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The Decisive Moment: Hardcover – January 1, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd (2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847673139
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847673138
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,330,808 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jonah Lehrer is a Contributing Editor at Wired and the author of How We Decide and Proust Was a Neuroscientist. He graduated from Columbia University and studied at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. He's written for The New Yorker, Nature, Seed, The Washington Post and The Boston Globe. He's also a Contributing Editor at Scientific American Mind and National Public Radio's Radio Lab.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
(Readers should note that this is the same book as "How We Decide" with a different title and cover.)

In recent years, there has been a glut of books like "The Decisive Moment" hitting the non-fiction market, and many parts of this book felt familiar. Like both "Outliers: The Story of Success" and "Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior", "The Decisive Moment" retells stories of white-knuckle decisions being made by airline pilots in seriously desperate situations; like "Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard" many 'classic' social-psychological studies of human behaviour are poured over to illuminate how human beings make irrational choices.

What makes Lehrer's book interesting is his use of neurobiology to really tease out how different parts of the brain contribute towards the decision making process, and while many Critical Psychologists and/or Philosophers of Mind might cringe at his anthropomorphizing of (say) dopamine-expressing neurons, the author certainly brings something different to the table. Other reviewers have caricatured his linkage of mental states with neurological activity, but I found his writing both sober, informative and quite engrossing (he has none of the swagger of say, Steven Pinker, who has covered similar pop-science ground but with a political agenda). Having a somewhat cursory, patchy knowledge of brain anatomy, I didn't find his brain discussions to be too indulgent, although some simple vector drawings of the brain might have helped orientate the reader at different points of the discussion.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Simon Laub on June 26, 2010
Format: Paperback
Making good decisions is something of a black art. It takes years of practice, and still it can be quite difficult to explain the mechanics behind it. In the end, our best decisions are a finely tuned blend of feeling and reason, where the precise mix depends on the situation.
And with Jonah Lehrers book ''The Decisive Moment'' we become a little wiser on exactly how the brain makes up its mind.
Still, when there is so much to learn, obviously, one book can only take us so far. But this book is a good place to start. And takes us through at least some of the issues involved in human decision making: Limbic impatience, Framing, Loss aversion, Mental accounting, The achoring effect, Rational vs. emotional processing, Outsourcing of decisions etc.
The book is full of fascinating facts and a good introduction to human decision making.

-Simon
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By cesar on April 19, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
To us interested in how we thing is a very usefull review. I advised to any proffesional in the psycology area
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