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Think Like a Freak

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3.84  ·  Rating details ·  38,654 ratings  ·  3,065 reviews
The New York Times bestselling Freakonomics changed the way we see the world, exposing the hidden side of just about everything. Then came SuperFreakonomics, a documentary film, an award-winning podcast, and more.

Now, with Think Like a Freak, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner have written their most revolutionary book yet. With their trademark blend of captivating sto
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ebook, 304 pages
Published May 12th 2014 by William Morrow
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C. Sanders @Caitlin - the basic message in the book is to ultimately re-map your thinking, being more exploratory/open-minded if you will. That said, you comment…more@Caitlin - the basic message in the book is to ultimately re-map your thinking, being more exploratory/open-minded if you will. That said, you comment is representative of a closed mind. Maybe try NOT reading 210 pages in one sitting which IS representative of the book's message.(less)

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Maria
Apr 17, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Pretty great for non-podcast listeners, but as someone who loves the Freakonomics podcast, most of this material has already been featured on there, and some of it in greater detail.
Riku Sayuj

Not Very Freaky

A very ordinary effort. Levitt & Dubner tells us the recipe to “Think Like a Freak”. Most of the ingredients are quite ordinary and almost all are trodden territory. A wholly unnecessary book.

1. That all the Big Problems of the world are too tough to solve for ordinary people like us and that we should nibble at the edges.
- A bit about game theory and about how most problems arise due to private vs public conflicts and how we need learn to realign incentives to solve small pr
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Pouting Always
I feel that a lot of self-help or businesses type books now all follow the same formula and in the end talk about the same few ideas again and again. Like there really isn't a need for a whole book on some of these ideas like thinking outside the box or being comfortable making mistakes. I really only get something out of reading them if I'm feeling lost unsure about what I'm doing because they kind of help me ground myself or become motivated again. Otherwise though it feels like a waste of tim ...more
☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~  ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ✺❂❤❣
Q:
Incentives are the cornerstone of modern life. And understanding them—or, often, deciphering them—is the key to understanding a problem, and how it might be solved.
Knowing what to measure, and how to measure it, can make a complicated world less so. There is nothing like the sheer power of numbers to scrub away layers of confusion and contradiction, especially with emotional, hot-button topics.
The conventional wisdom is often wrong. And a blithe acceptance of it can lead to sloppy, wasteful,
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Jill
May 30, 2014 rated it liked it
Levitt and Dubner’s earlier two books, Freakonomics and Superfreakonomics were smashing successes because they came up with innovative insights to make sense of phenomena that were rather mysterious, such as an explanation for the drop in the crime rate over the last decade.

Hoping to find similar out-of-the-box proposals, I was eager to try their third book, Think Like A Freak.

This book contains a few surprises, but overall it seems like a slap-dash production intended to cash in on the succes
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Sam Quixote
If I changed the title to “Think Outside the Box” you’d probably have a good idea of what to expect from this book - and you’d be right!

Granted I’ve not read Stephen J. Dubner and Steven D. Levitt’s other “Freak” books, Freakonomics and SuperFreakonomics, but I suspect they’re just more of what’s contained in Think Like a Freak. Hey, if it ain’t broke, right?

Think Like a Freak essentially has one very broad thesis: to approach any difficult situation/problem from an unexpected angle to solve i
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Montzalee Wittmann
Sep 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Think Like a Freak by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner is a book I wish had been around (or I had thought like a freak) thirty years ago. We used to call it 'thinking outside the box ' but I like their phrase much better! Excellent book to try to retrain my brain, not that it is trained now. I think everyone should read this, especially young people.
Brian Clegg
May 23, 2014 rated it liked it
I loved Freakonomics and its sequel, so was expecting more of the same here, but Think Like a Freak is a very different book and suffers by comparison.

The thing that absolutely blew everyone away with the earlier books was the absolute string of superb eye-opening stories, taking a sideways look at a problem using statistics and psychology (it wasn’t really economics, but it worked as a title). Perhaps the definitive example was the idea that crime rates had fallen as a result of increased avai
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Jen Lawrence
Jul 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. No, scratch that. I LOVED this book. Authors Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner explore how the iconoclastic approach to data revealed in Freakonomics can improve the way we think. As they write, “This book steps out of the shadows and tries to offer some advice that may occasionally be useful, whether you are interested in minor lifehacks or major global reforms.” I have to admit that I became biased in favour of this book when I saw the early reference to Philip Tetlock, ...more
Rick Presley
Jul 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I got the audio version from the library and was delighted to find that Steven Dubner, famous for his Freakonomics Radio, was the narrator. In typical whimsical style, they extended their previous ideas into the realm of practical suggestions. While they aren't covering Friedman style weighty economic issues, this book is excellent for what it purports to be - a light-hearted treatment of thinking differently. While it isn't profound or weighty, it is just as useful for all that. In fact the acc ...more
Ryan Dejonghe
May 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book does nothing to cure my sickness: footnote-itis. Behind the two-hundred pages of text are another couple of hundred benign-sounding “underlying research citations and other background information", which the authors encourage me to use. Thanks Mr. Levitt. Thanks Mr. Dubner. I needed an extra day to write this review because I spent most of one night watching lectures from Yale Professor Dan Kahan talking about the Cultural Cognition Project. Only one-hundred-ninety-nine more footnotes ...more
Mara
This book won't be 2.5/5 stars for everyone. If, like myself, you enjoyed Steven and Stephen's earlier volumes, Freakonomics and Superfreakonomics , then congratulations! — you've found a subject area that interests you (albeit a sometimes nebulous one that can show up under the guise of a variety of disciplines). If, for some reason, you only feel comfortable learning about the ways in which data and patterns can reveal the inner workings of our world with these two Freakonomists, then t ...more
Zachary Schwartz
Apr 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: economics
Fun fun fun fun fun! This was my favorite of the franchise. Like its predecessors, it is filled with amusing stories which usually highlight some economic or behavioral principle (such as sunk cost, cobra effect, etc...). Unlike its predecessors, this book has an underlying structure of a "how to" book. I feel that this gives the book a more coherent flow. The writing is accessible to anyone, lighthearted in tone, entertaining, and it moves very fast. If you listen to the podcast, many of the st ...more
May 舞
Nov 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-ficition
Easy and fun to read. It basically discusses how one should approach problems (big or small) and provides general steps that would help if we follow them through, like admitting when one doesn't know something, figuring out the real problem and its roots, thinking like a child, looking for and providing incentives to get certain things done, and so on.
It also has some really interesting ideas that I would like to try myself some time.
I recommend it to everyone.
Paul
Jan 09, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-read-2015
Freakonomics and the follow up book, SuperFreakonomics were two of those books that changed the way people looked at the world and the things that happened in it. In this third volume, Levitt and Dubner are aiming to teach you the way of thinking outside the box as they do.

With chapters as diverse as The Three Hardest Words in the English Language, How to Think Like a Child and Like Giving Candy to a Baby, they bring more stories and anecdotes that demonstrate just how lateral thinking can bring
...more
Kressel Housman
Apr 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
I’m a big Freakonomics fan. I’ve read the two previous books, seen the movie, and I regularly listen to the podcasts. So for a fan like me, this book was slightly disappointing because I’d heard most of the material before on the podcasts. Still, since I love the lessons so much, I didn’t mind a review. I especially liked the lesson of embracing failure instead of fearing it. Temporarily putting away your moral compass before analyzing problems was a good one, too. As the authors say, you can’t ...more
TS Chan
An entertaining read - or listen to be exact. Nothing stupendously ground-breaking to be honest but it's stuff that one doesn't really think about being too caught up in the rat race and what might be construed as conventional thinking. What I really like are the real world examples, while it might not be exactly relevant for my field of work in the financial sector, are more accessible and easy to connect to.

The audiobook has added material which is a compilation of a few Freakonomic radio/pod
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Yousif Al Zeera
Mar 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, nonfiction
Levitt and Dubner continue to dazzle readers, freaks and soon-to-be-freaks with their fascinating way of combining data and narration to present interesting (and very much informative) stories on various fields.

In this book, the "theoretical" ratio slightly increased than the previous two books as the intention is lay down the foundations of "how to think like a freak", basically how to rely more on "data" and less on "anecdote". It is still full of splendid stories.
Oleksandr Golovatyi
The book is full of a wealth of interesting stories with non-standard approaches to problem solving. Incredibly interesting stories.
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Книга сповнена величезною кількістю цікавих історій з нестандартними підходами до вирішення проблем. Неймовірно цікаві історії.





I read books on Scribd or Google Books by
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Jane Stewart
I prefer the audiobooks over the physical books. They’re great for listening while doing other things.

This is the third book in the Freakonomics series. You don’t need to read them in order. I’ve enjoyed all three. They talk about a variety of subjects.

One subject was intriguing and not answered. A multinational retail company bought tv ads 3 times a year. They had their highest sales at those three times. The authors asked the question did the ads cause the sales? Or did the sales cause the ads
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Arminius
Sep 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science, nook-book
Think like a Freak is a book that teaches people to think like kids. That means to not be afraid to not know an answer and investigate your interests without regard to what others may think. It also states to break large problems down and solve the small ones associated with them. The authors use various experiments to prove their points.

They made a website that asks people to flip a coin on whether or not to make a major decision then report how happy they were at a future date. Their conclusi
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Lena
Sep 10, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This book is similar in format to their previous works - present a supposedly unconventional idea and support it with some entertaining storytelling. It's a very fast, mildly interesting read. Unfortunately, I had the feeling that I'd heard almost all of these stories elsewhere, so the book feels more like it's filling out a book contract than breaking great new ground in human thought.
Bogdan
Apr 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Полезнее фрикономик, но мало.
Paula Kalin
I listened to the audiobook and couldn't get excited. This was suggested for book club and I have not read any of their previous books. Nothing out of the ordinary here. A few stories got me laughing. Especially the one about people stealing more wood on a trail with a sign asking them NOT to, than the trail that had no sign at all.

2.5 stars rounded up kindly to 3.
Elizabeta
Feb 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Bunch of really interesting stories. Just think outside of the box!
Юра Мельник
Тепер при словосполученні "фантастична трилогія" я уявлятиму не Володаря Перснів. Сукупність математики, статистики, логіки, економіки і ще чорт зна чого у раціональних пропорціях у вигляді конструктивної методології можуть стати довершеним способом пізнання дійсності. Якщо ви "нормальна людина", то вам буде важко не піддатись численним спокусам нормальності, тому прочитайте цю книжку і думайте як фрік!
Sumit Singla
'Brilliant' is an adjective that I use quite loosely, but it is totally apt for this book. I've enjoyed the Freakonomics podcast, and some of the material in this book is similar, but it's still great to see it spelled in black and white.

I just can't believe that I am reading this two years too late!

Stephen and Steven emphasize that it is important to look beyond the obvious, when using data to make decisions. They don't really say that you should ignore data points and focus only on your gut. T
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Lisa
Aug 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Thinking like a freak has paid off for Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner in their first two wildly popular nonfiction Freakonomics books. In this book, the authors continue in the same vein by presenting counter-intuitive ideas illustrated by interesting stories that help the reader to understand why those ideas actually do make sense.

The authors go a little further this time by trying to help the reader make better decisions by thinking like a freak.

My husband and I listened to parts of this tog
...more
عبدالرحمن عقاب
لم أتوقع أن أنهي الكتاب والحمدلله بهذه السرعة!
لكن الكتاب (خفيف) بعدة معايير؛  معلوماته الجديدة القليلة مثلاً،  أفكاره التي يمكن تلخيصها في صفحة واحدة أو اثنتين، أسلوب كاتبيه وهو أسلوب ولا شك بسيط وممتع. 
يختلف هذا الكتاب عن سابقيه بهذه (الخفة) غير المحمودة طبعاً،  ويفتقر إلى وجود صورة متكاملة أو موضوع مطروح بعناية من كل زواياه.
Elisabeth
Jan 05, 2014 marked it as to-read
Shelves: rad_man
referred in Adam Grant's list "The 12 Business Books to Read in 2014": http://www.huffingtonpost.com/adam-gr...
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Steven David "Steve" Levitt is a prominent American economist best known for his work on crime, in particular on the link between legalized abortion and crime rates. Winner of the 2003 John Bates Clark Medal, he is currently the Alvin H. Baum Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago, director of the Becker Center on Chicago Price Theory at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Bu ...more
“Don’t listen to what people say; watch what they do.” 52 likes
“Solving a problem is hard enough; it gets that much harder if you’ve decided beforehand it can’t be done.” 34 likes
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