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Thinking: The New Science of Decision-Making, Problem-Solving, and Prediction

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  620 Ratings  ·  70 Reviews
Unlock your mind

From the bestselling authors of Thinking, Fast and Slow; The Black Swan; and Stumbling on Happiness comes a cutting-edge exploration of the mysteries of rational thought, decision-making, intuition, morality, willpower, problem-solving, prediction, forecasting, unconscious behavior, and beyond. Edited by John Brockman, publisher of ("The world's sm
Paperback, 432 pages
Published October 29th 2013 by Harper Perennial (first published October 15th 2013)
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Nabeel Hassan
ان هذا الكتاب يقدم أفكارا مبتكرة لعلماء النفس وعلماء أعصاب وفلاسفة رائدين يسهمون في زيادة فهمنا للتفكير الانساني بشكل جذري ان ما يتناوله هذا الكتاب في طياته سيبهر الكثيرين وفي الوقت نفسه سوف يكون مبهما وغامضا للكثيرين فهو يحتوي على مصطلحات وأفكار مبتكرة سوف تحدث تغييرا كبيرا في كثير من المفاهيم المتعلقة بالتفكير في أذهاننا ولكن من الجميل اظهار شيء جديد يضيف الى ذخيرة الفكر الانساني هذا الشيء الجديد يقوم بحل الكثير من الطلاسم القديمة ويتيح رؤية مستقبلية متكاملة لكل امكانات التفكير بداخلنا
Sep 01, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: science, first-reads
Please Note: This is a review for an advance copy.

Thinking: The New Science of Decision-Making, Problem-Solving, and Prediction is the newest Brockman essay collection featuring well-known cognitive scientists, psychologists, and philosophers on cognition, intuition, and moral psychology. While I was already familiar with most of these writers, there was still enough new material so it wasn’t like reading through a bunch of book summaries.

Most of the essays were very well done; however, the Edge
Peter Gelfan
Jul 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
As a book editor and novelist, I constantly have to remind my clients and myself that wondering is more interesting than knowing. Readers want to know, and writers like to teach, but what would happen to the author-reader interaction if, on the first page, we obligingly told readers whodunit, why, and the meaning of it all? Not knowing is what revs up our cognitive engines and moves us into new territory; knowing gives us a moment or two of satisfaction before shutting the engine back down. Even ...more
Amy Neftzger
Jan 07, 2017 rated it liked it
First of all, I really enjoyed the content of this book. It's essentially a collection of essays that appear to be transcriptions from verbal presentations at a conference. With that understanding, a reader can skip around to different chapters without missing anything. Although the pieces are connected through their relationship to thought and decision-making processes, a reader can pick and choose essays without having to read the whole book.

While there was a lot of very interesting informatio
Leo Walsh
Jun 26, 2016 rated it liked it
Not sure why I checked this book out of the library -- I've read the books of 75% of the authors, and was familiar with the material -- I ended up liking it a lot. Because it took the best bits of dozens of books I've read over the past five years and distills the ideas into a single volume.

The problem for me, though, was the format. Though some of the material is essays by famous cognitive scientists, a lot of the sections are transcriptions of speeches given at assorted Edge Conferences. Whic
Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
El título (en castellano) engaña mucho; parece un manual de coaching para emprendedores cuando nos encontramos ante un conjunto de artículos acerca de temas de psicología social y moral. Se cuentan ideas muy interesantes.
Jeff Swystun
Mar 23, 2014 rated it it was ok
The first question you need to ask yourself is why are you reading this review? Is it because you are reading all reviews to gain a holistic, qualitative view or was my review the most recent posted or did it's title intrigue or all of the above? One of the least fair questions ever posed is, how do you make a decision? The tangled factors that go through our brains when buying a can of beans or deciding to marry or wrestling with a theory are of head scratching complexity.

Perhaps I should share
Dec 10, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-2013
usually I love these Edge collections, but this one was a bit tired: a lot of people just recounting research or things that are already familiar to me, which was fine if you're a fan, not so great if you're not. Still, some good essays in there and stuff I hadn't been familiar with, and some new ideas. Just not as much as I would've hoped.
A mind-boggling book! @_@
Rick Presley
There is so much that could have been done to make this book better. I listened to the audio version of it and every single talk was cut off before it finished. Would have been nice to have the whole thing.

Would have been nice to have two narrators. One to read the titles and introduction. The other to read the articles. That way I would know where one left off and the other begins. There was nothing but a brief pause. At least the narrator could have announced when he was reading the author's w
Jun 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
An interesting book of essays that by all accounts feature the best responses to's annual question. Whilst nearly all of chapters follow this format, one is in the form of minutes from one of Edges conferences.

The subject matters focuses primarily on decision making with diverse discussions ranging from predictions, morality to philosophy. Each chapter is written by a distinguished thinker in their field, most of which do a good job of bringing their research down to a level that is rel
Fatimah Mohammade
توقعت ان اجد بحثا علميا دقيقا حول التفكير وغير مشتت ويبدو ان العلماء في هذا الكتاب يسيرون على الحدس والتنبوء، لذلك لن تجد عالما مقتنعا بما يقول انما سوف تجد تساؤلات وتساؤلات ومن ثم نقاشات ليس لها نهاية محددة، حتى الناشر ابدى ملاحظة من بداية الكتاب قائلا ان هذا الكتاب يحتوي على ماقالات منقوله من المؤتمرات لمحاداثات علمية واي اخطاء تعتبر نواتج طبيعية!
نقاشات مباشرة دون تنقيح او اعداد ممنهج لذلك هناك فوضى عارمة يحتاج الكتاب الى اعادة صياغة بأسلوب أجمل، كما لا يوجد شيء جديد عن الوارد في كتاب البجعة ا
Steven Blais
Nov 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Lots of interesting observations and commentary from some of the more brilliant cognitive and behavioral psychologists around, ending with Daniel Kahneman. Brockman collected a series of speeches and talks that the various contributors did at conferences and presentations so the language is very casual as though talking directly to the reader which in a sense is what is happening. Lots of good ideas and explanations of why we think the way we do and why we are not as rationale as we think we are ...more
Nawar Youssef
May 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: psychology
First, I found this book an interesting one, it include many topics in one book and with some interesting points of views and researches. I enjoyed some of its chapters.

However, the main drawback is that this book was written as it is based a conference speeches. So the language used and the way the topics been presented is meant to be for a conference speeches not for a book. I found difficult for me to follow and what makes more difficult is the fact that English is my second language.
Feb 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Some of the concepts here are popular and maybe foundational concepts today (Thinking Fast, Slow etc,) every chapter is still worth reading, including the ones I've read in depth.

I especially love how opposing ideas are presented after one another. I felt like I had an eureka moment, I got excited about a relevant insight, only to immediately get it shot down (or at least contradicted) by the next essay/ presentation.

John Sheehan
Mar 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was a wonderful surprise. It has significantly contributed to my understanding brain function and the current and/or recent past neurological research. The authors are tops in their respective fields and their essays were extremely well written. Worth the effort, extraordinarily well documented, excellent bibliography.
Sep 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Phenomenal book about the science of cognitive biases and brain limitations. Similar to Undoing Project and Black Swan with thoughts from the thought leaders on the subject. I'd read this after the other two as a capstone if this subject interests you.

Quang Nguyen
Apr 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Listened to the audiobook. Loved the whole thing. I will definitely read it a few more times to learn the concepts properly, especially probabilistic thinking.
Lara Thompson
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Incredible collection. I only wish that they weren't transcriptions of lectures but actual essays intentionally rewritten for the book.
Mar 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Science talks about the brain. Some were more fascinating than others, but they were all good, and a few were really great. I especially enjoyed the one by Simon Baron-Cohen and the one called Why the Piraha Have No Numbers.
Pete Welter
Dec 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
"Thinking" is another collection by's John Brockman, who specializes in getting leading edge people from various fields and putting them together - in discussions, in conferences and in books like this one. In this case, the topic is decision-making - how and why we make discussions, and to what end.

My favorite section was "The New Science of Morality," a multi-faceted discussion of moral psychology by some of the leading thinkers in that field. The book is worth it for that chapter alo
Dec 15, 2013 rated it liked it
Two takeaways -

"Affective forecasting"
Your prediction of how happy something will make you (e.g. vacationing at a certain resort, working at a particular job) is probably less accurate than a random stranger's experience with the same because humans are unable to anticipate all of the factors that determine happiness.

Experience >> patterns - decision points and what should happen after a particular decision (i.e. you know what to watch, what to ignore, and what to expect) &g
Sal Coraccio
Jun 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: brain
A collection of informative talks, of a length you'd find at a conference attended by experts.

Essentially a transcript of such an event, so the flavor words and the occasional stumble are there, intact. Most of these folks are familiar to each other and there are some references to "Tom's work", for example, so you may find yourself needing Google on occasion to fill in some background. Not necessary, but I found that helpful.

Some of it exploratory, some familiar, some controversial - all fasci
Eric Lawton
Jan 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
One of the Edge series of annual collections. This one is worth getting. I was so impressed by what I learned, and I still have 18 stickies marking the pages. I gave this to my science undergrad. niece when she came for Christmas 2014 and she just sat there reading it, so I'm not the only one who found it a page-turner. It's subtitle (New Science...) is a good summary and it has short essays from many of my favourite authors on this topic. It is unlikely you will read it and not learn something ...more
Colm Gillis
Dec 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a collection of essays written by academics on the issues related to human thought and sometimes (un)-thought. It would be near-impossible to give a synopsis of the whole book. However, there was a good variety of essays. No two essays seemed the same and I can honestly say there were many gems contained in practically every essay. Also, the essays weren't merely promoting a raw physicalism or materialism, which I had thought would have been the case when I started reading. A great book ...more
عبدالرحمن عقاب
هذا الكتاب هو عبارة عن توثيق لمؤتمر علمي ، تحدّث فيه المشاركون عن أبحاثهم ونتائجهم وتساؤلاتهم.
وهذا ما أعطى الكتاب تنوعًا داخليًا في المواضيع والطروح ، وباستثناء القسم المعني بالأخلاق فلا تكاد تجد وحدة موضوعية للكتاب وهذا ما يجعل من العنوان مضللا وغير دقيق.
وهذا عينه ما يجعل الكتاب يترواح بين الجيد والرديء بحسب المتحدث وأسلوبه وموضوعه
أيضًا ساهم عدم التحرير في إضعاف المحتوى والأسلوب
فللقول أسلوبه وللكتابة أسلوبها
أظنّ أنّ الكتاب في مجمله مفيد وغني بما يستفاد منه وبه، غير أنّ ما ذكرته قد أفسد على ا
Jan 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a nice collection of works previously published on Some of the pieces are transcripts from videos, so the writing is a bit clunky at times. In particular, I enjoyed reading:

Smart Huristics (Gerd Gigerenzer)
Essentialism (Bruce Hood)
Testosterone On My Mind and In My Brain (Simon Baron-Cohen)
Insight (Gary Klein)
The Fourth Quadrant: A Map of the Limits of Statistics (Nassim Nicholas Taleb)
The New Science of Morality (Jonathan Haidt, Sam Harris, and others)

This is worth
Jan 19, 2014 rated it liked it
Brockman compiled an excellent introductory reading for those wishing to understand contemporary theories and trends regarding thinking itself. Though some of the chapters may not be particularly accessible or relevant to everyone (such as those focused on forecasting), every single one accomplishes to be enlightening about the subject at hand--and from the words and works of the best people in their respective fields. Ultimately, this is a work tailored to get one thinking differently about thi ...more
Brandon Todd
Mar 08, 2014 rated it liked it
A collection of thought provoking essays. Less of a cohesive book of curated essays with a central theme than a compilation of individual authors' works. It could have used HEAVY editing for readability. If the section wasn't an article reprinted as a chapter it was often a transcript of a public speech or a symposium. My heaviest criticism isn't for the content, but instead for (re)presentation. I expected the collection of essays to be making a larger point, but they never "hung together" for ...more
Mar 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
"Evolutionary theory, of course, shows the forces of natural selection operated on human beings. Psychoanalytic theory argues that our childhood experiences mold us in certain ways and give us outlooks on the world. Our early relationships with our parents lead to unconscious structures that can be very powerful. But both theories led to a lot of absurd conclusions, and both are very hard to test rigorously… too often, there’s a very loose kind of theorization that goes on, where people just tel ...more
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With a broad career spanning the fields of art, science, books, software and the Internet. In 1960 he established the bases for "intermedia kinetic environments" in art, theatre and commerce, while consulting for clients such as General Electric, Columbia Pictures, The Pentagon, The White House... In 1973 he formed his own literary and software agency. He is founder of the Edge Foundation and edit ...more
“Our conscious experience arises out of the laws of nature, the states of our brain, and our entanglement with the world.” 0 likes
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