Self-Deception – How to Fight your Brain’s Inborn Flaws and Biases [S. Novella]

Self-Deception - How to Fight your Brain's Inborn Flaws and Biases [S. Novella]


Few years back, after getting my hands on Charles Duhigg’s life-changing book The Power of Habit, I became more interested in studying the intricacies of the human mind. Specifically, I wanted to familiarize myself with the logical flaws and fallacies we tend to fall prey to. This is how I found out about Prof. Steven Novella of Yale University, a clinical neurologist and an inborn skeptic.

Your Deceptive Mind was the first work of Prof. Novella that I voraciously digested. I listened and relistened to the program a number of times over the past few years. Then I got the companion book for this program – a course about the tricks our brains play on us, along with fight-back strategies to help improve our critical thinking abilities.

Since I read interactively, I collected about 70 quotes, notes, and take-away messages from this course book. I will share some of them here in the hope that it may help you as it has, so profoundly, helped me.

Not only do I better understand myself in terms of susceptibility for self-deception, but I am also more aware of the fallacies of folks around me and also the flaws of research studies and the cognitive biases of the researchers – atop of the financial implications and their conflicts of interest.

Exercising Caution – Confirmation Biases, Cognitive Dissonance and More [Diet Context]

Exercising Caution - Confirmation Biases, Cognitive Dissonance and More [Diet Context]


I often urge people to exercise caution when making claims for such and such. We know too little about everything, yet we rush into dangerously simplifying concepts and trying to transform decent correlations into large causations. Mike Eades has a clue about this.

What’s even worse is that we have to fight our minds because once we believe something is true, we may do everything possible to hold those beliefs even in the face of shocking disapproval.

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