How We Decide

Front Cover
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009 - Business & Economics - 302 pages
51 Reviews
The first book to use the unexpected discoveries of neuroscience to help us make the best decisions

Since Plato, philosophers have described the decision-making 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 use the different parts 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 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?

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Review: How We Decide

User Review  - seak - Goodreads

To this day, this is the book I recommend the most. Partly because I pretty much only read fantasy books and that only works for certain (awesome) people, but mostly because this book does such a good ... Read full review

Review: How We Decide

User Review  - Goodreads

To this day, this is the book I recommend the most. Partly because I pretty much only read fantasy books and that only works for certain (awesome) people, but mostly because this book does such a good ... Read full review

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About the author (2009)

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.