Trevor’s review of Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions > Likes and Comments

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message 1: by Meen (new)

Meen The Asian vs. female thing is fascinating!

This might be my favorite of your reviews, Trevor. Wait, I think I say that on all of your reviews! I laughed in too many places to even bother repeating them in this comment.

message 2: by Trevor (new)

Trevor Thank you both - I can't begin to tell you how delighted both of these comments made me.

message 3: by Meen (new)

Meen Hey, that's what review groupies are for, Trevor!


message 4: by Wendy (new)

Wendy! Gosh, Trevor, I thought I was your only review groupy! Darn.

message 5: by Meen (new)

Meen Nope, there's more! We should call ourselves something! (Other than Trevor's Review Groupies. Well, I guess that's OK, too.)

Helen (Helena/Nell) OH BOY what a fantastic review. Who could NOT read this book...?

message 7: by Meen (new)

Meen Helen, you wanna join Trevor's Review Groupies?

message 8: by Trevor (new)

Trevor Nell got me onto this site - she is my guide and mentor and 'the loveliest woman born out of the mouth of Plenty's horn' as one of the Irish poets noted in passing.

I thank you all with much love and affection.

Helen (Helena/Nell) Eeek!

message 10: by Tina (new)

Tina Titcombe Trev, I loved Freakonomics and only read it because I read your review and was hooked. Your reviews seem to have a way of inspiring people to read and enjoy these books that they might not have thought of reading (or even knew that the books were out there in the first place) or is that just me! You have me hook, line and sinkered with this one and I can't wait to read it, thank you big bro. PS: I want to join your band of groupies too!!! PPS: Your niece is sitting on my lap reading out all the words she knows on the screen, see you even inspire her to read!

message 11: by Trevor (new)

Trevor Sorry you didn't like the review, Jim - unfortunately tangential baggage is my speciality. I hope you find a reviewer you prefer. Best of luck.

message 12: by Tina (new)

Tina Titcombe Trev, I know I said that I couldn't read this book because I didn't like the way Dan Ariely treated his reader like an idiot who needed told over and over again something that was very obvious, but I put the book down and picked it up again recently to give it another go, skipped the first chapter, lowered my expectations and have now found that the book isn't to bad. As normal I find these books that try to explain human behaviour don't go far enough in letting us know how we can change this behaviour, but just touch on why we do things.(Except for Malcolm Gladwell of course he doesn't expect you to read his book to change anything just to explain why or how we do things or get were we are going.) Thank you for buying this book for me for my birthday last year I am enjoying reading it like you knew I would. Would like to comment on a book you have written though, maybe soon, cant wait!!!!

message 13: by Trevor (new)

Trevor Excellent, I knew you would like it, Sis.

I think knowing the types of mistakes and biases we are likely to make in our all-too-human way is possibly as good as the advice is likely to get with this stuff.

I still think about that Asian woman maths thing. Since reading this book I've also found out that if you remind people of colour in the US that they are people of colour they will, as a group, invariably do worse in a test of intelligence than if you don't remind them. Is it in this book that he talks about young people walking more slowly and more carefully after doing a word test with lots of words about being old and frail? I don't normally have much faith in that 'think and grow rich' type shite, but the negative version of it really is something we would do well to think about.

message 14: by Tina (new)

Tina Titcombe I suppose thinking for one's self and making your own choices in life is what make's us all unique or the same. Sometimes though I would just like to not have to think about it and let someone else do the thinking for me, must be because I have to think for too many other people at the moment. It is a pity that all the put downs these people face in their everyday life's makes them under achieve when reminded of the obvious instead of them standing tall and embracing their talents or say stuff that I'm as good as anyone else, but I can understand how they fell and it can work the same way with anyone you put down. I haven't finished the book yet but am enjoying it, I dont agree with some of his theories but if we all agree with everything that is written life would be boring.

message 15: by Richard (new)

Richard More empirical data.

See this article from the New York Times: How Online Retailers Read Your Mind.

What can you do to resist this influence over the Internet? Not much.

“This is all happening below the level of awareness,” Dr. Mitchell said. “I study it and I am vulnerable to it.”

message 16: by Trevor (new)

Trevor How we decide talked about this stuff too, though not in as much detail about online shopping, more about credit card shopping (which I think this book also discussed, but it is a while now since I read it and would need to check). I doubt Australians would subconsciously associate green with money - simply because none of our money is really green. But that said, it would be interesting to know what the differences would be here in Australia. I'm reading a fantastic book - Why We Make Mistakes How We Look Without Seeing, Forget Things in Seconds, and Are All Pretty Sure We Are Way Above Average and it has lots of experiments I've never read about before. Some of them are making my head spin. But there are some photos of candidates for US elections and you have to pick which one looks most competent. I would love to see if you would get the same results in Australia for the pairings - in the book the guy mostly selected in the US looks a bit too American (at least to me) to have a chance here in an Australian election. I know that doesn't make much sense, but it is as best as I can describe it.

message 17: by Whitaker (new)

Whitaker Trevor, I think I going to have to tag you as "guy most likely to recommend a book that I want to read". :-)

message 18: by Trevor (new)

Trevor I'm annoying everyone around me at the moment by reading out bits of Why We Make Mistakes, Whitaker - this is the book most likely to be recommended by the bloke most likely to recommend books - well, this week anyway. I'm still only half way through and if I have one criticism it is that it doesn't really seem to answer the question it asks in its title, but it does have many, many examples of the kinds of mistakes we are likely to make.

message 19: by Ryan (new)

Ryan Thank you very much for putting me onto this boom Trevor. I saw there was a TED talk by him and immediately went out to buy this book. Took me a while to finish (savoring, chasing down interesting tidbits, general life stuff) but I am very glad I did. I have shared this book with many friends and discussed it's contents with pretty much whoever was willing to sit still long enough. Do you have a follow up recommendation? Perhaps some Gladwell or Thinking slow and fast?

message 20: by Ryan (new)

Ryan Please excuse grammar and spelling (boom instead of book*) I am writing on my phone.

message 21: by Trevor (new)

Trevor Yes I've forced this on lots of people too. Outliers Is Gladwell's best. I really enjoyed that. Dane's got a new one out too. But I haven't read or even seen it yet. Glad you enjoyed this

message 22: by Ian (new)

Ian Agadada-Davida Great review, Trevor.

I wasn't aware until I did some googling just how Australian a term "economic rationalism" seems to be. Witness the Wiki article and this article by John Quiggin:

I guess I would have two responses to the concept of the economic rationalism of the market.

The first is that it doesn't mean that anybody actually acts rationally. Everybody acts in their own self-interest or selfishly as individuals. At a collective level, it is assumed that the outcome is somehow balanced or averaged out and therefore rational.

The second is that it begs the question, "rational towards what end?"

The market might ultimately rationally pursue economic values such as profit and capital.

It doesn't necessarily pursue 100% employment or job satisfaction or quality or any particular social values.

message 23: by Trevor (new)

Trevor Yes, I think that is all right, Ian - the rationality is linked to self-interest. So, you just need to show that people will act in terms of their own self interest in order for the prediction of the standard economic model to work. But books like this one and Thinking Fast and Slow show that we not only don't act against our own self interest often, but we act predictably against our self interest. I think this whole Behavioural Economics stuff is interesting, and not least because of the challenge it presents to the standard justifications economics provides for unencombered free markets. Nudge - another book on a similar theme written by people who see themselves as free market types - also provides interesting questions about what we should do to encourage people to make decisions more in keeping with their long term rational interests.

The internet here is terrible, I'll check your link when I get home.

message 24: by Mohit (new)

Mohit I like your reviews..
mostly made me pick this one up!

message 25: by Trevor (new)

Trevor Thanks Mohit - I really enjoyed this book - Let me know if you enjoy it.

message 26: by Ramji (new)

Ramji Shukla I am a new reader n I am interested more in reading non-fiction books. This is a great review and am adding it to my "to read" list. Thanks :) for writing.

message 27: by Shubham (new)

Shubham Agarwal trevor have you read any of Nassim Nicholas Taleb's book or Drunkard's walk ?
They are not exactly behavioral eco. but talk about randomness in decision making.

message 28: by Trevor (new)

Trevor I've only read one of Taleb's - Fooled by Randomness - which I thought was a remarkably good book and have recommended it to many people. I also enjoyed Drunkard's Walk.

My reviews are here:

message 29: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Perez Hey Trevor, love your paragraph ending with "Actually, don’t answer that" lol, exactly what I thought too. Nice book indeed, loved its humor and style. Cognitive biases are indeed an interesting topic.

message 30: by Trevor (new)

Trevor He has written a few others, Jonathan, but this is by far his best.

message 31: by Jey (new)

Jey Kalimuthu Hi Trevor, I was looking for books about irrational decisions and was thinking of reading books that would impact my decision making or thought process. This was initiated after reading the book "The Art of Clear Thinking" by Rudolf Flesch. The book was one of the best I've ever read, even if I based it on the quality of writing and the way the book is structured. As I searched for other books that would help me I found your reviews and this one caught my eye. I'm hoping to get back to you after I've finished reading it.

message 32: by Trevor (new)

Trevor I've added the Flesch - I wonder if he's the guy that came up with the reading scale, sort of lexical density for dummies? The best book, but it might be hard to get, is The Psychology of Judgment and Decision Making. Most of the other books on this topic basically steal shamelessly from that.

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