Customer Review

133 of 143 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dissapointing Rehash of Other, Better Books, December 7, 2008
This review is from: Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior (Hardcover)
I was excited when I purchased this book. I have read numerous titles in this genre, like Blink, Predictably Irrational, Influence, etc., and I was looking forward to more ineresting insights and anecdotes.

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. They are MUCH better:

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion (Collins Business Essentials)

Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

13 Things That Don't Make Sense: The Most Baffling Scientific Mysteries of Our Time
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 26, 2012 5:20:57 AM PDT
C. Oswald says:
Thanks a lot for the heads up. I like books like these, but it seems after a while it is a regression to the means of sort and they just bring up the same points over and over again.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 24, 2013 4:49:16 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jun 24, 2013 4:49:28 AM PDT]

Posted on Feb 22, 2015 3:22:23 AM PST
S. Chang says:
your comments have swayed me not to not bother with this book.

your suggestions of books seem solid, with 700+ reviews on amazon, and BLINK I've listened to before and I thought it was well done.

However, the 13 Things That Don't Make Sense book seems to have WAY WORSE reviews then even this book, SWAY

anyways, I'm not saying who's right or wrong, but it's just an interesting note,

either way, thanks for the review

Posted on Apr 24, 2015 1:48:05 AM PDT
Mak says:
Thanks for your review. I too have read a couple of social psychology books. Thinking Fast and Slow is my favorite. I was wondering whether it is worth getting this book.
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