The 7 Laws of Magical Thinking by Matthew Hutson

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Hutson promises to convince you that no matter how rational you think you are, there is at least one (if not more) ways in which you use magical thinking in your everyday life. He certainly convinced me.
-Psychology Today

Synopsis

In this witty and perceptive debut, a former editor at Psychology Today shows us how magical thinking makes life worth living.

Psychologists have documented a litany of cognitive biases- misperceptions of the world-and explained their positive functions. Now, Matthew Hutson shows us that even the most hardcore skeptic indulges in magical thinking all the time-and it's crucial to our survival.

Drawing on evolution, cognitive science, and neuroscience, Hutson shows us that magical thinking has been so useful to us that it's hardwired into our brains. It encourages us to think that we actually have free will. It helps make us believe that we have an underlying purpose in the world. It can even protect us from the paralyzing awareness of our own mortality. In other words, magical thinking is a completely irrational way of making our lives make rational sense.

With wonderfully entertaining stories, personal reflections, and sharp observations, Hutson reveals our deepest fears and longings. He also assures us that it is no accident his surname contains so many of the same letters as this imprint.

 

About Matthew Hutson

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A former news editor at Psychology Today, MATTHEW HUTSON has a BS in cognitive neuroscience from Brown University and an MS in science writing from MIT. He has written for Discover, Popular Mechanics, Scientific American Mind, and The New York Times Magazine. He lives in New York City. Visit magicalthinkingbook.com.
 
Published April 12, 2012 by Plume. 305 pages
Genres: Other, Religion & Spirituality, Self Help, Science & Math, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for The 7 Laws of Magical Thinking
All: 4 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Below average
Apr 01 2012

No competition against meatier books on the mind from the likes of Sacks, Damasio, Hofstadter, Ariely and others.

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Publishers Weekly

Excellent
Oct 03 2011

This illuminating exploration of the science of unscientific convictions by a former news editor at Psychology Today nicely balances bemused skepticism with warm appreciation for the mind’s fanciful, functional creativity.

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Blog Critics

Excellent
Reviewed by Jack Goodstein on Mar 23 2012

taken as a whole, Hutson makes his points forcefully and with wit.

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Psychology Today

Excellent
Reviewed by Susan Krauss Whitbourne on May 08 2012

Hutson promises to convince you that no matter how rational you think you are, there is at least one (if not more) ways in which you use magical thinking in your everyday life. He certainly convinced me.

Read Full Review of The 7 Laws of Magical Thinking

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