Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior

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Crown Publishing Group, Jun 3, 2008 - Business & Economics - 224 pages
25 Reviews
A fascinating journey into the hidden psychological influences that derail our decision-making, Sway will change the way you think about the way you think.

Why is it so difficult to sell a plummeting stock or end a doomed relationship? Why do we listen to advice just because it came from someone “important”? Why are we more likely to fall in love when there’s danger involved? In Sway, renowned organizational thinker Ori Brafman and his brother, psychologist Rom Brafman, answer all these questions and more.

Drawing on cutting-edge research from the fields of social psychology, behavioral economics, and organizational behavior, Sway reveals dynamic forces that influence every aspect of our personal and business lives, including loss aversion (our tendency to go to great lengths to avoid perceived losses), the diagnosis bias (our inability to reevaluate our initial diagnosis of a person or situation), and the “chameleon effect” (our tendency to take on characteristics that have been arbitrarily assigned to us).

Sway introduces us to the Harvard Business School professor who got his students to pay $204 for a $20 bill, the head of airline safety whose disregard for his years of training led to the transformation of an entire industry, and the football coach who turned conventional strategy on its head to lead his team to victory. We also learn the curse of the NBA draft, discover why interviews are a terrible way to gauge future job performance, and go inside a session with the Supreme Court to see how the world’s most powerful justices avoid the dangers of group dynamics.

Every once in a while, a book comes along that not only challenges our views of the world but changes the way we think. In Sway, Ori and Rom Brafman not only uncover rational explanations for a wide variety of irrational behaviors but also point readers toward ways to avoid succumbing to their pull.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - MartinBodek - LibraryThing

I was very divided in my opinion about the quality of this book. On the one hand, the content is like ice cream to me. I love thinking about how I, and others, think. It also stood on solid research ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - NewsieQ - LibraryThing

I’m always curious about why people (myself included) do the goofy things they do. Sway helps explain some of that, using storytelling and a generous amount of research into the topic. As it turns out ... Read full review

Contents

alive The 204 twentydollar bill The end of the Great Society
25
MICHAEL JORDAN and the FIRST DATE INTERVIEW
67
Chapter Five
89
Chapter Eight
149
Epilogue
169
Acknowledgments
183
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About the author (2008)

Ori Brafman is coauthor of The Starfish and the Spider and is a renowned organizational expert who regularly speaks before Fortune 500, governmental, and military audiences. A graduate of Stanford Business School, he lives in San Francisco.
 
Rom Brafman holds a Ph.D. in psychology and has taught university courses in personality and personal growth. His current research interests focus on the dynamics of interpersonal relationships. He has a private practice in Palo Alto, California.

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