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NancyLebovitz comments on Scientific Self-Help: The State of Our Knowledge - Less Wrong

138 Post author: lukeprog 20 January 2011 08:44PM

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Comment author: NancyLebovitz 21 January 2011 06:20:43AM 5 points [-]

I check amazon reviews for whether the reviewer says they actually got any useful changes from the book. This is very rare compared to people who recommend self-help books for other reasons like being pleasant to read.

Comment author: sfb 21 January 2011 10:43:08PM 2 points [-]

Has that check helped you?

Whether someone learns advanced piano from a book must be at least as much down to whether they know intermediate piano up to the level the book starts at, as to whether the book is a good guide to advanced piano.

But those divisions of ability and knowledge are even less agreed on in self-help, so matching up where you "are" with a book is less easy, and whether someone else matched with any given book might not be of any real help at all.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 22 January 2011 12:03:03AM 1 point [-]

This does raise the rather embarrassing question of how many of my self-help books I've actually gotten some good out of, and it's something I need to evaluate.

However, the review filter I'm using isn't exactly for identifying which books to look into. It's for eliminating otherwise promising books unless they look very good, and I'm not sure that I've bought any books that no one has reported good results from.