- Series: Essays in Social Psychology
- Paperback: 244 pages
- Publisher: Psychology Press; 1 edition (August 18, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0415654173
- ISBN-13: 978-0415654173
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #862,089 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Self-Insight: Roadblocks and Detours on the Path to Knowing Thyself (Essays in Social Psychology) 1st Edition
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‘This is a superbly written volume illuminating a fundamentally significant human shortcoming, a curious inability to “know oneself” or gain true insights into the inner workings of one’s mind. Provocative, entertaining, and compelling, this work represents experimental social psychology at its finest.’ - Arie W. Kruglanski, University of Maryland
‘People are often their own worst enemies. Nothing stands in the way of achieving our goals as much as our lack of insight into our own flaws, weaknesses, and shortcomings. This book is a must-read for people who aspire to achieve the self-knowledge that is essential to accomplishing their most cherished goals, or want to understand why others seem so blinded to their shortcomings. Dunning is an outstanding scientist and an entertaining writer. His explorations into failures of self-knowledge are a fascinating read.’ - Jennifer Crocker, University of Michigan
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Dunning makes these points and many more with a sly wit and often tongue-in-check observations that kept me interested even when he told me more than I wanted to know about some of the experiments. I winced occasionally when I recognized some of my own self-serving behaviors that block accurate self-assessments.
His last chapter, "reflections on self-reflection," draws his themes to a sensible conclusion and addresses the policy implications of his work. Is self-judgment always inaccurate? Is it really bad to hold erroneous self-assessments? Under what conditions is over-optimism dangerous? He ends with some suggestions to those of us brave enough to seek greater self-awareness, in spite of what we'll learn.
Reminiscent of Kahneman's "Thinking Fast, Thinking Slow", but focused squarely on the issue of self-knowledge.
Chapter 5 is awesome, IMO - how we are all unique, but not so unique, and showing that our feeling of specialness can easily get overblown (even if a modest amount of this sentiment is probably healthy).
The thing I liked best was that it gave me some new ideas - my favourite metric for a good book.
This is a good book in many ways, clearly written and coherent. What I expected was a more thorough discussion of human rationality/irrationality. However, Dunning makes in the ennd some very good points obout positiveness of not knowing ourself as it really is. This is my point, too. A fully rational, realistic human being would be inhuman. We are perfectly capable of making bad deeds rationally. Perhaps love is always irrational. The final verdict about knowing thyself perhaps eludes us.