Kidding Ourselves

The Hidden Power of Self-Deception

By Joseph T. Hallinan
(Crown Publishing Group (NY), Hardcover, 9780385348683, 260pp.)

Publication Date: May 20, 2014

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Description

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of Why We Make Mistakes, an illuminating exploration of human beings’ astonishing ability to deceive themselves.
 
To one degree or another, we all misjudge reality. Our perception—of ourselves and the world around us—is much more malleable than we realize. This self-deception influences every major aspect of our personal and social life, including relationships, sex, politics, careers, and health. 
     In Kidding Ourselves, Joseph Hallinan offers a nuts-and-bolts look at how this penchant shapes our everyday lives, from the medicines we take to the decisions we make. It shows, for instance, just how much the power of many modern medicines, particularly anti-depressants and painkillers, is largely in our heads. Placebos in modern-day life extend beyond hospitals, to fake thermostats and “elevator close” buttons that don’t really work…but give the perception that they do.          
     Kidding Ourselves brings together a variety of subjects, linking seemingly unrelated ideas in fascinating and unexpected ways. And ultimately, it shows that deceiving ourselves is not always negative or foolish. As increasing numbers of researchers are discovering, it can be incredibly useful, providing us with the resilience we need to persevere, in the boardroom, bedroom, and beyond. 
     Provocative, accessible, and easily applicable to multiple facets of everyday life, Kidding Ourselves is an extraordinary new exploration of our mind’s flexibility.
 




About the Author
Joseph Hallinan, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, has been writing about the criminal-justice system for almost a decade, first as a local reporter and later as a nationally syndicated correspondent for the Newhouse News Service. In 1997, Hallinan was named a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, where he continued to investigate American prisons. He now writes for "The Wall Street Journal "and lives in Chicago.

"From the Hardcover edition."

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