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Think Twice: Harnessing the Power of Counterintuition
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Think Twice: Harnessing the Power of Counterintuition

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  307 ratings  ·  38 reviews
Leaders in all fields-business, medicine, law, government-make crucial decisions every day. The harsh truth is that they mismanage many of those choices, even though they have the right intentions. These blunders take a huge toll on leaders, their organizations, and the people they serve.

Why is it so hard to make sound decisions? We fall victim to simplified mental routine
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published October 6th 2009 by Harvard Business Review Press (first published 2009)
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To be fair, I think this book must have 2 different reviews: one for those who have already read the author's "More Than You Know" (MTYK), and those who haven't.

For those who have read MTYK, this book is less useful and pretty repetitive. Most of the points in "Think Twice" (TT) have already been covered in MTYK, although in different depths. TT usually delves deeper on each subject, mostly because the material is not only focused on finance/investing as in MTIK, and because you have less ground
This book describes and examines some fascinating biases and errors we humans are subject to. Some fun quotes/notes:

His capricious performance evoked what lab researchers call Harvard’s Law, “Under the most rigorously controlled conditions of pressure, temperature, volume, humidity, and other variables, the organism will do as it damn well pleases.” - location 296

people rolling dice throw softly when they want to roll low numbers and hard for high numbers. - location 383

Before the drawing, one o
Leo Polovets
This book is dedicated to exposing mistakes people make as a result of poor intuition. The problem is that our intuition was great for the last few million years, but it has become inappropriate or ineffective in the last century or two due to the rapid innovations in technology, psychology, marketing, and so on. For example, people favor anecdotes over statistics. In one study, people were given a hypothetical choice between a cancer treatment that worked 30% of the time and one that worked 90% ...more
Maubossin's 2009 work on how to avoid common mental pitfalls probably filled a gap when it was written, but there are better texts available now to help you understand systematic thinking and judgement errors.

Think Twice seems to exist largely to temper the excessess the author perceives in Gladwell and Ariely's works.

Gladwell's popular book, Blink, leads Maubossin to take the opposite corner - that people should "Think Twice" rather than go with their gut. However, he ends his book assuring th
Sanjeev Kotnala

THINK TWICE – Harnessing the power of COUNTERINTITUTION by Michael J. Mauboussin is a sharply focussed book. What makes it interesting is the way it shows you the possible reasons : why you must THINK TWICE?. Then follows it with sharply defined MISTAKES you could be making in reaching your decisions inferences. At the end it delivers the benefit statement- as to how you can make THINK TWICE a HABIT.

liked the book. It is easy impactful impressive reading. Very tightly wr
Emil Emilov
Covers common mental mistakes in decision making process. Our old habits of thinking were well positioned to lead us through the simpler world we lived in but are more and more unsuitable to lead us to the right decision in the constantly changing environment that the modern world has become. For example we tend to oversimplify and in order to find an easier solution we ignore the extreme possibilities (black swan events) which could lead us to expect a simpler course of events than the one that ...more
Black Swan-light. Mostly recycled content from other books you read that show you how often you're wrong.
Nicholas Teague
There is a secret author's fraternity with the rule of siting each of the following at least once in each work: Taleb, Tetlock, Kahneman (and Tversky). Kahneman is their leader, his work has the most inward citations. Second in line is Taleb, followed by Tetlock, and then Mauboussin. The newest member of the group is possibly Nate Silver. They meet annually in an undisclosed location to vote on the direction of humanity's intellectual discourse. Every vote is unanimous. Kidding aside if you have ...more
Greg Linster
Think Twice is ultimately a reminder to those of us who make decisions (ahem, that means all of us) to take a step back think carefully about our decisions. After-all, what could be more important than improving our decision making abilities? As the author, Michael Mauboussin points out: “There’s a funny paradox with decision making. Almost everyone realizes how important it is, yet very few people practice (let alone read about it).”

There is something very important to remember when it comes to
Franco Arda
I regard decision making as a fundamental skill in life. It's always been a mystherie to me why books on decision making do not attract a large audience. As the author writes: There's a funny paradox with decision making. Almost everyone realizes how important it is, yet very few people practice (let alone read about it).

THINK TWICE is a fantastic book for people interested in decision making. In particular, why we often fail and how we can improve our skills. Mauboussin offers deep insights int
Tyson Strauser
Mr. Mauboussin's latest installment dives deeper into some of the ideas that he introduced in More Than You Know and focuses on the subset of cognitive heuristics that lead us into poor decision making.

In Chapter 4: Situational Awareness: How Accordian Music Boost Sales of Burgundy, MM explains how our judgement is distorted by misperception, knowledge suppression when going against the majority or by distorted perception caused by a mental flaw where we actually perceive the situation differen
Lace Lofranco
An insightful book of common pitfalls in business, investments, sports, and everyday life scenarios. I had just recently read Dan Ariely's two books: Predictably Irrational and The Honest Truth about Dishonesty, and could not help compare the them. Though it offers some fresh insights, most felt recycled from others peoples books and research, That said, it is still a well condensed informative book. It did take a jab at Behavioural Economics in the chapter More is Different, which made me 'thin ...more
Helpful guide to better decision making

Research indicates that people buy more German wine when a store’s sound system plays German music in the background and more French wine when it plays French music. However, shoppers claim that the background music has no effect on their wine choices. Most people think that they make rational decisions, even if they do not. In this example, irrelevant, low-level sensory input determines people’s choices. Michael J. Mauboussin, a finance professor and inves
Arek Salwa
Healthy dose of reality

Amazing read with powerful tools to use today if not yesterday. Ideas that we all intuitively know but were afraid to ask.
Roger Wu
Interesting book with lots of great examples. Well written and had a good narrative. Did not uncover many new stories or concepts (otherwise would have gotten 5)
Tie Kim
This is another solid book by Mauboussin, whose writing style is very easy to follow. My only issue with it is that he indites many of the same topics (e.g. confirmation bias, tunnel vision traps, awareness of the "anchoring" effect) he covered 4 years earlier in his last book, More Than You Know. If you’re debating over which book to read first, then I would lean towards More Than You Know.

Having said is a well-thought out book in which the author reminds readers to be aware of poten
An excellent overview of Mauboussin's writings on behavior, decision-making, human biases and how to compensate for them. It's what I would call an overview of major themes, written almost as though intended for a five-day workshop on the topic. Devoted readers of Mauboussin, Lehrer, Gladwell, Wilson, Tversky, Taleb and others who tackle this topic will find it a bit of a rehash of familiar topics and stories. I recommend it highly, though, for those looking for an approachable, enjoyable introd ...more
Jonathan Jeckell
This took a lot of theoretical work on cognitive science and distilled it down to practical tools to apply in real world decision making. It summarized a lot of material on heuristics and biases you would find in Daniel Kahneman's "Thinking Fast and Slow," and included a lot of other models, including Colonel Blotto, the Skill-Luck spectrum, and the Polya Urn model, and showed the real world applications. The writing style was very readable and clear.
This is a good book, helping folks to think out of the box, and be wary of the illusion of optimism, patterns, and control in their daily lives. It is one of a number of recent books addressing the importance of better understanding the irrational aspects of our thinking which at times can lead to faulty decision making by confusing correlation with causation and seeing patterns which are not really there.
John Cajucom
A great book that gives you lesson on using your counter intuition on any decision you make in your life. It tells you the errors that we humans fall into while making major decisions. We fall into these traps all the time but we can always think twice about a decision and see every every angle to every problem. Great book! It is also simply written, easy read, and gives you real life examples.
Ronald Rajagukguk
In the nutshell, this book teach us to see things in more details before making any decison. Author present a lot of cases to prove his point. Sometimes i found it a bit hard to digest the samples provided by the author. Merely because i didn't familiar with the economic jargin he was basing on. Nevertheless, this is quite an interesting book to broaden your thought.
Katherine Collins
Michael has two great talents – first, he is able to take sometimes convoluted and arcane specialized theory and make it comprehensible. And second, he is able to clearly show its application to everyday work (and life), especially in the financial business. Every person in a decision-making role should read this book. (Yes, that means everyone.)
A book every decision maker needs to read. Walks you through the most common pitfalls that human nature leads us to in making decision on complex problems. Great examples and cogent ties to other recent books(black swan, wisdom of crowds, the age of the unthinkable). I will use this for a long time to come.
Mauboussin takes the approach that thinking beyond the principles of "Blink" (Gladwell) we can then make better decisions. Mauboussin identifies errors in thinking that led to trouble in different environments. Very useful for everyday living. Thought some examples were weak for supporting arguments.
Ralph Orr
Many of the logical fallacies discussed in the book would be familiar to students of logic, psychology (both individual and crowds) and behavioral finance. The book is easy to read, making it accessable to laypersons. I picked up several useful points to improved my business and investing.
Laura Hughes
This is exactly the KIND of book that I read, but I found it dry and unmemorable. Dan Ariely is a better stating place for laymen looking to read about roadblocks to rationality, and "Nudge" is a better book about simple ways to guide large-scale decision making.
An outstanding survey of 8 of the most common thinking mistakes we humans regularly make. The author focuses on investments because that's his area of interest, but the advice works for all walks of life and business.
A great summary of other books research on why we make bad decisions and a handy first read if you're interested in making better decisions by avoiding the common traps and mistakes that we all make.
It was ok - super easy to read, but not as pragmatic as the first chapter seemed to indicate. A coverage of some of the biases Westerners gravitate toward when making decisions, with tips on how to avoid.
Adam Archer
I gave up and did not finish the book. I read around 40% of the book and still was unable to get very interested or excited about what I was reading or would be reading next.
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Michael J. Mauboussin is Chief Investment Strategist at Legg Mason Capital Management. Prior to joining LMCM in 2004, Michael was a Managing Director and Chief U.S. Investment Strategist at Credit Suisse. Michael joined CS in 1992 as a packaged food industry analyst. He is a former president of the Consumer Analyst Group of New York and was repeatedly named to Institutional Investors All-America R

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