- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 4 hours and 55 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books
- Audible.com Release Date: June 17, 2008
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B001BACYQ6
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
|New from||Used from|
Audible Audiobook, Unabridged
|Free with your Audible trial|
Customers who bought this item also bought
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
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. 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
Compare and contrast that with the decision of a seasoned 747 pilot to abandon his safety checklist in order to save time and reputation. What could have possibly driven a man as seasoned and programmed as the computer sitting in front of you now, to disregard his own programming?
Very little about the human condition can be ascertained from the examples presented in this book other than, as worldly and self aware of our surroundings that we think we may be, human perception is actually very poor and significantly limited in scope. Since we are resourced constrained we tend to take the first information that we assess as necessary for our survival and filter out the rest. Which is why a first impression, will always have the biggest impact on us. No matter where that first impression originates. Once our brain does the filtering...it doesn't want to go back and reclassify the information...that's hard work. Once we are swayed there is almost no turning back.
You could read all the neuro physcology books in the world and not come up with a better explanation for why it happens...why the irrational decisions shape our human existence. Take skydiving for instance. Unless you have a burning desire to jump out of a perfectly good airplane I doubt anyone would be able to talk you into it. Even when you've convinced yourself the odds are pretty good that you will survive the drop, it's not the odds that count. No matter how safely you prepare, no matter how many facts you read about the safety of the sport, diving out the door of an airplane at 10,000 feet is not a natural act. Plummeting through the wind at up to 200 mph is simply something that our human bodies have never considered at any time during evolutionary development. Thus, only from the irrational, can we arrive at a decision to do so.
We cannot change our irrational side. Nor should we. Through stories, not science, books like Sway give us a deeper understanding that our irrational side is real. It's our instincts that have kept us alive for 10,000 years. Therefore it's not the irresistible pull of irrational behavior that gives us a story. The real story is why can't rational behavior win in the big the tug of war going on in our brain. In small ways, understanding that which makes us human, helps us to recognize the times when we are inhuman, as with a corporate decision to lay-off 10,000 employees to balance the spreadsheet, or at a time when we need to invoke our inhuman side, like when being in command of a 747 jumbo jet and making a decision to take off in a dense fog. We've got the ability to use both sides of our brain. The trick is to decide which one it's time to use. "Sway" gives us examples of situations where we should at least consider both sides. Four Stars for a very easy read with very good stories as examples...very similar in style Gladwell.
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.