100 books like The Knowledge Illusion

By Steven Sloman, Philip Fernbach,

Here are 100 books that The Knowledge Illusion fans have personally recommended if you like The Knowledge Illusion. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Influence: Science and Practice

Keith Ellis Author Of Magic Bullet

From my list on help us know ourselves.

Who am I?

We live in the age of selfies, when it’s easy to snap a picture of ourselves in the day-to-day activities of our lives. But a deeper and far more satisfying journey is to take a selfie of our inner selves to better understand who we are, what we want, and how to get it. I’ve spent a lifetime on this journey. Self discovery and self understanding, and through them self-empowerment, these are the essence of my work. As a #1 bestselling author, my purpose is to help others discover their purpose, and live it. The five books I’ve recommended here have helped me greatly along that path.

Keith's book list on help us know ourselves

Keith Ellis Why did Keith love this book?

Entire industries exist to manipulate us based on characteristics of human psychology that nature has programmed into us. An important part of knowing ourselves is to know these characteristics and understand how to use them for our benefit, instead of the benefit of those who would use our human nature against us.

By Robert B. Cialdini,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Influence as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Influence: Science and Practice is an examination of the psychology of compliance (i.e. uncovering which factors cause a person to say "yes" to another's request).

Written in a narrative style combined with scholarly research, Cialdini combines evidence from experimental work with the techniques and strategies he gathered while working as a salesperson, fundraiser, advertiser, and in other positions inside organizations that commonly use compliance tactics to get us to say "yes." Widely used in classes, as well as sold to people operating successfully in the business world, the eagerly awaited revision of Influence reminds the reader of the power of…


Book cover of Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade

Brian Ahearn Author Of Influence People: Powerful Everyday Opportunities to Persuade that are Lasting and Ethical

From my list on helping you influence people and hear “yes!”.

Who am I?

My career and life were changed by Robert Cialdini’s work on influence. There are only a dozen people in the world who have been personally trained, certified, and endorsed by Cialdini to teach his methodology on influence and persuasion. I’m fortunate to be in that very select group. I’ve authored three books and given a TED Talk on influence. My LinkedIn Learning courses around influence in sales and coaching have been viewed by more than 500,00 across the globe. I take Cialdini’s influence concepts and marry them with my 35+ years of business experience to give organizations practical ways to ethically influence people. 

Brian's book list on helping you influence people and hear “yes!”

Brian Ahearn Why did Brian love this book?

When it comes to your ability to influence people, sometimes what you do beforehand can make all the difference.

If you want someone to marry you, it’s probably best to have them in a romantic state of mind. That same logic applies to all other influence attempts. Cialdini says pre-suasion is, “Arranging for an audience to be receptive to your message before they encounter it.”

In the book he looks as why grabbing people’s limited attention, even if it’s only for a moment, is critical for pre-suasion. Next, he explores how to impact emotions, mindsets using triggers such as sights, sounds, and surroundings. Once you learn to set the stage with pre-suasion, your ability to hear yes will skyrocket!

By Robert B. Cialdini,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Pre-Suasion as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When it comes to persuasion, success can begin before you say a word.

'An instant classic.' Forbes
'Utterly fascinating.' Adam Grant, author of Originals and Give and Take
'Shockingly insightful.' Chip Heath, co-author of Switch and Made to Stick

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

In his global bestseller Influence, Professor Robert Cialdini transformed the way we think about the craft of persuasion. Now he offers revelatory new insights into the art of winning people over: it isn't just what we say or how we say it that counts, but also what goes on in the moments before we speak.

This is…


Book cover of Consumer Behavior

Frank R. Kardes Author Of Handbook of Research Methods in Consumer Psychology

From my list on consumer psychology.

Who am I?

Frank R. Kardes, Ph.D. is the Donald E. Weston Professor of Marketing and Distinguished Research Professor at the Lindner College of Business at the University of Cincinnati. He is a recipient of the Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award of the Society for Consumer Psychology, and a Fellow of five national professional societies. His research focuses on omission neglect, consumer judgment, and inference processes, persuasion and advertising, and consumer and managerial decision making. He was Co-Editor of Advances in Consumer Research, Journal of Consumer Psychology, the Handbook of Consumer Psychology, and Marketing Letters, and serves or has served on seven editorial boards. He has published nine books and over 100 articles and chapters on consumer psychology.

Frank's book list on consumer psychology

Frank R. Kardes Why did Frank love this book?

This textbook is scientifically grounded but highly readable. This book offers an information-processing perspective to help us get inside the head of the consumer and to understand how attention, memory, judgment, and inference processes operate in concert to influence consumer decision making. Consumers are frequently unaware of these influences on their thinking and reasoning.

By Frank R. Kardes, Maria Cronley, Thomas Cline

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Consumer Behavior as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This wide-ranging yet focused text provides an informative introduction to consumer behavior supported by in-depth, scientifically grounded coverage of key principles and applications.

CONSUMER BEHAVIOR, Second Edition, devotes ample attention to "classic" consumer behavior topics, including consumer information processing, consumer decision making, persuasion, social media and the role of culture and society on consumer behavior. In addition, this innovative text explores important current topics and trends relevant to modern consumer behavior, such as international and ethical perspectives, an examination of contemporary media, and a discussion of online tactics and branding strategies. This versatile text strikes an ideal balance among theoretical…


Book cover of Social Cognition: From Brains to Culture

Frank R. Kardes Author Of Handbook of Research Methods in Consumer Psychology

From my list on consumer psychology.

Who am I?

Frank R. Kardes, Ph.D. is the Donald E. Weston Professor of Marketing and Distinguished Research Professor at the Lindner College of Business at the University of Cincinnati. He is a recipient of the Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award of the Society for Consumer Psychology, and a Fellow of five national professional societies. His research focuses on omission neglect, consumer judgment, and inference processes, persuasion and advertising, and consumer and managerial decision making. He was Co-Editor of Advances in Consumer Research, Journal of Consumer Psychology, the Handbook of Consumer Psychology, and Marketing Letters, and serves or has served on seven editorial boards. He has published nine books and over 100 articles and chapters on consumer psychology.

Frank's book list on consumer psychology

Frank R. Kardes Why did Frank love this book?

The new fourth edition of the classic text on cognitive social psychology with many important implications for understanding consumer psychology. The authors are leading researchers and the text is organized using an information processing perspective. The text covers classic social psychological topics, such as person perception, person memory, stereotyping, attitudes and persuasion, causal inference, and decision making. The text is science-based, high level, but also very readable and appropriate for a general audience.

By Susan T. Fiske, Shelley E. Taylor,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Social Cognition as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The social world is complicated and our minds are limited, so we take shortcuts. You have to make quick decisions - this person is dangerous, this one is not. The shortcuts we take mostly work well enough, because, after all, we survive. But some are deeply unjust, including racial or social class categories or other unfair stereotypes.

This book will help you understand how these shortcuts work, why they exist, and how they are changing.

There are examples in each chapter which
* Show applications in the real world to help with your understanding
* Highlight significant pieces of research…


Book cover of Routledge International Handbook of Ignorance Studies

Michael Smithson Author Of Uncertainty and Risk: Multidisciplinary Perspectives

From my list on ignorance, uncertainty, and risk.

Who am I?

My interest in ignorance and uncertainty was sparked when I was an undergraduate mathematics student. I was taking my first courses in probability and then reading about Gödel’s incompleteness theorem, realizing that even mathematics contains untamed unknowns. Later, as a PhD student in sociology I read theories about how knowledge is socially constructed, the foundation of the “sociology of knowledge”. I wondered why there wasn’t also a “sociology of ignorance”. That ignited my interest, and the social construction of ignorance became my life-long research topic. I have since seen it grow from my solo efforts in the 1980s to a flourishing multidisciplinary topic of research and public debate.  

Michael's book list on ignorance, uncertainty, and risk

Michael Smithson Why did Michael love this book?

Ignorance studies arrived full-blown with the first edition of this Handbook in 2015, and the second edition is even better, both in breadth and in depth. 

As the editors point out, ignorance has become increasingly politically relevant recently, and the book’s chapters reflect this. It’s arranged in five parts, starting with new philosophical insights and perspectives on the study of ignorance, and moving to the manifestations and uses of ignorance in science and technology, politics and law, inter-group relations, and political economy. 

An impressive variety of disciplines and domains is represented, including the arts, social sciences, law, philosophy, and physical and biological sciences. If you desire a deep dive into ignorance then this book is for you, and it’s available as an ebook at a very reasonable price. 

By Matthias Gross (editor), Linsey McGoey (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Routledge International Handbook of Ignorance Studies as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Once treated as the absence of knowledge, ignorance has now become a highly influential and rapidly growing topic in its own right. This new edition of the seminal text in the field is fully revised and includes new and expanded chapters on religion; domestic law and jurisprudence; sexuality and gender studies; memory studies; international relations; psychology; decision-theory; and colonial history.

The study of ignorance has attracted growing attention across the natural and social sciences where a wide range of scholars explore the social life and political issues involved in the distribution and strategic use of not knowing. This handbook reflects…


Book cover of Steps to an Ecology of Mind

Corey Anton Author Of Sources of Significance: Worldly Rejuvenation and Neo-Stoic Heroism

From my list on language and symbols and how they relate to the human condition.

Who am I?

Corey Anton is Professor of Communication Studies at Grand Valley State University, Vice-President of the Institute of General Semantics, Past President of the Media Ecology Association, and a Fellow of the International Communicology Institute. He is an award-winning teacher and author. His research spans the fields of media ecology, semiotics, phenomenology, stoicism, death studies, the philosophy of communication, and multidisciplinary communication theory.

Corey's book list on language and symbols and how they relate to the human condition

Corey Anton Why did Corey love this book?

Gregory Bateson, an intellectual maverick, had an evolutionary rule named after him when he was a teenager, (his father was a famed geneticist), was the formulator, along with Jurgen Ruesch, of the double-bind hypothesis of schizophrenia, and was a pioneer in the field of mammalian communication. Given its wide range of address to issues within evolutionary biology, psychiatry, anthropology, systems theory, cybernetics, and communication theory, this is a classic “must read” collection of short essays. Bateson’s unrelentingly original and provocative analyses provoke thought and defy any easy categorization. At the very least, he shows how mammalian play, as multileveled interaction, paves the way for the evolution of human language, and also, how human interaction, with its multiple logical types and different kinds of learning, occurs at various levels of abstraction.

By Gregory Bateson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Steps to an Ecology of Mind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Gregory Bateson was a philosopher, anthropologist, photographer, naturalist, and poet, as well as the husband and collaborator of Margaret Mead. With a new foreword by his daughter Mary Katherine Bateson, this classic anthology of his major work will continue to delight and inform generations of readers.

"This collection amounts to a retrospective exhibition of a working life. . . . Bateson has come to this position during a career that carried him not only into anthropology, for which he was first trained, but into psychiatry, genetics, and communication theory. . . . He . . . examines the nature of…


Book cover of Prints and the Pursuit of Knowledge in Early Modern Europe

Brian D. Cohen Author Of Bestiary: A Book of Animal Poems & Prints

From my list on illustrated stories for grown-ups.

Who am I?

I make prints and visual books. I founded Bridge Press, now in Kennebunk, Maine, 1989 to publish limited edition artist's books and etchings. The name of the press underscores the collaborative nature of book making. Visual books offered possibilities for the continuity, connection, and unfolding of images—each image is complete yet linked to every other through the structure of the book. Books seemed an ideal vehicle to assemble and connect my prints, to order and unfold a sequence of images, with defined and recurrent shapes, motifs, and composition, and to create a setting in which each image is complete yet linked to every other through the structure of the binding or enclosure.

Brian's book list on illustrated stories for grown-ups

Brian D. Cohen Why did Brian love this book?

The advent of the exactly repeatable pictorial statement is arguably the most significant technological and cultural innovation in the history of humankind. This book examines in detail the contributions to scientific knowledge made by significant Renaissance artists, Hans Holbein, Albrecht Dürer, and Hendrick Goltzius principally among them. In addition to reproducing woodcuts, engravings, and etchings, the book depicts various complex forms of paper engineering from the Renaissance that acted as scientific instruments, maps, simulacra, or utile devices in themselves. 

By Susan Dackerman (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Prints and the Pursuit of Knowledge in Early Modern Europe as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An unusual collaboration among distinguished art historians and historians of science, this book demonstrates how printmakers of the Northern Renaissance, far from merely illustrating the ideas of others, contributed to scientific investigations of their time. Hans Holbein, for instance, worked with cosmographers and instrument makers on some of the earliest sundial manuals published; Albrecht Durer produced the first printed maps of the constellations, which astronomers copied for over a century; and Hendrick Goltzius's depiction of the muscle-bound Hercules served as a study aid for students of anatomy. Prints and the Pursuit of Knowledge in Early Modern Europe features fascinating reproductions…


Book cover of Know-It-All Society: Truth and Arrogance in Political Culture

Virginia Rademacher Author Of Derivative Lives: Biofiction, Uncertainty, and Speculative Risk in Contemporary Spanish Narrative

From my list on combating post-truth contagions.

Who am I?

I’m a writer and professor of literary studies whose work has been deeply involved in topics of truth, realism, and public policy. My recent book considers works of fiction that openly and honestly experiment with questions of uncertainty, identity, and risk in the supermodern present. This book draws from disciplinary discourses in law, finance, and economics, which similarly contend with competing claims to truth and value and dive deep into the circumstantial and speculative games that authors play when they write fiction about reality. I have my PhD in Spanish Literature (UVA), M.A. in International Affairs and Economics (Johns Hopkins Univ.), and a B.A. from Harvard University.

Virginia's book list on combating post-truth contagions

Virginia Rademacher Why did Virginia love this book?

I found incredibly compelling the argument of how important humility and the willingness to admit what we don’t know are to democratic, liberal thought.

That we have become a society that rarely listens to ideas that challenge our own or that disrupt what we think we know to be true–is hugely dangerous. 

As Lynch explores, more information has not led to greater certainty or confidence in the answers we find. What we are experiencing is not only a crisis of truth, but one of trust.

By Michael P. Lynch,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Know-It-All Society as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Taking stock of our fragmented political landscape, Michael Patrick Lynch delivers a trenchant philosophical take on digital culture and its tendency to make us into dogmatic know-it-alls. The internet-where most shared news stories are not even read by the person posting them-has contributed to the rampant spread of "intellectual arrogance." In this culture, we have come to think that we have nothing to learn from one another; we are rewarded for emotional outrage over reflective thought; and we glorify a defensive rejection of those different from us.

Interweaving the works of classic philosophers such as Hannah Arendt and Bertrand Russell…


Book cover of The Ascent of Market Efficiency: Finance That Cannot Be Proven

Emily Erikson Author Of Trade and Nation: How Companies and Politics Reshaped Economic Thought

From my list on economic theory by non-economists.

Who am I?

I’m fascinated by systems of thought and very interested in understanding how we can improve our ability to create a better society for all. I think the past makes a good laboratory for investigating these kinds of questions. I got interested in early modern economic theory while researching the English East India Company for my dissertation in the sociology department of Columbia University, which was a great place for historical and computational sociology. I now teach economic sociology and theory as a professor at Yale University, another institution with amazing strengths in history, data science, and computational methods.

Emily's book list on economic theory by non-economists

Emily Erikson Why did Emily love this book?

This is a serious scholarly investigation of the origin and eventual triumph of the efficient market hypothesis. Polillo is very smart and the theoretical sophistication high. It combines a thorough history with some extremely interesting ideas about thought, culture, and social processes fleshed out with several different methods of analysis and interpretation.

By Simone Polillo,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Ascent of Market Efficiency as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Ascent of Market Efficiency weaves together historical narrative and quantitative bibliometric data to detail the path financial economists took in order to form one of the central theories of financial economics-the influential efficient-market hypothesis-which states that the behavior of financial markets is unpredictable.

As the notorious quip goes, a blindfolded monkey would do better than a group of experts in selecting a portfolio of securities, simply by throwing darts at the financial pages of a newspaper. How did such a hypothesis come to be so influential in the field of financial economics? How did financial economists turn a lack…


Book cover of Knowledge Resistance: How We Avoid Insight from Others

Michael Smithson Author Of Uncertainty and Risk: Multidisciplinary Perspectives

From my list on ignorance, uncertainty, and risk.

Who am I?

My interest in ignorance and uncertainty was sparked when I was an undergraduate mathematics student. I was taking my first courses in probability and then reading about Gödel’s incompleteness theorem, realizing that even mathematics contains untamed unknowns. Later, as a PhD student in sociology I read theories about how knowledge is socially constructed, the foundation of the “sociology of knowledge”. I wondered why there wasn’t also a “sociology of ignorance”. That ignited my interest, and the social construction of ignorance became my life-long research topic. I have since seen it grow from my solo efforts in the 1980s to a flourishing multidisciplinary topic of research and public debate.  

Michael's book list on ignorance, uncertainty, and risk

Michael Smithson Why did Michael love this book?

Don’t be misled by the title: this book will not reassure you that other people resist what you and I know are obvious facts because they’re stupid or irrational. 

We all resist and reject knowledge of various kinds, and this book is a thoughtful investigation into the sociocultural, political, psychological, and biological influences behind that. Klintman’s multi-disciplinary inclusiveness is a refreshing antidote to conventional single-discipline writing on this topic. 

Another aspect of this book dear to my heart is his willingness to examine evidence pointing to the benefits as well as the drawbacks of knowledge resistance, including writings on “rational ignorance”. That said, he also squarely addresses the question of what to do when knowledge resistance causes harm, and why the answer is not simply “more education”. 

By Mikael Klintman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Knowledge Resistance as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Why do people and groups ignore, deny and resist knowledge about society's many problems? In a world of 'alternative facts', 'fake news' that some believe could be remedied by 'factfulness', the question has never been more pressing. After years of ideologically polarised debates on the topic, this book seeks to further advance our understanding of the phenomenon of knowledge resistance by integrating insights from the social, economic and evolutionary sciences. It identifies simplistic views in public and scholarly debates about what facts, knowledge and human motivations are and what 'rational' use of information actually means. The examples used include controversies…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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