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Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior Hardcover – Deckle Edge, June 3, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"A breathtaking book that will challenge your every thought, Sway hovers above the intersection of Blink and Freakonomics."--Tom Rath, coauthor of the New York Times #1 bestseller How Full Is Your Bucket?
“Now we know why no one ever coined the phrase ‘rational exuberance.’ Behind the surprising ways we all make choices, the Brafmans find biology, humanity, and the wisdom of our collective experience. As a longtime student of how financial decisions are made, I found their insights utterly fascinating. Once I started reading, I couldn’t stop—and I suspect the Brafmans could tell you exactly why!”
--Sallie Krawcheck, CEO, Citi Global Wealth Management
"Count me swayed--but in this instance by the pull of entirely rational forces. Ori and Rom Brafman have done a terrific job of illuminating deep-seated tendencies that skew our behavior in ways that can range from silly to deadly. We'd be fools not to learn what they have to teach us."--Robert B. Cialdini, author of New York Times bestseller Influence
—Klaus Schwab, chairman of the World Economic Forum
"A page-turner of an investigation into how our minds work . . . and trick us. Think you behave rationally? Read this book first."--Timothy Ferriss, author of the New York Times #1 bestseller The 4-Hour Workweek
"Sway helped me recognize an aspect of irrational behavior in my experimental work in physics. Sometimes I have jumped into some research that didn't feel quite right . . . but some irrational lure, such as the hope of quick success, pulled me in."--Martin L. Perl, 1995 Nobel Laureate in Physics
*DISCLAIMER: If you decide to buy this book because of these endorsements, you just got swayed. One of the psychological forces you’ll read about in Sway is our tendency to place a higher value on opinions from people in positions of prominence, power, or authority.
(But you should still buy the book.)
"If you think you know how you think, you'd better think again! Take this insightful, delightful trip to the sweet spot where economics, psychology, and sociology converge, and you'll discover how our all-too-human minds actually work."--Alan M. Webber, founding editor of Fast Company magazine
You may have noticed that some of our books are identified as "deckle edge" in the title. Deckle edge books are bound with pages that are made to resemble handmade paper by applying a frayed texture to the edges. Deckle edge is an ornamental feature designed to set certain titles apart from books with machine-cut pages. See a larger image.
More About the Author
Ori has repeatedly pushed the envelope of thinking about leadership, decision-making, and human interaction via the three books he has co-authored: The Starfish & The Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations (2006), Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior (2008), and Click: The Magic of Instant Connections (2010). His newest book, The Chaos Imperative is about the need for organized chaos in organizations, and about his extensive work at the very top levels of the US military.
Top Customer Reviews
Unfortunately, almost the entire book has been covered (in more detail) by the books mentioned above.
I felt like I was reading a cliff's notes version of these previous works, with dumber (but warm!) authors.
If the book was just a regurgitation, I would let it slide. But, in some cases, the authors miss the point entirely.
For instance, when they are discussing the placebo effect, they mention the fact that "Prozac had about the same theapeutic effect" as a placebo (page 97).
They continue that although "the SSRI drugs are clinically ineffective, psychiatrists nevertheless kept diagnosing and prescribing. Once even the most seasoned professionals begin diagnosing, it's very hard to stop." (page 97 cont).
With a wave of the hand, the effectiveness of Prozac is disproven.
Or is it?
If these guys had bothered to read "13 Things That Dont Make Sense" by Michael Brooks, they might have uncovered the REALLY INTERESTING THING about Prozac and the placebo effect.
But no, instead they choose to become examples of the very diagnostic bias that they advocate against.
This is one example. There are many, many more.
Sorry guys... you seem like nice fellows. But c'mon... if you are going to write a book, at least write one I haven't read before.
For any of the readers out there interested in original work, I recommend passing on this one and checking out some of these titles.Read more ›
I rather like books that make me think twice about truths I hold self-evident. And Sway certainly made me think. Did I pre-judge my employees based on what others had said about them, or their previous jobs? Do I make rash (and possibly dangerous or stupid) choices when I'm committed to a certain plan of action and feel any diversion would be a loss? I certainly look for fairness in my business and personal transactions. But is fairness the key metric? Maybe not.
The book has opened my eyes and mind to new ways of approaching my business activities and relationships and family interactions. Hopefully I will recognize in advance a moment where I might act rash or choose the wrong -- irrational -- path and think again about my choices.
The upside of this book is that it is a quick read, and does contain some new case studies to illustrate choice psychology principles.
If you take this subject seriously, or want to have a better understanding of the topics, I would instead urge you to read Predictably Irrational, Revised and Expanded Edition: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions, The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less, or Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness. If you want a quick, easy read about this, try Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive.
Cool stuff: Great examples bring the ideas to life. (Hearing a master play a Stradivarius on the NY subway, the academic reaction to the Piltdown man, a surprising secret in an Israeli army leadership training course. On and on.) No need for any prior psychology knowledge. Clearly lets the reader understand the non-intuitive principles involved. Includes recent research findings in a story driven format. Not bogged down by intellectual showing off or long digressions. There are references at the back for those who want to read the original research.
What it is not: This ain't a definitive textbook. It is not new ground (but rather an overview of the field in a readable form). It doesn't get into details or any depth of why we behave in these ways, or how the behaviours may be connected. But that's OK, as long as you know you are buying a great general read not a graduate-level treatment.
The book finds new veins of gold in the mine of psychological research that has already produced Robert Cialdini's `Influence,' Scott Plous's `The Psychology of Judgement and Decision Making,' and other cool books like `Nudge,' or ` Freakanomics.' An fascinating worthwhile read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great read on the human element and some of the underlying fActors that influence the decisions we make. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Murat O. Suleiman
A very well researched book, with dozens of small stories, surveys and studies to help even an uninitiated reader understand the basics of behavioral economics.Published 1 month ago by AE
A great book to understand human behavior. It keeps you interested and shows many examples where the behavior was seen/observed and where this knowledge is already used in the real... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Boris Cipot
There comes a time when every person feels the irresistible urge to be reckless. The examples in this books are outstanding and hit the spot. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Scientist PS
Great light reading, with full academic references to dig deeper.Published 3 months ago by Neil Cowley