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Gerd GigerenzerDescribe your latest project.
One of the driving questions behind my research has been one that most scientists tend to avoid like the plague: How does intuition work? In a time when standard how-to manuals discuss the optimal rational method for making optimal decisions, dismissing our hunches as hocus-pocus, Gut Feelings presents intuition and its role in decision making in a new light. Backed by years of research, it provides numerous examples that illustrate when and where we should rely on our gut feelings. The idea was developed following my book Calculated Risks, which enables those without a mathematical background to better understand the statistics that affect our everyday lives.
To be a researcher, writer, teacher, administrator, and emotional support for a group of three dozen social scientists and staff. To encourage them, share their joy, wipe away their tears, and help them to succeed. That's what it is to be a director at a Max-Planck-Institute. It's my ideal job.
Name another author I think people should read.
Wonderful visual illusions that makes you marvel at how your mind works.
Offer a favorite sentence or passage from another writer.
I use this statement from the famous 17th-century French mathematician Pascal as the epigraph to the first chapter of my book Gut Feelings. It captures the deep insight that intuition, like deliberate thinking, is "reasonable" rather than irrational.
How do you relax?
How did the last good book you read end up in your hands and why did you read it?
A fascinating book about Phineas Gage, the 19th-century railway worker whose left frontal brain lobe was destroyed in an explosion and who has since been a favorite subject in psychology and medicine. What I find most interesting is that his case has been used to defend a myriad of (often conflicting) scientific conjectures.
Why do you write?
Make up a question, and answer it.
Answer: Not because of facts, but because of history. For many centuries, reason was ranked above intuition, and men over women. This history is still in our minds, and it is time to get rid of it.
Recommend five or more books on a single subject of personal interest or expertise.
Five Books on Lost Emotions (emotions that have disappeared from our minds).
Norbert Elias, The Civilizing Process
Ute Frevert, Men of Honor: Social History of the Duel
Richard Nisbett, Culture of Honor: The Psychology of Violence in the South
Geoffrey Eugenides, Middlesex
Lorraine Daston, Wonder and the Order of Nature