An eye-opening examination of the stupid things smart people do-and how to cultivate skills to protect ourselves from error.
'As a rule, I have found that the greater brain a man has, and the better he is educated, the easier it has been to mystify him,' Houdini to Arthur Conan Doyle
Smart people are not only just as prone to making mistakes as everyone else-they may be even more susceptible to them. This is the "intelligence trap," the subject of David Robson's fascinating and provocative debut.
Packed with cutting-edge research, historical case studies, entertaining stories, and practical advice, THE INTELLIGENCE TRAP explores the flaws in our understanding of intelligence and expertise, and reveals the ways that even the brightest minds and talented organizations can backfire - from some of Thomas Edison's worst ideas to failures at NASA, Nokia, and the FBI. With a knack for explaining complex ideas and featuring timeless lessons from Socrates to Benjamin Franklin to Richard Feynman and the latest behavioral science, Robson shows how to build a cognitive toolkit to avoid mistakes and protect ourselves from misinformation and fake news.
A fascinating and enjoyable investigation of what intelligence is and isn't, by one of the most exciting new voices in science writing. This thought-provoking and brilliantly researched guide to achieving true wisdomshows us how to be smarter - and how to protect ourselves from the cleverest fools. - Gaia Vince, prize-winning author of Adventures in the Anthropocene
I loved The Intelligence Trap. As fun to read as it is fascinating, it celebrates the power of humility and curiosity. Everyone, especially intelligent people, should read this brilliant and important book. - Anna Rosling-Ronnlund
Brilliant. The Intelligence Trap combines mesmerising storytelling with groundbreaking new research about why having a high IQ can backfire. Essential reading for anyone who wants to think more clearly. - Rolf Dobelli, author of the million-copy-selling Art of Thinking Clearly
The Intelligence Trap is ceaselessly fascinating and brilliantly written by one of our most consistently superb science writers. Its counter-intuitive argument, that intelligence is no inoculation against wrongness, explains so much about the fractious and baffling times in which we live. - Will Storr, author of SELFIE