Sunday, June 6, 2010

Being Wrong by Kathryn Schulz

Released: 2010

Being Wrong is an exploration of how and why making errors is a crucial, natural and necessary component of being human, and how we must embrace being wrong to grow as people.

Falling into the psychology versus scientific realm, Being Wrong provides an interesting history of wrongness using numerous examples of pop-culture incidents; if you can consider an intricate look at being wrong an interesting subject, that is.

Schulz's voice is very eccentric, and the book will flood you with a barage of examples on how being wrong has transformed people and generated numerous events and mis-adventures since the beginning of time. Schulz also uses the experiences of past leaders and world-renowned figures as examples in terms of how being wrong has been significant in history.


Being Wrong reads very much like a narrative, and we can really hear Schulz's opinions on the matter. Because the book has this particular tone, it tends to be quite long, drawn-out, and somewhat boring in most places.

If the book had been written more to cater to the common audience using layman's terms, it would have been infinitely more interesting and appealing. I also noticed there are no definitions to some terms, phrases and words that the majority of readers will fail to understand. It's great when I can learn new words throughout the course of a book, but needing a dictionary several times in one paragraph tends to become more work then enjoyment. You can open Being Wrong to any random page in the book and immediately be able to pinpoint a sentence that requires assistance in some way, shape, or form to understand. To provide an example, I can open the book to a random page in Chapter 4 and find the following sentence,

"For us, as for those shoppers, something in the alchemy of the interaction often causes our half-baked hypotheses to congeal on the spot."

What does that MEAN??!! What exactly is a "half-baked hypothesis"?

As it stands, I don't think Being Wrong will be a great experience for someone who isn't a psychologist or even mildly interested in the subject of being wrong. I give kudos to those readers who can interpret and enjoy Being Wrong.

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