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The Psychology of Judgment and Decision Making
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The Psychology of Judgment and Decision Making

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  607 ratings  ·  33 reviews
Americans are faced with a bewildering array of choices. In this lively introduction to psychological research on how people make decisions, Scott Plous focuses on the social aspects of decision making and includes everyday examples from medicine, law, business, education, and nuclear arms control, among other areas. Intended for nonspecialists, this book highlights experi ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published January 1st 1993 by McGraw-Hill Education
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Let’s say you have been reading some of my recent reviews of Blink, Made to Stick and The Wisdom of Crowds and you’ve thought, “Were there but world enough and time…” Well, now there is. For the trivial investment of 260 pages you will find this book presents much of the research that was fascinating in those books in a quick and lively style. This really is a great book and one which will leave me thinking for quite some time – just as the research detailed in it has fascinated the authors of t ...more
Doc Opp
May 01, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psychology
Hands down the best introduction/overview of judgment and decision making that's out there. Although it was published in the 90's and so neglects a great deal of the more modern work, it gives a solid background of the classics, and prepares the reader for more advanced readings.

I do research in this area for a living, and often friends, family, or people who see my talks ask me what they can read to learn more about the topic - this is the one I always recommend. Accessible to all levels, but
Oct 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
Very good information on decision-making biases and errors that everybody makes, citing many many social psychology studies and showing some very surprising results. Selective perception, cognitive dissonance, memory and hindsight biases, context dependence, anchoring biases, and more categories of decision-making troubles are covered in a not-too technical and lightly entertaining way.
Mina Soare
Sep 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Those interested in the human behaviour
Recommended to Mina by: CBS BA-BPSYV1018U
Accessible and succinct, well-documented and well-reasoned, Plous' work is an engaging read for anyone interested in how and why we react the way we do, regardless of the reader's knowledge of psychology.
Mar 26, 2019 rated it liked it
An entertaining book but very clearly outdated and aimed at a US reader. For a more up to date take on biases in the human mind, check out "Thinking Fast and Slow".
Tran Lam
Dec 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Cool read on human's heuristics, biases, and different theories on decision making. Plous describes the concepts and give examples from relevant research results. And he does so in a very accessible language (compared to the primary research papers).

Heuristics—simple, efficient rules people use to form judgments and make decisions. They usually work well but can lead to systematically irrational outcomes. These errors are called biases.

We can reduce bias with randomization, blind assessment, an
Sep 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
I wanted a quick and easy overview of biases in decision making, and that is exactly what I found in this book. My only comment is that it was published in 1993, and I wonder if there have been any new developments in this area since then?
Nov 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Scientific rundown on decision making in lay terms

Making the right decisions is seldom easy. Situations change and choices confound. Faulty perceptions and biases can block clear thinking and undermine the ability to weigh alternatives rationally. As U.S. Supreme Court Justice Benjamin N. Cardozo explained 90 years ago, “We may try to see things as objectively as we please. Nonetheless, we can never see them with any eyes except our own.” This is the vexing paradox involved in making decisions:
Jul 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is a review of behavioral economics/social psychology. It's chock-full of important concepts regarding how we make judgments. As impressive as we are in the role of a multi-functioning mobile field computer, we also subject to some serious flaws, biases, decision-traps, and fatal heuristics. Being objective has never been so hard. This book serves as a schematic trouble-shooter for decision making, and has important implications at the business, political, and personal levels. This is an ac ...more
Aug 14, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone on earth, except my enemies
A very enjoyable and brisk 250 pages, I think that over time, I will also find this book very useful. With each chapter, this book takes a related family of "decision making biases" and describes the often humorous experiments that revealed them, talks about whether they are thought to be a problem in real life, and suggests strategies to mitigate their effects. The book also does a great job of explaining the very important idea of heuristics.

I recommend it to everyone because of its quality a
Jan 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sience
I found this book enjoyable to read and easily accessible (I myself have no formal education in psychology, only knowledge gleaned from flicking through my sister's textbooks. Plous has structured the content well, and each chapter finishes with a concluding section giving practical advice to aid the reader in avoiding traps and biases in judgement and decision making discussed in the book. A useful book to anybody involved in making important decisions or who has a passing interest in the subje ...more
Oct 30, 2007 rated it it was amazing
There are many subconscious methods through which we arrive at the decisions we make. Understanding how these work, and bringing these methods to a conscious, analytical conceptual basis will improve our analysis of events and our ability to adapt to them.

The best section is the one on biases and heuristics, which describe how we use (frequently unexamined) mental shortcuts that often achieve sub-optimal results.

Highly recommended.
Oct 26, 2010 marked it as to-read
Recommended to Rebecca by: Lori S.
Shelves: textbook
I know this makes me an even bigger nerd, but a fellow accounting doctoral student friend recommended this book to me when I was at a conference a couple of weeks ago, and it just arrived today! She said it was very readable and interesting, as well as a good scientific overview of JDM (judgment and decision making) research in psychology. I am definitely looking forward to reading it for helpful theories to integrate into my dissertation.
Jorge Llaguno Sañudo
Dec 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A must read for everyone involved in the fields of psychology and marketing. It's narrative is clear, easy to follow and understand and provides an excelent framework for what nowadays cognitive science stands about perception, memory and the way we "think". Excelent for understanding leadership, team-building, risk handling, error making, etc.
Alina Seniuta
Dec 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Attempts to understand brainwork and - which is more - spot flaws in it using brainwork may look like relying on speed in chasing your own tail. Nonetheless, like there are places in universe where you can literally see your own back, there are ways to get the hang of the tricks your brain tricks you into.
Mar 12, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2012-resolution
1. Take Robert Cialdini's Influence
2. Do a find "you" replace with "decision maker"
3. Remove humor
=90% of this book (even the same examples!)
For the other 10% read up Peter Checkland's Systems Thinking, Systems Practice
Nov 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
not too scienfitfic, not too simplified
Feb 08, 2009 marked it as sounds-interesting
Recommended to C. by: Trevor
Sounds fantastic.
Richard Mulholland
Jun 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business, psychology
Really good book, it'll change your life... you just have to fight your way through. It reads more like a text book.

--- First read this in Oct '02
Dec 12, 2010 rated it liked it
social psychology is fascinating
Feb 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psychology
Surprising, entertaining, and intriguing.
Luke Meehan
Sep 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Good senior undergraduate level introduction to the field.
Slightly dated, but still reliable given notable degree of cross-over with 'Thinking Fast and Slow'.
Jan 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Great look at a lot of factors that influence judgments. The section on attribution theory was especially enlightening.
Apr 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Solid introduction to judgment and decision making. Focuses a bit too much on the social aspects, but that's understandable because it makes it more accessible to a broader audience.
Aug 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Great book on thinking through decisions.
Jeffrey Backlin
Apr 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: practical, psychology
A great work on the contextual, personal, social, and cognitive biases and factors in decision making. Great work!
Harsh Thaker
Sep 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What we know it ain't so
Mar 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: psychology
There are better books on this topic. I didn't learn anything new and didn't particularly enjoy the book
Apr 29, 2012 added it

Very well written.
Apr 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"THE" survey book on cognitive bias. Extremely good.
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From Wikipedia:

Scott Plous, Ph.D., is a Professor of Psychology at the Department of Psychology of Wesleyan University. He is also a Faculty Associate of the Tufts University Center for Animals and Public Policy.

His areas of research include the psychology of prejudice and discrimination, decision making, and the human use of animals and the environment.

In 2001, he published a study that evaluated

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