good case for g This is a very good book for general readers As with his previous books, Guy P Harrison s style is very friendly and accessible, not overly complicated or difficult to grasp The title is a bit misleading when it says wealthier As Guy stresses in the book, good thinking won t make youmoney necessarily, but it can save you money by not spending it on nonsense Just a distinction I think is worth mentioning up front.His first chapter alone is worth reading, as it makes a good case for good thinking and skepticism Then he teaches you about the brain and common errors in thinking and why they occur He also gives you basic information about eating nutritiously and exercising to take care of your brain s health He discusses how our brains can trick us visually and auditorily, how our memories aren t all that reliable, and other logical pitfalls we re all susceptible to His chapter on alternative medicine is spot on and also fair and friendly He does not come off as biased or unreasonable, here, and it s a worthwhile read.Guy has an unstoppable enthusiasm and positivity for this stuff, and it is contagious If you can handle him being a bit corny, particularly in the chapters on the brain early on, and if you can handle him being a little repetitive here and there, especially in the last chapter, you ll really enjoy this book and hopefully, you ll also get a lot out of it I recommend his previous books, too, especially 50 Popular Beliefs That People Think Are True

  9. says:

    Guy Harrison has put out a series of books that gives us the tools and knowledge to be better humans in regards to how we perceive reality and truth Good Thinking is another outstanding book in this series This time Guy has provided us with a everything you ever wanted to know about the human brain from a physiological to psychological profile and how this affects our behavior and beliefs As usual, his amazing communication skills, provides us with ability to understand and comprehend the fas Guy Harrison has put out a series of books that gives us the tools and knowledge to be better humans in regards to how we perceive reality and truth Good Thinking is another outstanding book in this series This time Guy has provided us with a everything you ever wanted to know about the human brain from a physiological to psychological profile and how this affects our behavior and beliefs As usual, his amazing communication skills, provides us with ability to understand and comprehend the fascinating content You will learn how the brain is easily fooled to perceive things falsely while also being exposed to techniques in critical thinking and skepticism to counter those false perceptions You will discover how cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias directs us into believing areas of pseudoscience, conspiracy theories and the supernatural Guy discusses many areas related to cognitive concepts You will discover how the evolution of the brain in animal and human history lead to historical precedents in time I could not put this book down I read it in two sittings This is now my favourite book by Guy Harrison and I know I will reread it again

  10. says:

    Everyone comes equipped with a brain preinstalled but few of us understand or appreciate the evolutionary forces that forged the way we use it and that lack of understanding can lead to making critical mistakes during the decision making process Luckily, Harrison has penned an approachable owner s manual that explains in part why people make bad choices, the way the brain works, why and so muchAt a time when we are bombarded by massive quantities of information, being capable of sorting Everyone comes equipped with a brain preinstalled but few of us understand or appreciate the evolutionary forces that forged the way we use it and that lack of understanding can lead to making critical mistakes during the decision making process Luckily, Harrison has penned an approachable owner s manual that explains in part why people make bad choices, the way the brain works, why and so muchAt a time when we are bombarded by massive quantities of information, being capable of sorting out fact from fiction, genuine science from pop peplum and recognizing how our brains can trick us is vital Harrison gently encourages skepticism coupled with critical thinking while exposing the way the brain works to reinforce our beliefs regardless of evidence to the contrary Drawing upon the latest scientific research about both the physiological and psychological aspects of our brains, Harrison not only provides a blueprint to better decision making but how to take care of them This enjoyable, informative guide should be in every home and public library

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