KEY FEATURES: A student-friendly writing style makes the content more approachable for readers to retain. Personal stories from fellows of the Association of Psychological Science (APS) convey to readers that even the most distinguished experts make mistakes that can be avoided through examination. Critical thinking questions give students the opportunity to reflect on preceding essays. Stories from all areas of psychology appeal to learners beyond subfields of psychology.

Too Clever by Half

Too Clever by Half

Judy S. DeLoache

This title is based on a saying I’ve often heard English friends use. As can probably be inferred relatively easily, “too clever by half” means that one has erred by trying to be smarter than can realistically be expected in a given situation.

My “too clever” error involved a study I conducted several years ago. The focus of the experiment was to see how well very young children can recognize faces. Hence, black-and-white photographs were taken of a number of individuals—both men and women, boys and girls—that were to be presented to the participants.

As my intent was to focus specifically on facial recognition, everything else that was in the original photographs was cut ...

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