Steve Van Slyke's Reviews > How We Decide

How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer
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Apr 20, 12

bookshelves: kindle, science
Recommended to Steve by: Jim, Science & Inquiry Group
Recommended for: Everyone
Read from April 20 to 25, 2012

I probably would not have read this book had it not been recommended by someone whose opinions I respect and the fact that the Kindle version was selling for only $2.99 at the time.

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 sometimes be a sign of lazy writing. But in this case I found the examples fascinating (I had not read about them, or had forgotten them) and illustrative of the points the author was trying to make.

It's also always great fun when you get to shoot down some old experts—in this case Plato, Kant, Freud and others.

I always assumed—no, knew—that there was a war going on inside my head between the rational and emotional parts of my brain. Now I learn that these 2-ways can be 3-ways and more, that several parts of the brain may weigh in on certain types of decisions.

There's a wealth of information here that is useful as well as enlightening. In fact there is so much that I fear I may fall victim to one of the decision-making hazards the author discusses in which the rational part of the brain, the prefrontal cortex, becomes overwhelmed by too much information. The basic message though is simple: the key thing is to think about when making a decision is how you are thinking.

It's nice when you get to learn something about the latest advances in a field of science and find yourself being entertained at the same time. And who knows, you might even make some good decisions.

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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Jim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jim Very well done, Steve!


Bill You know he was exposed as a plagiarizer and one who stretched the truth on a lot of the research sited in his books.


Steve Van Slyke Yes, I know that. That happened after I wrote the review. It's a shame. He's a good writer.


Muhammad Ationg good looking and great


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