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The 7 Laws of Magical Thinking: How Irrational Beliefs Keep Us Happy, Healthy, and Sane Paperback – February 26, 2013
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“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. Without these intuitions, he says, we would hardly be human. Through vivid examples and cutting-edge science, Hutson presents a provocative new theory of how we make sense of the world.” — Paul Bloom, Ph.D. author of Descartes’ Baby and How Pleasure Works
This is a book that you pick up, but can’t put down. Hutson, intelligently and entertainingly, gives us the best kind of book: one that gives us insight to our very core. Highly recommended!” — Ori Brafman, co-author of Sway and Click
“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
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 --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
It is true that people engage in irrational thinking and don't see it that way, but this book trivializes such arguments. I thought this would be a deeper analysis of how we resolve cognitive dissonance, trauma, and stress, with suggestions (i.e. 7 Laws) to identify ways to guard against looking for easy answers.
I shudder at how he might ever explain the concepts of 'heart' or 'soul'. I threw the book away.
I like the way it's written, almost conversational in tone. I like the studies cited, the research and how it's presented. I like how it's organized. I like the personal and often hilarious flavor to the narrative, including stories and experiences from the author's life to reveal where he's coming from. I really like the sense that the author is aware that your mileage may vary. I find a lot of books too rigid in their perspective, and this is especially frustrating in areas of psychology and philosophy, where it's obvious that people's perspectives vary wildly.
I had so much fun reading this book; it was hard to put down. I found it enlightening beyond my wildest expectations. But though I only came for answers, I felt inspired and empowered. I felt I could not only understand magical thinking's use and impact on individuals, history, the species and culture, but also find awareness and acceptance of it in myself. At the end of the book I had more conscious choices over how I experience most everything I perceive. I also found myself thinking magically without effort. It felt much like when I read Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi's `Flow,' drawing the curtain to reveal an amazing experience I'm already having. And now can enjoy more.
Rarely does a book to have such profound and lasting positive effect on me and my view of the world. I feel fortunate to have come across it as I did, relieved I was in the right place to really get the message, and delighted it was written in such an appealing style.
I found `The Seven Laws of Magical Thinking' enlightening, entertaining, inspiring and empowering beyond words. Your mileage may vary, of course.
That said, there are not many lay person summary texts on these subjects and it is reasonably well written.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
But a fast read with concepts quickly conveyed
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