When people get together, there is often one stand-out individual who others turn to for answers. This person has the best advice on everything from raising children to running a business, and offers the most penetrating insights into world events. Their understanding of people, and why we act as we do, makes them the wisest one in the room.
Psychologists Thomas Gilovich and Lee Ross reveal their discipline’s greatest discoveries so we can all become wiser. From conflict resolution to overcoming social shyness, and from winning a tennis match to encouraging people to recycle, they demonstrate how even small changes in social context, feedback or presentation can achieve dramatic results. Replete with real-world examples, The Wisest One in the Room is a fascinating examination of human behaviour, revealing how we can become more adept at tackling the challenges, great and small, that we face every day.
‘A powerful book that brings the best of psychology to bear on the way we live our lives.’
– Malcolm Gladwell, bestselling author of Blink and Outliers
‘Gilovich and Ross weave social science, history and anecdotes in a compelling way to help us understand human nature.’
– Dan Ariely, bestselling author of Predictably Irrational and Behavioural Economics Saved My Dog
– Daily Mail
‘Two of the world’s most brilliant social psychologists have distilled the field’s wisdom into a few essential lessons for understanding the fabric of our everyday lives. This is the essential lecture that you never heard in college. Don’t miss it a second time.’
– Daniel Gilbert, professor of psychology at Harvard University and bestselling author of Stumbling on Happiness
‘“Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?” Beginning with that George Carlin one-liner, Thomas Gilovich and Lee Ross embark on a deep examination of how we all misperceive the people around us. This is a fun book—you'll recognize your own blunders, and those of friends, on almost every page—and also a practical one. Anyone who aspires to be “the Wisest One in the Room” needs this book.’
– William Poundstone, author of How to Predict the Unpredictable and
‘A compelling guide to developing real wisdom, as opposed to mere cleverness, in decision-making, relationships, and elsewhere. More than simply a tour of intriguing research, it’s a deeply practical – and, yes, wise – account of the hidden influences on our thinking, by two of the most interesting researchers in the field.’
– Oliver Burkeman, author of The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking
“Gilovich and Ross convincingly argue that social psychology has reached the stage where it can help people meet the most important challenges of daily living. Their book provides a comprehensive guide to attaining wisdom that is based on the most powerful insights from the field. Anyone who is dissatisfied with how they deal with ordinary and not so ordinary challenges should read this book.”
– Paul Dolan, Professor of Behavioural Science, London School of Economics, and author of Happiness by Design
‘With deep insight about theory and research and compelling real-world stories, two great social psychologists explore human triumphs and shortcomings—from heroism and happiness to racism and human conflict. Gilovich and Ross will help you to be more persuasive and less subject to the wiles of marketers, and also better informed about the psychological dimensions of challenges we face as a society. If you want to be wiser, happier, and more successful (and who doesn't), this book is a must read.’
– Sonja Lyubomirsky, professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside and bestselling author of The How of Happiness
“Essential reading for politicians and leaders of all kinds. Gilovich and Ross explain how your opponents are rarely as mad or bad as you think; just subject to the same biases and thinking traps that you are.”
– Dr Ben Ambridge, Institute of Psychology, Health and Society, University of Liverpool, and author of PsyQ
‘If you want to dramatically improve your “insight quotient,” decision-making and understanding of your fellow humans—this is the book for you. It’s a profound book, of immense personal utility, from two of the world’s greatest social psychologists.’
– Claude Steele, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost at University of California, Berkeley
“The Wisest One in the Room is a fascinating climb from the valley of thinking traps to the peaks of good decision-making. If you want to learn how to think more clearly, read this book.”
– Dr Rolf Dobelli, author of the global bestseller The Art of Thinking Clearly
‘This fine volume is essential reading if you want a deeper understanding of why people (you included) think, feel, and act, as they do…I came away from this remarkable work feeling wiser not only about my day-to-day life, but also about an issue to which I have devoted much of my career—escalating climate disruption and our continuing collective failure to address it.’
– Paul R. Ehrlich, professor of Population Studies at Stanford University and award-winning author of Betrayal of Science and Reason
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