The 7 Laws of Magical Thinking by Matthew Hutson

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

Synopsis

A provocative and entertaining look at the psychology of superstition and religion, how they make us human—and how we can use them to our advantage



What is so special about touching a piano John Lennon once owned? Why do we yell at our laptops? And why do people like to say, “Everything happens for a reason”? Drawing on cognitive science, anthropology, and neuroscience, Matthew Hutson shows us that magical thinking is not only hardwired into our brains—it’s been a factor in our evolutionary success. Magical thinking helps us believe that we have free will and an underlying purpose as it protects us from the paralyzing awareness of our own mortality. Interweaving entertaining stories, personal reflections, and sharp observations, The 7 Laws of Magical Thinking reveals just how this seemingly irrational process informs and improves the lives of even the most hardened skeptics.
 

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.

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admin 20 Feb 2013

Rated the book as 4 out of 5

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Jim Razinha 4 Jun 2013

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