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Think Like a Freak (Freakonomics #3)

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  28,463 Ratings  ·  2,397 Reviews
In hun internationale megasellers Freakonomics en SuperFreakonomics toonden Levitt en Dubner aan dat alledaagse problemen vaak opgelost kunnen worden door gedrag dat tegen elke normale intuïtie indruist.

In Think like a freak wordt onze gangbare wijze van denken opnieuw op zijn kop gezet en leert de lezer geleerd te denken als een freak, een zonderling, en waarom dat nuttig
ebook, 304 pages
Published May 12th 2014 by William Morrow
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C. Sanders @Caitlin - the basic message in the book is to ultimately re-map your thinking, being more exploratory/open-minded if you will. That said, you comment…more@Caitlin - the basic message in the book is to ultimately re-map your thinking, being more exploratory/open-minded if you will. That said, you comment is representative of a closed mind. Maybe try NOT reading 210 pages in one sitting which IS representative of the book's message.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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May 25, 2014 Maria rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Pretty great for non-podcast listeners, but as someone who loves the Freakonomics podcast, most of this material has already been featured on there, and some of it in greater detail.
Riku Sayuj

Not Very Freaky

A very ordinary effort. Levitt & Dubner tells us the recipe to “Think Like a Freak”. Most of the ingredients are quite ordinary and almost all are trodden territory. A wholly unnecessary book.

1. That all the Big Problems of the world are too tough to solve for ordinary people like us and that we should nibble at the edges.
- A bit about game theory and about how most problems arise due to private vs public conflicts and how we need learn to realign incentives to solve small pr
May 30, 2014 Jill rated it liked it
Levitt and Dubner’s earlier two books, Freakonomics and Superfreakonomics were smashing successes because they came up with innovative insights to make sense of phenomena that were rather mysterious, such as an explanation for the drop in the crime rate over the last decade.

Hoping to find similar out-of-the-box proposals, I was eager to try their third book, Think Like A Freak.

This book contains a few surprises, but overall it seems like a slap-dash production intended to cash in on the succes
Sam Quixote
If I changed the title to “Think Outside the Box” you’d probably have a good idea of what to expect from this book - and you’d be right!

Granted I’ve not read Stephen J. Dubner and Steven D. Levitt’s other “Freak” books, Freakonomics and SuperFreakonomics, but I suspect they’re just more of what’s contained in Think Like a Freak. Hey, if it ain’t broke, right?

Think Like a Freak essentially has one very broad thesis: to approach any difficult situation/problem from an unexpected angle to solve i
Brian Clegg
May 23, 2014 Brian Clegg rated it liked it
I loved Freakonomics and its sequel, so was expecting more of the same here, but Think Like a Freak is a very different book and suffers by comparison.

The thing that absolutely blew everyone away with the earlier books was the absolute string of superb eye-opening stories, taking a sideways look at a problem using statistics and psychology (it wasn’t really economics, but it worked as a title). Perhaps the definitive example was the idea that crime rates had fallen as a result of increased avai
Jen Lawrence
Jul 31, 2014 Jen Lawrence rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. No, scratch that. I LOVED this book. Authors Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner explore how the iconoclastic approach to data revealed in Freakonomics can improve the way we think. As they write, “This book steps out of the shadows and tries to offer some advice that may occasionally be useful, whether you are interested in minor lifehacks or major global reforms.” I have to admit that I became biased in favour of this book when I saw the early reference to Philip Tetlock, ...more
This book won't be 2.5/5 stars for everyone. If, like myself, you enjoyed Steven and Stephen's earlier volumes, Freakonomics and Superfreakonomics , then congratulations! — you've found a subject area that interests you (albeit a sometimes nebulous one that can show up under the guise of a variety of disciplines). If, for some reason, you only feel comfortable learning about the ways in which data and patterns can reveal the inner workings of our world with these two Freakonomists, then t ...more
Ryan Dejonghe
May 13, 2014 Ryan Dejonghe rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book does nothing to cure my sickness: footnote-itis. Behind the two-hundred pages of text are another couple of hundred benign-sounding “underlying research citations and other background information", which the authors encourage me to use. Thanks Mr. Levitt. Thanks Mr. Dubner. I needed an extra day to write this review because I spent most of one night watching lectures from Yale Professor Dan Kahan talking about the Cultural Cognition Project. Only one-hundred-ninety-nine more footnotes ...more
Zachary Schwartz
May 17, 2014 Zachary Schwartz rated it really liked it
Shelves: economics
Fun fun fun fun fun! This was my favorite of the franchise. Like its predecessors, it is filled with amusing stories which usually highlight some economic or behavioral principle (such as sunk cost, cobra effect, etc...). Unlike its predecessors, this book has an underlying structure of a "how to" book. I feel that this gives the book a more coherent flow. The writing is accessible to anyone, lighthearted in tone, entertaining, and it moves very fast. If you listen to the podcast, many of the ...more
Yousif Al Zeera
Jul 09, 2016 Yousif Al Zeera rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, nonfiction
Levitt and Dubner continue to dazzle readers, freaks and soon-to-be-freaks with their fascinating way of combining data and narration to present interesting (and very much informative) stories on various fields.

In this book, the "theoretical" ratio slightly increased than the previous two books as the intention is lay down the foundations of "how to think like a freak", basically how to rely more on "data" and less on "anecdote". It is still full of splendid stories.
Jane Stewart
I prefer the audiobooks over the physical books. They’re great for listening while doing other things.

This is the third book in the Freakonomics series. You don’t need to read them in order. I’ve enjoyed all three. They talk about a variety of subjects.

One subject was intriguing and not answered. A multinational retail company bought tv ads 3 times a year. They had their highest sales at those three times. The authors asked the question did the ads cause the sales? Or did the sales cause the ads
Kressel Housman
Jul 16, 2014 Kressel Housman rated it really liked it
I’m a big Freakonomics fan. I’ve read the two previous books, seen the movie, and I regularly listen to the podcasts. So for a fan like me, this book was slightly disappointing because I’d heard most of the material before on the podcasts. Still, since I love the lessons so much, I didn’t mind a review. I especially liked the lesson of embracing failure instead of fearing it. Temporarily putting away your moral compass before analyzing problems was a good one, too. As the authors say, you can’t ...more
Jun 01, 2015 Paul rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-read-2015
Freakonomics and the follow up book, SuperFreakonomics were two of those books that changed the way people looked at the world and the things that happened in it. In this third volume, Levitt and Dubner are aiming to teach you the way of thinking outside the box as they do.

With chapters as diverse as The Three Hardest Words in the English Language, How to Think Like a Child and Like Giving Candy to a Baby, they bring more stories and anecdotes that demonstrate just how lateral thinking can bring
TS Chan
An entertaining read - or listen to be exact. Nothing stupendously ground-breaking to be honest but it's stuff that one doesn't really think about being too caught up in the rat race and what might be construed as conventional thinking. What I really like are the real world examples, while it might not be exactly relevant for my field of work in the financial sector, are more accessible and easy to connect to.

The audiobook has added material which is a compilation of a few Freakonomic radio/pod
Mar 08, 2016 Arminius rated it really liked it
Shelves: science, nook-book
Think like a Freak is a book that teaches people to think like kids. That means to not be afraid to not know an answer and investigate your interests without regard to what others may think. It also states to break large problems down and solve the small ones associated with them. The authors use various experiments to prove their points.

They made a website that asks people to flip a coin on whether or not to make a major decision then report how happy they were at a future date. Their conclusi
Sep 25, 2014 Lena rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This book is similar in format to their previous works - present a supposedly unconventional idea and support it with some entertaining storytelling. It's a very fast, mildly interesting read. Unfortunately, I had the feeling that I'd heard almost all of these stories elsewhere, so the book feels more like it's filling out a book contract than breaking great new ground in human thought.
Feb 16, 2016 Elizabeta rated it really liked it
Bunch of really interesting stories. Just think outside of the box!
Sumit Singla
'Brilliant' is an adjective that I use quite loosely, but it is totally apt for this book. I've enjoyed the Freakonomics podcast, and some of the material in this book is similar, but it's still great to see it spelled in black and white.

I just can't believe that I am reading this two years too late!

Stephen and Steven emphasize that it is important to look beyond the obvious, when using data to make decisions. They don't really say that you should ignore data points and focus only on your gut. T
Aug 22, 2014 Lisa rated it really liked it
Thinking like a freak has paid off for Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner in their first two wildly popular nonfiction Freakonomics books. In this book, the authors continue in the same vein by presenting counter-intuitive ideas illustrated by interesting stories that help the reader to understand why those ideas actually do make sense.

The authors go a little further this time by trying to help the reader make better decisions by thinking like a freak.

My husband and I listened to parts of this tog
Jan 05, 2014 Elisabeth marked it as to-read
Shelves: rad_man
referred in Adam Grant's list "The 12 Business Books to Read in 2014":
Jul 04, 2014 Anita rated it liked it
too short, I need more freak.
Jan 09, 2015 Ahmed rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014-business
A great book as expected from two great authors! If you have read any of Freakonomics books, listened to the podcast, or watched the documentary; you know you're here for a treat.
I would say though the only drawback of the book its length! it is very short, and will leave you wanting more! BUT at least you can read it more than once in a weekend, I know i will :)

Here are some of the main themes and notes i took while reading:

* Sometimes shooting to the middle is the boldest move to do
* When Pol
Mar 30, 2016 Truly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beberapa uraian, membuat saya memahami beberapa hal yang selama ini menggelitik rasa ingin tahu saya tapi tidak bisa saya temukan jawabannya. Misalnya mengenai kenapa penipuan di internet selalu menyebutkan Nigeria sebagai asal negara.

Ayolah, bukankah surel seperti itu sering mampir? Sering kali satu nama mengirim berulang kali. Belakangan malah ada yang mempergunakan bahasa Indonesia. Tidak pernahkah Anda merasa penasaran, kenapa Anda yang dijadiksan sasaran? Penjelasannya ada di halaman 163

Jason Edwards
Aug 06, 2014 Jason Edwards rated it it was ok
Was waiting in a bar for a friend to show up, so I sipped a beer and read a bit of Think Like a Freak. I had already read what I thought was half of it—and then suddenly the book was done. I had been fooled by the page count, not realizing that the end notes would take up a quarter of the pages. A bit of an anti-climax.

Which is sort of what this book is overall: anticlimactic. Not that it’s bad. But after the “cool” factor of Freakonomics and Superfreakonomics, Think Like a Freak was a bit thin.
Jun 21, 2014 Claire rated it really liked it
Oh, I just love the Freakonomics books and podcasts, so I was bound to enjoy this book. It is not very long at 211 pages, but they get lots of information in there. Not all of it is new information, they have re-hashed some older stories from previous books. Also, if you listen to the podcasts their way of thinking will have already worked its way in to your brain.

They discuss vast range of topics; from how to eat many hot dogs in record time, why Dave Lee Roth requests no brown M&Ms in his
May 13, 2014 Michael rated it it was amazing
This is the sort of book you recommend to others: Interesting, fairly short, and well written.

I have read the previous Freakonomics books, and have listened to all of the Freakonomics podcasts. As such, there was not much new material in "Think Like a Freak." Instead, Dubner and Levitt have distilled about 100 hours of material down to 5, with three clear messages.

1. Test assumptions, because accepted knowledge is often myth.
2. Tell a story, putting narrative above criticism.
3. Be willing to qu
Sarah Clement
Jun 14, 2014 Sarah Clement rated it really liked it
I debated between rating this 3 and 4 stars, but decided on 4 because the reasons I didn't like the book were entirely not their fault. I love the Freakonomics books. So much so that I regularly listen to their podcast, and I would estimate that over half of the content in this book is from the podcast, if not more. I understand why they do it; there's a lot of good content on the show, and it would be a pity to use it. But it meant that I didn't have those same moments of surprise and ...more
Mar 25, 2016 Blindzider rated it liked it
This is the third book in the "freakonomics" series and like the first two, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Unlike the first two, this volume imparts wisdom and advice on how to think in a different way in order to approach and solve problems. While that information was useful, it wasn't what drew me to the book because being a scientist/engineer, I tend to already think using those methods.

What I like about this book and the first two is the data and what it reveals. I love knowing what is really goin
Rawan AlFuraih
Mar 14, 2015 Rawan AlFuraih rated it it was amazing
Shelves: on-my-shelve
Think Like A Freak is now on my favorites books shelve. Its a book that will make you see the world in a different way, and it will make you think in a different way. Those kinds of books are the ones that worth reading. Chapter 8 talks about persuading people who don't wan to be persuaded, then chapter 9 talks about quitting, and how sometimes it could be the best choice, The book is simple and fun to read, although I preferred that I read "Freakonomics" first. Also, It was nominated by readers ...more
May 29, 2014 Melissa rated it liked it
The book was good. Not as good as Freakonomics. And even not on par with Super Freakonomics. My issue was that listening to the Freakonomics podcast gives you an unfair advantage of knowing almost all of the content of this book.

I still desperately want to be best friends with Dubner and Levitt. And I absolutely love their discussions around quitting. That is my favorite podcast and their coverage in Think Like a Freak was pretty good.
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Goodreads Choice ...: Think Like a Freak - (GR Choice Awards Buddy Read) - August 2015 6 20 Jul 29, 2015 01:09PM  
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Steven David "Steve" Levitt is a prominent American economist best known for his work on crime, in particular on the link between legalized abortion and crime rates. Winner of the 2003 John Bates Clark Medal, he is currently the Alvin H. Baum Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago, director of the Becker Center on Chicago Price Theory at the University of Chicago Graduate School of ...more
More about Steven D. Levitt...

Other Books in the Series

Freakonomics (4 books)
  • Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, #1)
  • SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes And Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance
  • When to Rob a Bank

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“Don’t listen to what people say; watch what they do.” 37 likes
“Solving a problem is hard enough; it gets that much harder if you’ve decided beforehand it can’t be done.” 24 likes
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