- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (September 16, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0743276698
- ISBN-13: 978-0743276696
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 77 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,789 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Your Money and Your Brain: How the New Science of Neuroeconomics Can Help Make You Rich Reprint Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. It's tempting to blame your upbringing or your stingy boss, but the real culprit in your flawed relationship with money is your very own brain, argues finance writer Zweig. Combining concepts in neuroscience, economics and psychology, he explains how our biology drives us toward good or bad investment decision. Our brains are pretty self-deceptive, it turns out: we have difficulty admitting our lack of knowledge about finances; we overestimate our own wisdom and performance; and our preference for mistakes of action rather than inaction often leads us to irrational investment decisions. Most tellingly, humans believe we're smart enough to forecast the future even when we have been explicitly told that it is unpredictable. Among the book's fun facts: the MRI brain scan of a cocaine addict is virtually identical to that of someone who thinks he is about to make money. Backed by stellar research and written in an entertaining, informal style that makes a complex subject accessible to the layperson, Zweig makes clear how we can understand what our brains are doing and how to use that knowledge to get out of our own way and invest wisely. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Do you fret over the value of your investments on a daily basis? Do you buy stocks based on a "hunch" or a gut feeling? According to Zweig, the latest scientific evidence shows that this common behavior usually results in financial loss and is caused by the way our brain reacts when we think about money. According to recent research in the emerging science of "neuroeconomics," the pleasure center in the brain that is stimulated in anticipation of "the big payout" is the same area that is affected during sex or drug use and is responsible for the addiction to gambling. Our brains, which evolved more than 200,000 years ago to react quickly to patterns and minute changes in our environment, are not equipped to handle the randomness of the stock market; but nevertheless we attempt to create meaningful patterns where there are none and base our investment decisions on erroneous assumptions. The good news is that awareness of this phenomenon can make us better investors, and Zweig offers some simple tips to avoid the pitfalls, such as taking the long view and avoiding overtrading. Siegfried, David --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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One particular example made me think that the author doesn't quite understand what he's writing about: He quotes some research at U of Chicago (Hogarth/Einhorn) in which participants are asked to select the minimum information that would support a hypothesis. We're told "... an expert claimed that the market always went up after he predicted that it would rise." Then we're asked what's the minimum information we need to verify this claim. Choice 1 is "what the market did after he predicted that it would rise"; choice 4 is "what he predicted before the market fell". Now Zweig crows that many people got it wrong by saying #1 was sufficient information, where #1 & #4 are both needed. Unfortunately, he's flat wrong -- #1 is indeed sufficient information. The expert hasn't claimed that he can predict drops correctly, or even that he can predict all increases. He simply is saying that all his "up" predictions are 100% correct, so all we need to do is to verify that prediction. Zweig then waxes on about falsification, but by now it's clear he doesn't quite get how to formulate the falsifiable hypothesis. (I'd surmise that he read the research paper wrong, because UChicago people would know better.)
Your Money and your Brain was an interesting read. The author insinuated that we have two brains, the reflective and intuition which guides us to make decisions. We are too confident in our decision making and the fact is we don't know everything. Things should be thought out rather than instant instinct decisions.
Well written book and the price point was adequate. My only concern is how am I going implement the new found information to my brain and have both my brains retrained.
The interesting thing is that the interplay between the emotional side of the brain and money (or the perceived value of something in relation to money, a stock for instance) is actually an old subject. The "Fool and His Money" has been widely commented on by an assortment of people diverse enough to include Penn & Teller, Harry Houdini and Anton Lavey as well as Warren Buffett, Ben Graham and the other financial types that you would expect to see at the table for this topic.
The difference is that now it has a name that gives it more credibility as a specialized field within both psychology and economics. The subject is old, but it's serious study is quite new. Most of what you will read and hear in Neuroeconomics represents recent work. This book is an excellent place to start. Interviews with this author and related videos on Neuroeconomics can be found on YouTube. This book and those vids will give a sound introduction to this subject.
As a psychology or neuroscience book this one gets relegated to the "yet another gee whiz pop psychology book written by a non-psychologist." It's comparable to any of Malcolm Gladwell's books in style and readability, which is good, but it also suffers the same weakness, namely that the research and rather wild extrapolations, conclusions, and speculations are presented uncritically. Extrapolating from animal and human behaviors in a laboratory setting to complex and highly socialized behaviors in a natural setting is difficult to justify, and determining causality in the correlations between brain activity and behaviors is still a subject of hot debate and current research. Psychology has been subjected to one fad after another over the years (the various "schools of psychology" we kindly call them in retrospect) that have had popular appeal, but no real scientific basis. Don't be fooled. Although Neuroscience is a real science the leap to claiming that this or that brain activity or chemistry explains complex behaviors of humans in dynamic social situations is not.
The kindle version lacks inline references to the chapter notes (present in the print edition, I think). This not only misses one of the key advantages of eBooks but also eliminates easy access to the supporting research for the claims made. I have read other eBooks on Kindle that preserved the references as hot links to the notes and/or bibliography. I don't mind paying full cover price for an eBook if it's a decent conversion, but these kindle books have serious navigation issues even in the best conversions, so lack of hot linked footnotes and references is just about a deal killer.