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Reality Check: What Your Mind Knows, But Isn't Telling You Paperback – August 5, 2005


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Reality Check: What Your Mind Knows, But Isn't Telling You + Power Freaks: Dealing With Them in the Workplace or Anyplace + Battling the Inner Dummy: The Craziness of Apparently Normal People
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 303 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books (August 5, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591023025
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591023029
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #816,638 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"[T]his book, when read with an open, inquisitive mind, will not fail to stimulate new perspectives and provoke new ideas."
- Science Books & Films
"How Weiner goes about understanding these conundrums is a fascinating journey that will make any reader astonished, frustrated, angry, and definitely curious about the human mind."
Biology Digest
"What is reality? Can our brains comprehend the true nature of reality? Do we know anything for certain? Reality Check is an entertaining, sometimes light-hearted tour through the many mysteries of neuroscience, genetics and physics by psychology popularizer and businessman David Weiner. Weiner ... writes in a frank and direct manner devoid of technical jargon. He extracts the essence of the many facets of the mind-brain problem."
Science & Theology News
"David Weiner has written a delightful and impressively researched tour de force on how the brain works that includes wonderful side trips about DNA, the size of the universe and the foibles of religiosity. This is popular science writing at its best - clear, witty and marvelously informative."
Benjamin J. Hubbard, Ph.D.
Professor of Comparative Religion
California State University, Fullerton

About the Author

David L. Weiner (Chicago, IL) is author of the psychology bestseller Battling the Inner Dummy: The Craziness of Apparently Normal People, Power Freaks: Dealing with Them in the Workplace or Anyplace, and Reality Check: What Your Mind Knows, but Isn't Telling You. He is also on the external board of advisers of the HealthEmotions Research Institute of the University of Wisconsin, and is the founder and CEO of Marketing Support, Inc., a $100-million marketing agency with clients including IBM, Motorola, Home Depot, Xerox, and many other Fortune 500 companies.

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Customer Reviews

No evidence is given for this claim, even though one could easily find it plausible.
Dr. Lee D. Carlson
He uses real life stories to explain complex issues that leave us all better informed...he forces us all to do our very own "Reality Check."
Linda K. Stroh
Obviously Weiner has done a great deal of research in compiling such an informative book.
Ms. Tookla

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

63 of 68 people found the following review helpful By John Matlock on November 7, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book is kind of a random walk down Mr. Weiner's mind. He seems to be quite interested in following the current research in quite a number of scientific areas and then explaining these results to his readers.

If this book has a central theme, it is that the mind is a marvelous thing that you can use to do a lot of things, some good, some not so good. He cautions you, for instance on following the latest (or the earliest for that matter) religious fad that attempts to tell you what to think about everything. He makes it your task to do a 'Reality Check' on what you're being told and to make up your own mind.

Much of the book is on what you might call self help popular psychology. He describes the current research that is being conducted and illustrates how this might be applied in our daily lives. I particularly enjoyed his comments on religion. With 10,000 religions and 33,000 variations of the Christian religion alone, it's hard to imagine that they are all right. And yet the overwhelming percentage of us adopt the religion of out parents, unthinkingly, with no 'Reality Check.'
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Oliver on November 25, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really wanted to like this book, but I could not. Weiner has nothing original to say. He has simply read a few popular science books -- good ones, such as How the Mind Works by Steven Pinker -- which you can and should read for yourself. Weiner gives what amounts to a book report, and a bad one at that.

First, Weiner uses childish language and technics, "Hello, hello wake up -- all this is going on in your mind this instant." I don't know about you, but I find that pretty lame.

Even worse, Weiner fails to understand basic concepts that many junior high students do understand. Get this quote:

"Do you have brown eyes? If both your parents have brown eyes, then you will have brown eyes, because the gene that creates brown eyes is dominant over the one that creates blue eyes."

Wrong! The fact that brown is dominant is why the child of two brown eyed parents can have blue eyes. The child of two blue eyed parents, however, will have blue eyes. Shame on Weiner, and shame on his editor for not catching that.

In short, this book is written at a junior high school level, but the author should not be teaching our kids!
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Ms. Tookla on November 3, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is as informative as Weiner's other books. It is well written with a hint of humor so the lay person can understand what they are reading. The mind is such a complicated mass that it takes a great deal of guts to try and explain its workings. Obviously Weiner has done a great deal of research in compiling such an informative book. I would just like to say to the two negative reviews posted that it is easy to criticize someone else for trying to educate others on the workings of the mind ... especially if you don't seem to understand it yourself. I would suggest you read the author's other books...Power Freaks and Battling the Inner Dummy.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A. Phillips on May 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
I picked up this book at the local library because the title and brief description on the cover sounded interesting. I started reading the book and was amazed at how poorly written it was. Typos, bad logic, and a general tone of delivery that made it difficult to continue reading. Later, I skimmed the remainder of the book to make sure I wasn't jumping to conclusions. This book is very bad. I was curious to see what other readers thought of the book on Amazon -- I can only guess that some of these five star reviews are from the author's friends.
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74 of 106 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Lee D. Carlson HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on August 14, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In this book, the author offers what he considers to be a realistic view of modern life and the human condition. He calls this a "reality check", but the book definitely does not give the reader a comprehensive, coherent, scientific, and realistic view of the state of world today. Too often those who describe themselves as being "realistic" are highly skeptical of those who have an optimistic view of life, and believe that such people are naive, unintelligent, or ignorant. The "realists" seem to enjoy rubbing peoples faces in the dirt, with the intent of waking them up from their optimistic delirium and showing them "the true nature of things." But cynicism is not equivalent to realism....

Many assertions are made in this book without sound scientific or objective evidence. For example, the author speaks of a "territorial imperative" as if it were a proven and well-substantiated concept in anthropology. The scientific evidence for this concept though is meager, and the author in no way documents any evidence for it anywhere in the book. In relation to this, he speaks in the book of something called the "Simmel effect", named after the sociologist George Simmel, and which asserts that in social groups that are ordered by rank, individuals imitate symbols that designate the higher hierarchal levels and abandon the symbols that designate the lower level ones. The author does not discuss the evidence for the Simmel effect, but does give one reference on the Web that is currently not available. There has been research into the Simmel effect that does show that successful status symbols begin to diminish as soon as they become dominant, but this research involved the use of simulation studies. It would be very interesting and helpful if more empirical studies could be conducted.
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