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2 Beaverton Psychology- Mind and Consciousness

How We Decide

by

How We Decide Cover

ISBN13: 9780547247991
ISBN10: 0547247990
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From the acclaimed author of Proust Was a Neuroscientist, a fascinating look at the new science of decision-making and how it can help us make better choices. Since Plato, philosophers have described the decisionmaking process as either rational or emotional: we carefully deliberate or we blink and go with our gut. But as scientists break open the mind's black box with the latest tools of neuroscience, they're discovering that this is not how the mind works.

Our best decisions are a finely tuned blend of both feeling and reason — and the precise mix depends on the situation. When buying a house, for example, it's best to let our unconscious mull over the many variables. But when we're picking a stock, intuition often leads us astray. The trick is to determine when to lean on which part of the brain, and to do this, we need to think harder (and smarter) about how we think. Jonah Lehrer arms us with the tools we need, drawing on cutting-edge research by Daniel Kahneman, Colin Camerer, and others, as well as the real-world experiences of a wide range of deciders — from airplane pilots and hedge fund investors to serial killers and poker players.

Lehrer shows how people are taking advantage of the new science to make better television shows, win more football games, and improve military intelligence. His goal is to answer two questions that are of interest to just about anyone, from CEOs to firefighters: How does the human mind make decisions? And how can we make those decisions better?

Review:

"What is going on in the brain of a pilot deciding how to handle an emergency or a man trying to escape a wildfire? Does reason or emotion rule our decision making? Seed magazine editor-at-large Lehrer (Proust Was a Neuroscientist) brings recent research in neurobiology to life as he shows that the view, dating back to Plato, of the decision-making brain as a charioteer (reason) trying to control wild horses (emotions) comes up short. As Lehrer describes in fluid prose, the brain's reasoning centers are easily fooled, often making judgments based on nonrational factors like presentation (a sales pitch or packaging). And Lehrer cites a study of investors given varying amounts of financial data to show that our inner charioteer also can be confused by too much information. Even more surprisingly, research shows that 'gut instinct' often does make better decisions than long, drawn-out reasoning, and people with impaired emotional responses have trouble coping with the decisions required in everyday life. Lehrer is a delight to read, and this is a fascinating book (some of which appeared recently, in a slightly different form, in the New Yorker) that will help everyone better understand themselves and their decision making." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Should we go with instinct or analysis? The answer, Lehrer explains, in this smart and delightfully readable book, is that it depends on the situation. Knowing which method works best in which case is not just useful but fascinating. Lehrer proves once again that hes a master storyteller and one of the best guides to the practical lessons from new neuroscience." Chris Anderson, editor in chief of Wired and author of The Long Tail

Review:

"Cash or credit? Punt or go for first down? Deal or no deal? Life is filled with puzzling choices. Reporting from the frontiers of neuroscience and armed with riveting case studies of how pilots, quarterbacks, and others act under fire, Jonah Lehrer presents a dazzlingly authoritative and accessible account of how we make decisions, what's happening in our heads as we do so, and how we might all become better deciders. Luckily, this one's a no-brainer: Read this book." Tom Vanderbilt, author of Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us)

Review:

"Over the past two decades, research in neuroscience and behavioral economics has revolutionized our understanding of human decision making. Jonah Lehrer brings it all together in this insightful and enjoyable book, giving readers the information they need to make the smartest decisions." Antonio Damasio, author of Descartes Error and Looking for Spinoza

Review:

"Jonah Lehrer ingeniously weaves neuroscience, sports, war, psychology, and politics into a fascinating tale of human decision making. In the process, he makes us much wiser." Dan Ariely, author of Predictably Irrational

Synopsis:

From the acclaimed author of Proust Was a Neuroscientist comes a fascinating look at the new science of decision-making. Lehrer explores two questions: How does the human mind make decisions? and How can those decisions be made better?

About the Author

Jonah Lehrer is editor at large for Seed magazine and the author of Proust Was a Neuroscientist (2007) and How We Decide (February 2009). A graduate of Columbia University and a Rhodes Scholar, Lehrer has worked in the lab of Nobel Prize-winning neuroscientist Eric Kandel and has written for The New Yorker, Wired, Boston Globe, Washington Post, and Nature, and writes a highly regarded blog, The Frontal Cortex. Lehrer also commentates for NPR's "Radio Lab."

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Nicole Kubista, January 1, 2012 (view all comments by Nicole Kubista)
Do you ever wonder why you think the way you do? This book had me reading, thinking, and sharing with friends. The ideas were accessible and the information that Lehrer imparted was both interesting and useful. After reading this book, I got excited about the topic of thinking and found a rich world of reading. Better than Malcolm Gladwell, but definitely up his alley! If you like thinking and want to know more about it, try this book out.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Debra K, January 1, 2012 (view all comments by Debra K)
I tend to be a fiction reader so I'm nominating a great non-fiction book that explores brain science and how we make decisions. The examples of good and bad decision-making in this book, including those made under extreme pressure (think about trying to land a plane with over 200 passengers on board with no hydraulic system,) are fascinating. I love all of the work being done on the parts of our brains that are involved in various activities, emotions, etc. and this book dissects the way our gray matter works when a choice is necessary. It also considers whether it's better to make a decision using logic only, the Spock theory, or if emotions can help us make the right decision, the Captain Kirk theory. The answer is yes. A great read.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780547247991
Author:
Lehrer, Jonah
Publisher:
Mariner Books
Subject:
Cognitive Psychology
Subject:
Physiological Psychology
Subject:
Decision Making & Problem Solving
Subject:
General science
Subject:
Decision-making
Subject:
Psychology-Cognitive Science
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20100114
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
8 x 5.31 in 0.65 lb

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Related Subjects


Business » Strategy
Education » General
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Anatomy and Physiology
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » Cognitive Science
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » General
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » Mind and Consciousness
History and Social Science » Economics » General
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » Featured Titles
Science and Mathematics » Biology » Neurobiology
Science and Mathematics » Featured Titles in Tech » General

How We Decide Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.50 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Mariner Books - English 9780547247991 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "What is going on in the brain of a pilot deciding how to handle an emergency or a man trying to escape a wildfire? Does reason or emotion rule our decision making? Seed magazine editor-at-large Lehrer (Proust Was a Neuroscientist) brings recent research in neurobiology to life as he shows that the view, dating back to Plato, of the decision-making brain as a charioteer (reason) trying to control wild horses (emotions) comes up short. As Lehrer describes in fluid prose, the brain's reasoning centers are easily fooled, often making judgments based on nonrational factors like presentation (a sales pitch or packaging). And Lehrer cites a study of investors given varying amounts of financial data to show that our inner charioteer also can be confused by too much information. Even more surprisingly, research shows that 'gut instinct' often does make better decisions than long, drawn-out reasoning, and people with impaired emotional responses have trouble coping with the decisions required in everyday life. Lehrer is a delight to read, and this is a fascinating book (some of which appeared recently, in a slightly different form, in the New Yorker) that will help everyone better understand themselves and their decision making." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Should we go with instinct or analysis? The answer, Lehrer explains, in this smart and delightfully readable book, is that it depends on the situation. Knowing which method works best in which case is not just useful but fascinating. Lehrer proves once again that hes a master storyteller and one of the best guides to the practical lessons from new neuroscience."
"Review" by , "Cash or credit? Punt or go for first down? Deal or no deal? Life is filled with puzzling choices. Reporting from the frontiers of neuroscience and armed with riveting case studies of how pilots, quarterbacks, and others act under fire, Jonah Lehrer presents a dazzlingly authoritative and accessible account of how we make decisions, what's happening in our heads as we do so, and how we might all become better deciders. Luckily, this one's a no-brainer: Read this book."
"Review" by , "Over the past two decades, research in neuroscience and behavioral economics has revolutionized our understanding of human decision making. Jonah Lehrer brings it all together in this insightful and enjoyable book, giving readers the information they need to make the smartest decisions."
"Review" by , "Jonah Lehrer ingeniously weaves neuroscience, sports, war, psychology, and politics into a fascinating tale of human decision making. In the process, he makes us much wiser."
"Synopsis" by , From the acclaimed author of Proust Was a Neuroscientist comes a fascinating look at the new science of decision-making. Lehrer explores two questions: How does the human mind make decisions? and How can those decisions be made better?
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