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How We Decide Paperback – Bargain Price, January 14, 2010
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The first book to use the unexpected discoveries of neuroscience to help us make the best decisions.
Since Plato, philosophers have described the decision-making process as either rational or emotional: we carefully deliberate, or we blink and go with our gut. But as scientists break open the mind's black box with the latest tools of neuroscience, they re discovering that this is not how the mind works. Our best decisions are a finely tuned blend of both feeling and reason and the precise mix depends on the situation. When buying a house, for example, it's best to let our unconscious mull over the many variables. But when we're picking a stock, intuition often leads us astray. The trick is to determine when to use the different parts of the brain, and to do this, we need to think harder (and smarter) about how we think.
Jonah Lehrer arms us with the tools we need, drawing on cutting-edge research as well as the real-world experiences of a wide range of deciders from airplane pilots and hedge fund investors to serial killers and poker players. Lehrer shows how people are taking advantage of the new science to make better television shows, win more football games, and improve military intelligence. His goal is to answer two questions that are of interest to just about anyone, from CEOs to firefighters: How does the human mind make decisions? And how can we make those decisions better?
A Q&A with Jonah Lehrer, Author of How We Decide
(Photo © Nina Subin, 2008)
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
"Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has decided that disgraced journalist and author Jonah Lehrer's second book, How We Decide, will be taken off shelves at bookstores after the publisher's internal investigation uncovered "significant problems," The Daily Beast reports. Lehrer, who publicly apologized (in exchange for a substantial fee) last month for fabricating Bob Dylan quotes in his third book Imagine, resigned from The New Yorker in July. Imagine was pulled from shelves last year. The publisher didn't go into specifics about the problems with How We Decide, but Daily Beast's Michael Moynihan had previously flagged some "problematic passages.""
Sigh...I was looking forward to this read. Is originality dead?
The book is an easy read, interesting, and informative. It is, however, a lightweight read. Do not expect great depth into any of the studies -- it is more like a survey course or cliff notes in many respects. This makes it approachable for an audience without any science background, but it also left me wanting a lot more depth. I also found the concluding chapter to be forced... it didn't really have much to offer.
I am glad to have read the book, but I didn't walk away feeling amazed.
I think I would have had less of an issue with the similar content if the book was told in a way that was compelling and interesting. However, this was just not the case for me. I found that the storytelling paled in comparison to books like Buyology and Blink. It's completely subjective but there was just nothing pushing me along to keep me engaged in the book. I generally have a high tolerance for dry writing but I found myself consistently putting this down and having to encourage myself to pick it back up. Granted, reading examples I had heard before probably contributed to this, but the writing didn't help in my opinion either. I think the one strength of this book is that it is very well researched and it is clear that Lehrer really knows what he is talking about.
Overall I think this book was just too similar to others I had read on similar topics and not written as compellingly as those books either.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Surprised at negative reviews
I thought the book was great. It explained so much I did not know. Maybe the negatives were from super smart people. Read more
Jonah Lehrer has a way with words. I read this book as part of my thesis, but because his writing was so clear and engaging, I'll be reading his other books!Published 2 months ago by RobinJBR
I think this book is just okay compared to other books about psychology.Published 2 months ago by Sikawat T.
Easily understandable descriptions of the decision making process supported by plenty of practical examples.Published 2 months ago by Francisco Laborde
Excellent book, based on current research, with memorable examples.Published 3 months ago by Kindle Customer
Despite the controversy about the author, this was a great collection of insights into how people make decisions. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Joseph Urban