A Collection of Strange Beliefs, Amusing Deceptions, and Dangerous Delusions

Books by Robert Todd Carroll

Critical Thinker's Dictionary

The Critical Thinker's Dictionary: Biases, Fallacies, and Illusions and what you can do about them (2013) is available as an e-book from Amazon. Amazon provides a significant "look inside." The paperback edition is 348 pages and is available from Lulu.

The audiobook, narrated by Kristen James, is available from Audible.com, iTunes, and Amazon.com. For a free mp3 sample, click here.

The Critical Thinker's Dictionary, like The Skeptic's Dictionary, is a dictionary with an attitude. Rather than present dry, impersonal definitions of terms (from ad hoc to wishful thinking), it contains short articles on dozens of topics relevant to critical thinking, cognitive biases and illusions, and logical fallacies. Examples are taken from the skeptic's list of usual suspects--religion, the paranormal, pseudoscience, spirit science, alternative medicine--as well as from politics, economics, science, and medicine. The Critical Thinker's Dictionary is based on the blog "Unnatural Acts That Can Improve Your Thinking," which ran for about a year as a follow-up to the book Unnatural Acts: Critical Thinking, Skepticism, and Science Exposed!

Click here to read a review on Science-Based Medicine by Harriet Hall, M.D.

You don't need a Kindle to enjoy a Kindle book. Free apps available from Amazon will let you read a Kindle book on your Mac, iPad, Windows PC, iPhone, Android, Windows phone 7, or Blackberry.

A Chinese translation of The Critical Thinker's Dictionary is being prepared by Xinhua Publishing House of Beijing and should be out sometime in 2015.

For Kids 9 and up

cover Mysteries and Science

Mysteries and Science (2012) is for kids 9 and up. It takes a look at weird things from abracadabra to zombies. What does science have to say about things like astrology, Bigfoot, dowsing, ESP, ghosts, and monsters? These and other similar topics are covered here, including predictions of the end of the world, palm reading, and vampires. In all, Science and Mysteries takes you on a journey through fifty chapters. Some chapters deal with weird things, some deal with how scientists think and what kinds of tools they use to investigate things. We may not always agree with scientists, but they make us think. And thinking is always a good thing.

Print version: 110 pages, available from Lulu.com.

E-book available for from Amazon for Kindle, Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD, iPad, and iPhone.


Cover for Unnatural Acts

Order from Amazon. Order the iBook from Apple.

Unnatural Acts (2011) is for people who want to improve their thinking, become more accurate in their beliefs and more reasonable in their actions, and who are tired of being fooled by others.

The book is about natural and unnatural thinking, and how the way we think affects everything we do. Natural thinking is instinctive, intuitive, quick and dirty. It works pretty well most of the time, but it can get us into trouble. We can deceive ourselves into believing what’s not true or even what goes against our own self-interest, if we’re not careful. And manipulators who understand natural thinking can use that understanding to hoodwink us into believing what isn’t true or doing what they want us to do. You can reduce the chances of being duped by learning how to think in unnatural ways.

Chapter One: Believing in the Palpably Not True Many of us spend much of our lives passionately defending the palpably not true. Why? Read this chapter online free.

click here, to read a review by The SkepDoc

unnatural acts cover

click here to order the paperback

also available from Amazon




Becoming a Critical Thinker

Becoming a Critical Thinker, 2nd ed. (2005) Ordering information




Table of contents. Links are to pdf files for free download of entire chapters.

1. Critical Thinking
2. Language and Critical Thinking
3. Sources
4. Identifying Arguments
5. Evaluating Arguments
6. Evaluating Extended Arguments
7. Sampling and Analogical Reasoning
8. Causal Reasoning
9. Science and Pseudoscience
Answers to Selected Exercises (note ch. 4 graphs are incomplete)


The Skeptic's Dictionary
Ordering information

The Skeptic's Dictionary (2003) is a website and a book. Each features definitions, arguments, and essays on topics ranging from acupuncture to zombies, and provides a lively, commonsense trove of detailed information on things supernatural, paranormal, and pseudoscientific.

Dozens of topics in logic, cognitive biases, perception, science, and philosophy are also covered to help explain the appeal and popularity of occult beliefs and to provide a guide for critical thinking.  » More about the SD & Reader comments on the SD

The Web site was created in 1994 - thanks to the Davis Community Network - and is still evolving. The book was published in 2003 by John Wiley & Sons, thanks in large part to literary agent Ted Weinstein and former Wiley editor Jeff Golick.


Student Success Guide

The purpose of the Student Success Guide: Study Skills (1990) book is to provide a systematic approach to learning the skills needed by every successful student: skills such as vocabulary building, time management, listening and concentration, reading and studying textbooks, taking notes, reviewing and preparing for tests.

free pdf download


Student Success Guide: Writing Skills

The Student Success Guide: Writing Skills (1990) is a companion to the Student Success Guide: Study Skills book. The purpose of each is to provide a systematic approach to learning the skills needed by every successful student. The study skills text focuses on vocabulary building, time management, listening and concentration, reading and studying textbooks, taking notes, reviewing and preparing for tests. The writing skills text focuses on building those skills needed by the college student to fulfill typical writing assignments.

free pdf download


Stillingfleet cover





Last updated 22-Mar-2016

© Copyright 1994-2016 Robert T. Carroll * This page was designed by Cristian Popa.