Kenneth Reiss (Saint Louis MO)
Thinking About Thinking
This is one of those books that you sort of have to force yourself to read. Then after you are done, you are glad you read it, but would not read it again. I think it is well written, with plenty of examples to illustrate his points. I think it is similar to Blink by Malcolm Gladwell.
I wish it were an audio book. Perhaps the reason I prefer listening to a book, rather than reading it, will be the subject of Mr. Lehrers next book.
Barbara, educator for 35 years, NYC public schools (Brooklyn NY)
How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer
I thoroughly enjoyed this readable, practical book on decision making. By using the latest information from neuroscience and the most recent experiments in this field, Lehrer shows how a person can make better decisions from selecting breakfast cereals and jam to purchasing cars and homes. He even offers the reader hope that mistakes we make today can help us make better choices tomorrow because the brain "can always improve itself."
How We Decide would appeal to anyone who would like to become more conscious about making 'smarter ' choices. Educators, parents and anyone who wants to master a skill and 'learn how to learn' would find How We Decide particularly useful.
Jonah Lehrer shows how our brains can fool and misguide us but, by following his advice, we can lead more productive and satisfying lives. In fact, by buying this book and absorbing the author's suggestions about how to focus our thoughts, one can actually save money!
Angelina (New York NY)
An Interesting Analysis of the Brain
I'm not much of a non-fiction reader but I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Lehrer uses a lot of every day examples to explain the intricacies of the mind and how we make decisions. I was certainly surprised to read how much we still don't know about this every day companion.
Susan (Rehoboth MA)
What I Decided
Reading How We Decide is a bit like sampling a tray of interesting appetizers; you experience the equivalent of new tastes, in small portions, that are pleasing (or not), and which are a prequel to a future experience. Using a variety of examples from industry, and descriptions of scientific research projects, the author explains how brain chemistry is implicated in our emotions, instincts, and personal experiences. He explores their contributions to how we make both everyday and life-changing decisions.
If you are considering reading this book, I suggest doing so a chapter or two at a time, with someone else, or even in a book group. The information presented, while interesting, can be somewhat dry, and it takes conversation to explore the implications of what science is telling us. It is not necessary to have a vast knowledge of brain anatomy or physiology in order to understand the material in the book, but I found having a visual reference helpful. Personally, I found the discussion of the positive effects of emotion on our behaviors to be of the most interest.
Similar books that I have read are Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman and Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely.