Tuesday, January 25, 2011

On Second Thought: Outsmarting Your Mind's Hard-Wired Habits

Written by: Wray Herbert

First line: On February 12, 1995, a party of three seasoned backcountry skiers set out for a day on the pristine slopes of Utah’s Wasatch Mountain Range.

Why you should read this book: Brimming over with current research to demonstrate the complexities of the human mind, this book is an introduction to heuristics, the mental shortcuts that allow us to make fast decisions about our world and how we respond to it. Demonstrating both ways in which heuristic decisions effectively help us navigate a sea of snap decisions as well as how these hardwired prejudices can lead us astray when we really ought to know better, it’s a dazzling series of fast essays designed to force the reader to confront their own psychological response. Whether you feel as if your life is one deep rut, you want to analyze your own poor choices, or you just need to understand other people’s poor decisions, this eye-opening book provides proof of how many of our conscious decisions are shaped by unconscious forces.

Why you shouldn’t read this book: Skeptical of change. Content not to know.

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