Loy Machedo's Reviews > Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness

Nudge by Richard H. Thaler
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Oct 17, 12

Read in October, 2012

Loy Machedo’s Book Review – Nudge by Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein

I love reading book.
Books on Thought-Provoking, Critical-Thinking, Cognitive Science, Business, Biographies, Self-Improvement and so on. But the most important characteristic I admire and love about a book, is its ability to make something simple and understandable.

Nudge is one book that fails to qualify the last criteria.

I presumed that this book was in relation to how we think, how the mind works and connect that to either the economy or money - More like Steven D. Levitt’s Freaknomics or Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point or the Outliners. However, this book turned out to be a blue-print that most probably only someone from United States would relate to – as most of the content in between was all about 401K’s, Taxes and other stuff that I don’t find appealing at all.

Now, these are what I felt the authors tried to do:
1) Cover a lot of ground without being deep.
2) Cherry Picked popular points of Psychology and Influence which have been covered by other authors and streamline them into this book (the smiley face technique, public statement on losing weight, the paradox of choice, peoples inability to explain why they do what they do etc.)
3) And then bring in taxes, organ donation, medical insurance plans (that was never ending), privatizing marriages, political decisions, social security and its benefits, libertarian paternalism – and well the list goes on.

By the time I reached the book half way, from loving the book, I began hating the book. I honestly could not bear to read it. And then I struggled to complete it. Predominately, it was the Political theories they had in place that totally put me off. I mean why can’t you stick to either a) Politics or b) How the Mind works?

Personally, I feel the authors tried to replicate and combine a style of what Freakonomics (Dubner and Levitt), Predictably Irrational (Dan Ariely), Influence (Robert Cialdini) and Tipping Point (Malcolm Gladwell) all have done and ended up messing up a good book.

Overall Summary
A confusing book that miscommunicates to the read what the book is about. The Authors tried to be everything to everyone and ended up being nothing to no one. In my opinion, I feel there are two books here and the Authors need to divide these two books, make them two separate titles and sell them to two different audience groups. Otherwise, they will end up having more people give negative feedback to this book than positive.

Overall Ratings
0 out of 10
That was my opinion and feel for this book as I found nothing of value that I could use or didn’t know off from other authors.
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