How We Decide
Since Plato, philosophers have described the decision-making process as either rational or emotional: we carefully deliberate, or we “blink” and go with our gut. But as scientists break open the mind’s black box with the latest tools of neuroscience, they’re discovering that ...more
Popular Answered Questions
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Things I learned:
People need to use both rational thought and emotion to make the best decisions.
We need to make our own mistakes because that is how our brains get rewired not to do it again. Emotions turn mistakes into educational events and then use those lessons unconsciously.
We get cranky when we're hungry and tired because the prefrontal cortex is the ...more
You know, in this type of book it seems there has to be an American Football story, a plane crash or two or maybe ev ...more
I'm really glad now that I didn't miss it. Most of the science books I choose to read are interesting but very few are also what I would call “entertaining”. This book was. As other reviewers have mentioned I too am leery when I start to read a book that immediately launches into a case study, because this can sometim ...more
and plain old plagiarism...
I'm not a journalist; honestly, I have trouble understanding the ethical dilemmas of "self-plagiarism." Yes, I understand that one should cite oneself, but I can also understand why this would fail to occur to an author.
Making up quotes from Bob Dylan?
Taking quotes from Wikipedia and pretending that they were interviews?
What makes one decide to do that?
I don't know where this review went, but I'm putting it back.
This is why Goodreads needs to separate itself from Amazon, and why Amazon sucks: http://www.amazon.com/How-We-Decide-J...
An average of four stars, the "most helpful negative review" is three stars, and the main page and 'negative review' doesn't mentions Lehrer's little plagiarism problem or the fact that the publisher recalled the book--they actually offered refunds. This is why I don't bother with Ama ...more
Think Malcolm Gladwell's Blink, but with much better explanations and less exciting writing.
Actually these two books use quite a number of the same studies to make their points, but where Gladwell tends toward obfuscati ...more
Something strikes me as odd. Before reaching the end of the two paragraph opening page, I find myself flipping to the author photo on the b ...more
The brain is our defining organ, giving us not only self-awareness, but also the ability to wonder about ourselves, our world, and our own mortality. It is, nevertheless, a mystery why brains work better than others---why some of us make consistently good decisions, and others never seem to learn from their mistakes.
In How We Decide, author Jonah Lehrer explores our current understanding of the human mind. In well-crafted and engaging prose, he draws on examples from professional football player...more
First of all, why would the author, who can put any picture of himself in the entire world (or no picture at all) on the back of his book choose a picture where he is wearing an unzipped hooded sweatshirt? How am I supposed to take this guy seriously? Speaking of decisions, am I right?
Second, this book seems to be formulaic pop psychology at its worst. Each chapter opens with an overly d ...more
In my recent review of The Grand Design I went on about my love of science, particularly of physics. I’ll be honest: although biology is really, really cool, I also find it kind of gross. It’s full of squishy stuff, and it was my least favourite of th ...more
Told with many examples, from pilots who saved airplanes, to all the decisions a quarterback has to make, to the best way to pick a strawberry jam, it's insightful, if perhaps not as conclusive ...more
With Blink, The Tipping Point, and Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell has cornered the market on popular studies of human behavior. But Jonah Lehrer's How We Decide holds its own with Gladwell, Stephen Pinker, Daniel Dennett, and the host of science writers increasingly focused on the complexities of the human brain. "There isn't any spectacular revelation, unique viewpoint or knockout final summation," noted the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Washington Post felt that Lehrer "does little to integrate...more
While that part has gotten repetitive for me, the author does come to some feasi ...more
Then section develops to explaining what parameters are having the most effect on our decisions. The rest of the book is a collage, which among other sources is mostly taken from Daniel Kahnemann and Antonio Damasio's works, and as they were used out of their original contexts, sometimes imply misleading conclusions.
Personally, I enjoyed the ...more
What I didn't like: The use of monkeys in experiments. Super sad!
Who I'd suggest it to: Anyone who likes pretending they are a psychologist. This will add more ammunition to the psychological gun.
let me start by deciding which ice-cream i prefer (from the cover photo) : mmmmm ......sorry Lehrer but this is hardly a decision , i am a freaking-chocolate-queen! take off the chocolate one and then i struggle.
So how do we DECIDE?
I'll put it in a nut-nutshell:
There are two systems in our brain:
1-the Logical brain (neo-cortex): many scientists has considered this part of the brain as the sole generator of "good" rational decisions.and they went c ...more
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Every time you make a mistake or encounter something new, your brain cells are busy changing themselves. Our emotions are deeply empirical.
When Schultz studied those juice-craving monkeys, he discovered that it took only a few experimental trials before the monkey's neurons knew exactly when to expect their rewards. The neuron ...more
(Selected for the Cognitive Science Reading & Discussion Group in May 2010.)
Excellent introductory book — I bumped the rating a bit above what my personal reaction was: I’ve read so many of these now that most of his lessons and examples are old news to me. But if you’re only gonna rea ...more