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Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconscious Paperback – June 24, 2008
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"Logic be damned! See how doctors really make tough diagnoses, how police spot drug couriers, and more. Gigerenzer delivers a convincing argument for going with your gut."
"Gladwell drew heavily on Gigerenzer's research. But Gigerenzer goes a step further by explaining just why our gut instincts are so often right. Intuition, it seems, is not some sort of mystical chemical reaction but a neurologically based behavior that evolved to ensure that we humans respond quickly when faced with a dilemma."
"Memorable. Clever. Gerd Gigerenzer, director of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, locates specific strategies that the unconscious mind uses to solve problems. These are not impulsive or capricious responses, but evolved methods that lead to superior choices. In short chapters, using vivid examples and ordinary language, Gigerenzer explains how an outfielder catches a fly ball not by complex calculations but by unconsciously adjusting his running speed so that the angle of his gaze at the ball remains constant. In problem-solving, having too much information is often as harmful as having too little; having just enough information works best."
"THE BOSTON GLOBE"
"There are lots of good, solid reasons to trust your instincts, says Gerd Gigerenzer, who was among the researchers behind BLINK. The decisions they give rise to are usually sound. Without intuition, he says, we would drown in a sea of data points."
"Goes beyond Gladwell's "BLINK" to reveal the evolutionary basis of intuition"
"Winning blend of anecdotal and scientific evidence"
"Converts aspecialized topic into a conduit for greater self-awareness among his readers."
"A pleasing, edifying tour of territory that has long been dark and unexplored. Gigerenzer's prose is lively and evocative"
a Before his research, this was a topic dismissed as crazed superstition. Gigerenzer is able to show how aspects of intuition work and how ordinary people successfully use it in modern life.a
a"The New York Times"
a Goes beyond Gladwellas Blink to reveal the evolutionary basis of intuition.a
a Logic be damned! Gigerenzer delivers a convincing argument for going with your gut.a
Before his research, this was a topic dismissed as crazed superstition. Gigerenzer is able to show how aspects of intuition work and how ordinary people successfully use it in modern life.
"The New York Times"
Goes beyond Gladwell s Blink to reveal the evolutionary basis of intuition.
Logic be damned! Gigerenzer delivers a convincing argument for going with your gut.
"Men s Health"
? Before his research, this was a topic dismissed as crazed superstition. Gigerenzer is able to show how aspects of intuition work and how ordinary people successfully use it in modern life.?
?"The New York Times"
? Goes beyond Gladwell's Blink to reveal the evolutionary basis of intuition.?
? Logic be damned! Gigerenzer delivers a convincing argument for going with your gut.?
About the Author
Gerd Gigerenzer is the author of Gut Feelings. He is currently the director of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, Germany, and lectures around the world on the importance of proper risk education for everyone from school-age children to prominent doctors, bankers, and politicians.
Top customer reviews
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- Explains in layman terms how gut feelings work with reference to the findings of scientific research
- Confirms intuition as a proven legitimate problem solving tool for men and women
- Demonstrates how we are hard-wired to resolve problems with simple rules of thumb that have evolved and been shaped by our environment
- Explains how these simple rules of thumb help us grapple with an unpredictable future and how they prevail over rational deliberation and hindsight
This is an easy read in short chapters and when I finish this book I'm very inclined to buy other books by this author.
Gigerenzer points out that the standard rebuttal is wrong. A baseball player couldn't hope to gather and process all the information about the flight of a ball in real time, even approximately. Instead they use what he calls the gaze heuristic: 'fix your eyes on the ball and adjust your running speed so that your angle of vision to the ball remains constant.' The interesting thing about the gaze heuristic is that it ignores virtually all of the information about the ball's flight and focuses on just one piece of information: your angle of vision relative to the ball. But that single piece of information is enough to reliably let people catch a ball.
That in a nutshell is the concept of bounded rationality. Once you factor in the cost of gathering and processing information it becomes extremely irrational to make decisions by solving differential equations. Heuristics (AKA rules of thumb) are the way to go. They give you a lot more bang for your information-processing buck. Here is the truly radical part of Gigerenzer's book. If you were to simply claim that heuristics allow people to make decisions that are almost as good on vastly less information then I doubt many modern social scientists would disagree. But in fact Gigerenzer shows that heuristics can outperform the information-greedy favorites of the social sciences like multiple regression analysis and neural networks with back propagation.
Another really nice thing about this book is that Gigerenzer is a very good writer with a very light touch. You will not find the heavy and ponderous writing that you normally expect from scholars. This book is an easy and fast read that belongs on the shelf of everyone interested in politics and the social sciences. You may also want to consider The Bounds of Reason: Game Theory and the Unification of the Behavioral Sciences (you can easily and profitably skip over the math).
-As an example, I found the Fast and Frugal Decision Tree interesting and tremendously helpful in practical decisions (including ones relating to my Buddhist spiritual practice), and I often develop my own decision trees while approaching similar problem sets. The Decision Trees help me identify the main issues, discern the consequences, and nail down a good imperfect decision. I enjoyed his amusing discussions on Satisficers (those willing to accept a good decision and move on) and Maximizers (those wanting perfection, even at the cost of detailed analysis), and when to choose one method over the other (and when you don't). These concepts are neither unique nor original to the author but I found he explained them thoroughly and meaningfully.
-Unlike other reviewers, I rarely found the book bogging down, and when I did I used the satisficer principle and just breezed through those sections. I found his writing and persuasive style elegant, clear, and sensible. The author appeared to dispense with the abstractions, which was just right for this book. Incidentally, I have subsequently found his name arising in descriptive articles on cognitive topics (his credentials are pretty solid. Neat.
-So ... I look forward to reading some of his other works.
Are we really that flawed that in order to figure out which pizza to order you need to do multiple regression analysis?
Or do we survive (and have for millennia) because we are part of the order of things, and as such, have innately within us, the correct mechanisms to figure out things.
Or, are these mechanisms outdated in Modern society?
Gigerenzer makes a very compelling argument for, not against, Heuristics.
We are not flawed beyond repair in our thinking process.
But maybe some that espouse 'biases' are.
We do not have (or need) a computer-like brain, or worse, have a moral dictate to be an efficient being (even when such an attempt actually makes us less efficient!)
This is an identical review to Simple Heuristics That Make Us Smart (Evolution and Cognition Series) (Hardcover)
I read both, either one or both work, up to you.
Most recent customer reviews
so much so.Read more