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Super Thinking

The Big Book of Mental Models
Narrated by: René Ruiz
Length: 12 hrs and 37 mins
Categories: Business & Money, Careers
4.5 out of 5 stars (11 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"You can't really know anything if you just remember isolated facts. If the facts don't hang together on a latticework of theory, you don't have them in a usable form. You've got to have models in your head." (Charlie Munger, investor, vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway)

The world's greatest problem-solvers, forecasters, and decision-makers all rely on a set of frameworks and shortcuts that help them cut through complexity and separate good ideas from bad ones. They're called mental models, and you can find them in dense textbooks on psychology, physics, economics, and more.  

Or, you can just listen to Super Thinking, a fun, illustrated guide to every mental model you could possibly need. How can mental models help you? Well, here are just a few examples:

  • If you've ever been overwhelmed by a to-do list that's grown too long, maybe you need the Eisenhower Decision Matrix to help you prioritize.
  • Use the 5 Whys model to better understand people's motivations or get to the root cause of a problem.
  • Before concluding that your colleague who messes up your projects is out to sabotage you, consider Hanlon's Razor for an alternative explanation.
  • Ever sat through a bad movie just because you paid a lot for the ticket? You might be falling prey to Sunk Cost Fallacy
  • Set up Forcing Functions, like standing meeting or deadlines, to help grease the wheels for changes you want to occur.

So, the next time you find yourself faced with a difficult decision or just trying to understand a complex situation, let Super Thinking upgrade your brain with mental models.

Includes a PDF of charts, drawings, and cartoons illustrating the mental models of super thinking. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2019 Gabriel Weinberg and Lauren McCann (P)2019 Penguin Audio

What the critics say

“An intellectual playground that will have your brain doing mental reps and seeing the world differently." (Shane Parrish, creator of the Farnam Street blog and host of The Knowledge Project podcast)

“An invaluable resource for making sense of the world, making good decisions, and placing smart bets. A fast-paced and fun read, jam-packed with useful information on every page. I wish I’d had this book ages ago!” (Annie Duke, author of Thinking in Bets)

"Internalizing these mental models will help you understand the world around you. Once you can spot them, you can change your own behavior to avoid common traps, adjust how you interact with people to get better results, and maybe even articulate new mental models of the world that have yet to be discovered." (Brian Armstrong, cofounder & CEO of Coinbase)

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  • gimenez
  • 2019-08-04

Author falls in the same mental traps he talks...

First, there is a lot crammed in very little space. Basically you will not hear a single model but a simple line about a mental model with some examples, half of them fairly politically charged.

He claims to be a super expert on the matter (from some top notch university) so as an expert he needs to take a step back and talk about the subject from the outside looking in. You are not telling what to think , just how to think about thinking. There is a difference.

Anyways, I had high hopes about this book -- I am a systems engineer and have to listen to stakeholders' problems, needs and wants and I was really looking for tools to help me with my job.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • A. Mark
  • 2019-06-30

Great material with excellent flow

Mental Models are one of the most important areas to study for well-rounded knowledge. This (audio)book does a fantastic job informing the listener of a very large number of mental models. The flow of the story is quite impressive as the narrative covers so many mental models while still sounding quite natural. I have read or listened to every other current book on mental models and they all read rather awkwardly as they spout off model after model, not so with this book as it is a very informative story from beginning to end. I am enjoying listening to it several times over to make sure I am internalizing the models for everyday use.
The narrator I also must say does quite a good job and I found him a pleasure to listen to. I should also mention that while I enjoyed the audiobook, I found the print book to be a great compliment as there are many visual representations and it is easier to pick out all the different mental models with their bold type. Overall I say again, I recommend this book.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Rob Fulton
  • 2019-06-19

These two are rockstars explaining mental models

I learned an incredible amount of actionables in the first hour. This book is worth 100 times more to me than what I paid for it. Great work on the audiobook!

11 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-10-02

Highly derivative

This book is highly derivative of Thinking Fast and Slow and The Black Swan among others and is essentially a superficial recounting of these and several other books in this genre. The tone is arrogant and self-congratulatory.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Brant Holland
  • 2019-09-06

excellent content except...

A really fantastic compilation of mental models with helpful examples. Some I was familiar with and others were new. the only drawback was the author's propensity to repeatedly use climate change as an example at every possible opportunity. At times it felt like he was pontificating his personal political worldview rather than providing an example of a model in practice.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Erika Parker
  • 2019-08-19

Must read, great gift

true to its aims, you would wish you read this when you were younger.. it integrates thoughts, philosophies, and ideas from the best thinkers - such as Taleb, Kahneman, Buffett, Musk and more...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • MrNickA
  • 2019-08-01

summary of lots of other works

I didn't learn anything new or gain a deeper understanding of anything in this book. It reads like a summary of the most proven ideas of the last few centuries, but if any of these concepts were new to me, they would have been blown through too quickly to absorb. good as an index of other works and ideas to dig into deeper though, for sure. it was so much and went by so fast I found myself wondering if print or audiobook are the right format. this would be a better web site or wiki.

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  • Parzival
  • 2019-07-29

A Higher Level Perspective

This book is a tremendous reference and will be returning to it for identifying the patterns and models that present themselves daily in business and life. It’s reads very well and develops nicely building to the point, “unlock potential” where many of the concepts presented earlier apply to management. Good narration.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Dani
  • 2019-07-10

Preachy and shallow in straight monotone

Listen to the all free Freakonomics podcast for superior delivery and information of a similar type.

If you must, get the Kindle version and let Alexa read it to you. It will be better

10 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • Manoj Mahalingam
  • 2019-07-17

Super Introduction to Super Thinking

Learnt a lot, but more importantly, I now also have pointers to go deeper into understanding and utilising many of models mentioned. Serves as a very good intro on the topic. Loved the fact that the book references a lot of books and I have read or heard about only a handful of them, so my reading list has grown much bigger.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful