Category Archives: Books

Reality-Based Thinking: How everyone–including you–can think better. By Jack Pelham

RBT Cover for SRBTJack Pelham is the founder of the Society for Reality-Based Thinking.  This flagship book has been in the works for over three years now as Jack has researched over 20 books related to the psychology of rational thinking, as well as countless articles.  The book, which should be available for purchase by the end of 2017, seeks to make this expansive topic quite manageable for the lay reader, as well as to put it into perspective from a philosophical point of view.

It’s thesis is that the world’s most fundamental problem is the failure of humans to think as well as we are capable of thinking.  It suggests that we would serve ourselves well to go to the effort to train our minds better, and then to put that training into practice as a sustainable way of life.  What philosophers and cognitive scientists call epistemic rationality is what Jack has renamed “Reality-Based Thinking”—thinking that deliberately seeks to jibe with the real world—as opposed to fanciful or biased thinking that does not.

To be notified via email when the book is ready for purchase, simply contact us using the form on this page.

This book is expected to be available for purchase by the end of 2017.

Click here to read the book’s “Brief Introduction.”

Click here to read a special introduction for cognitive scientists and students of cognitive science.

What Intelligence Tests Miss, by Keith E. Stanovich

What IntelligenceThis is the book that has played the biggest role in inspiring the Society for Reality-Based Thinking.  Stanovich demonstrates that standard intelligence quotient (IQ) tests simply do not measure certain mental abilities that are associated with rational thought.  This is why someone can have a high IQ score, and still think, decide, believe, and act irrationally on some matters.  Stanovich also presents his three-part model of the human mind, introducing to the reader the “Reflective Mind”, whose job it is to decide (or not) when to make the rest of the mind keep working a problem until it is solved in a way that maps accurately onto the real world.

This book is written appropriately for a lay audience, and is quite readable, with only short sections tending to be intimidating to the non-cognitive-scientist reader.  It gives several word problems, along with a full discussion of what goes wrong in the thinking of those who miss them.  This is SRBT’s top book recommendation after SRBT founder Jack Pelham’s upcoming flagship book on RBT, which should be out by the end of 2015.

Format options include Kindle, Hardcover, and Paperback. 

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Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman

Thinking Fast and SlowEvery human should read this book in order to better understand his or her own mind!  Kahneman thoroughly explores in everyday language both the “slow” system of the mind and the “fast” system.  The fast consists of autonomous brain functions, such as memory/intuition, emotion, and such, while the slow part refers to functions that we must do deliberately—requiring more time and energy from us.  The book explores common errors in thinking, particularly regarding how these two systems (the fast and slow) work together.

There’s just too much in this book to mention it all herehere; it’s  a must-read if you’re into maximizing your own cognitive performance.

Formats available include Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback, and Audio CD.  Various abridged versions of this book are also available at the Amazon page linked below.

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The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty, by Dan Ariely

The Honest TruthDan Ariely’s extensive research into human rationality includes a lot of material on honesty, which is a key component of Reality-Based Thinking.  It’s that moral part of RBT by which we keep ourselves on the straight and narrow, being responsible to reality even when we might rather not!  This book recounts a series of experiments in which people were allowed to cheat and steal in various ways.  The results–and Ariely’s explanations of them–are very instructive to us in understanding our own temptation to be deceitful.

In this book, Ariely points out how test subjects cheated far less when they had been asked to recite as many of the Ten Commandments before they were given the task in which their level of cheating would be measured.  Even among those who couldn’t recite any of the Ten Commandments, cheating was virtually stopped altogether!  Ariely suggests, therefore, that someone should write a moral code that doesn’t come from religion, so that it could be used in government institutions, such as schools, where codes that are religious in nature are simply too controversial to use.  This suggestion was the impetus for Jack Pelham to develop The Realitan Code, which appears here on this website, and which will be detailed further in Pelham’s upcoming book.

You need to read Ariely’s book.  It’s an extended exploration into just what we tend to be like, and this exercise is crucial to anyone wanting to be an authentic and honest human!

Formats available include Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback, Audible, and Mass Market Paperback.  Various abridged versions of this book are also available at the Amazon page linked below.

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