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 this is not how the mind works. Our best decisions are a finely tuned blend of both feeling and
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
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
Meh. Lehrer just never really grabbed me, nor did the book ever seem to synthesize into a cohesive whole. In part I was vexed by the lack of female examples: only one woman shows up in the whole thing, and she's demonstrating thinking gone wrong. Perhaps I didn't like the reliance on economists' research. It's reasonable to talk about how are brains misunderstand the difficulty of ARMs, for example, but if you don't mention the way people were...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
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
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
In “How we Decide” Lehrer puts our decision-making skills under the microscope – kind of like the thinking-person’s self-help manual, promising not only to explain how we decide, but also to help us do it better.
This is not exactly uncharted terrain. Malcolm Gladwel...more
In addition to presenting conclusions based on psychological studies, Lehrer uses information we have gained from studying the brain to build a description of how decision...more
My journey into the world of the Grey Matter started with Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink and then moved into Freewill by Sam Harris, The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, Predictably Irrational by Dan Airely, Quiet by Susan Cain, Incognito by David Eagleman and Emotional Intelligence by Travis Bradberry. And when I thought I knew a little bit, in comes 27 year old Author - Jonah Lehrer with his Mind-Boggling Contribution to the world of Neuros...more
One of the things I found most fascinating is that people make rational decisions when they don't have very much information an...more
While that part has gotten repetitive for me, the author does come to some feasi...more
It's basically this kind of stuff...more
Author: Jonah Lehrer
How We Decide is a deep investigation of (for a lack of better words) how we decide. It provides the reader with an extensive, analytical view of how certain parts of the brain are triggered based on multiple scenarios. The reader gets a better understanding of what goes on when he or she make decisions, such as considering other people's thoughts and opinions when making his or her own decisions to maximize his or her profit. It combines thoughtful reason...more