How Irrationality Makes Us Happy, Healthy, and Sane
Why do rational people buy notions that seem utterly incredulous? (And that includes you.)
Drawing on evolution, cognitive science, and neuroscience, Matthew Hutson takes us on this fascinating tour of magical thinking in everyday life. So-called cognitive biases are crucial to our survival, Hutson shows, whether we're deciding where to invest our money or avoiding awareness of our own mortality. Everyone – even the most rational, jaded, and sceptical thinkers – believe in magic, whether that be luck, mind over matter, jinxes, evil, or heavenly helpers. The key to happiness, health, creativity, social intelligence, and good fortune is knowing when you don't have free will and then embracing magical thinking instead.
‘A remarkably creative synthesis of the science behind magical thinking, threaded through with a very personal narrative that engages the reader.’
BBC Focus, starred review