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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a good low-density reference!
Now what does that mean? Simply that you will find yourself coming back to this book to look up certain examples, argument points, and general "rules" of good thinking from time to time, and it does not read "thick" - dense - like a dictionary, say. This makes it fun and easy to thumb through for later look-ups, after having been fun to read through the first time...
Published on February 19, 2008 by G. Stelzenmuller

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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Why did I buy this?
If you're always looking for answers to your problems..like what is the perfect diet, how to use power effectively or how to understand when things get screwed up, you might want to buy this book. But I constantly ask myself after buying such books why did I buy this? I guess if you're stuck in a rut and having a hard time seeing through all of the muck in your life, this...
Published 6 months ago by Dr.L.


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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a good low-density reference!, February 19, 2008
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This review is from: When Good Thinking Goes Bad: How Your Brain Can Have a Mind of Its Own (Paperback)
Now what does that mean? Simply that you will find yourself coming back to this book to look up certain examples, argument points, and general "rules" of good thinking from time to time, and it does not read "thick" - dense - like a dictionary, say. This makes it fun and easy to thumb through for later look-ups, after having been fun to read through the first time.

A book with this rather forbidding title actually becomes less intimidating when picked up, because it consists of only 215 paperback pages. The three parts of this work are: the characteristics of good thinking ("rules," loosely, although not called this by the author), how good thinking evolved, and examples of good & faulty thinking. Those examples will likely hold some surprise for most readers. Also, there is an early short example of how Isaac Asimov, a brilliant and incisive thinker, ended up making a terrible boo-boo of a prediction at mid-20th century. As with most boo-boos, this was a result of a hard-to-let-go prejudice on Dr. Asimov's part. The author uses himself as a bad example in telling of his own preconceptions about the Spencer Tracy movie, "Inherit the Wind" (fictional tale paralleling the Scopes trial), and how the facts turned out to be quite different that what he had always assumed. This may be the most interesting example in the book.

A minor criticism: the author uses many clichéd phrases. "To make a long story short..." was a personal ear-grater, and showed up too many times in the text. Some would argue that ONE time is too many. Anyway, just get past those, and chalk it up to a dearth of good English teachers in his youth! Buy this one, rather than checking from the library, to be able to thumb through it many times.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Done, July 13, 2009
This review is from: When Good Thinking Goes Bad: How Your Brain Can Have a Mind of Its Own (Paperback)
Riniolo demonstrates that even commonly accepted notions typically held by skeptics need to be challenged. As a result, he questions some of the assertions of skeptical giants such as Isaac Asimov. Riniolo even dared to mention that some of his own prior conclusions needed to be reevaluated. This is a primary strength of this book. In addition, readers will find enjoyable prose on several hot-button topics. A fun read.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good, solid read, December 5, 2009
By 
Daniel Brady (Minneapolis, MN USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: When Good Thinking Goes Bad: How Your Brain Can Have a Mind of Its Own (Paperback)
The author makes a strong case, pointing out that even people who are proud of their critical thinking skills may, and often do, have some blind spots. Engagingly, he doesn't spare himself when he brings up examples of this. (Then again, I may just like this because it supported my own belief...)

Beyond pointing this out, the first two sections examine *why* we're all prone to failure in critical thinking, with a very plausible explanation of why it's mandated by evolution, and how our emotional needs can get in the way of our willingness to examine, or even see, evidence that contradicts our convictions.

He covers a broad range of topics in his examples: Global Warming, Politics, Economics, Psychic phenomenon (which he brings up a bit too often for my tastes), the Scopes Monkey Trial, and racial/multicultural issues - even Santa Claus, and the pros and cons of letting your young children believe in him.

Part of my reaction to this is, quite likely, that he references other authors I'm fond of fairly frequently, such as Thomas Sowell, F. A. Hayek, and Milton Friedman - thus, as he points out, fitting into many of my preconceptions.

The only reason I can't give this book 5 stars is relatively minor, but important to me - his voice. While considerably better for the general public than I'd expect from a scholarly work, his phrasing is too scholastic for the general audience he claims to be aiming for. I expect that his background in peer-reviewed articles is showing here. It's not bad, mind you - but he doesn't quite show a prose style that I could relax and let myself sink into, as opposed to, say Thomas Sowell, with his years of experience writing columns for the general public. In spite of this minor flaw, most readers won't be left in the dust, and I heartily recommend this book.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It makes you think!!!!, December 29, 2007
This review is from: When Good Thinking Goes Bad: How Your Brain Can Have a Mind of Its Own (Paperback)
This was a very interesting read. People who read John Stossel would love the thought provoking subject matter of this book.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Why did I buy this?, December 16, 2013
By 
Dr.L. (Virginia Beach, VA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: When Good Thinking Goes Bad: How Your Brain Can Have a Mind of Its Own (Paperback)
If you're always looking for answers to your problems..like what is the perfect diet, how to use power effectively or how to understand when things get screwed up, you might want to buy this book. But I constantly ask myself after buying such books why did I buy this? I guess if you're stuck in a rut and having a hard time seeing through all of the muck in your life, this view from the outside might help you to refocus. But in the end, I think you'll ask yourself, why did I but this book?
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When Good Thinking Goes Bad: How Your Brain Can Have a Mind of Its Own
When Good Thinking Goes Bad: How Your Brain Can Have a Mind of Its Own by Todd C. Riniolo (Paperback - January 3, 2008)
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