Advance reader reviews of How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer.

How We Decide

By Jonah Lehrer

How We Decide
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  • Published in USA  Feb 2009,
    256 pages.

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There are currently 18 member reviews
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  • Peggy (North East PA)

    Thinking about Thinking
    If my science class had been as interesting as "How We Decide", I would have been more likely to consider a career as a scientist. The book has a heavyweight bibliography, extensive technical references and descriptions of brain parts that I will hopefully never have to pronounce, but is in no way a tedious read.

    The simple message is to think about thinking, and explains why using examples of people who make or have made different types of decisions. We do make many different types of decisions all of the time and use different parts of the brain for these decisions.

    I know I will remember the lessons from this book the next time I find myself ready to make an important decision in my life, so that I can better sort out the various voices in my head ... and think about why I am feeling what I am feeling.
  • Carol (Isle MN)

    The science behind decision making
    A must read, because we all make decisions. Jonah Lehrer's book "How we Decide" is a very readable book filled with the science behind how we make decisions. I found the book fascinating in the scientific knowledge that has been gained using MRI as people are put through a variety of studies. Mr. Lehrer has a gift in distilling the results of scientific studies to their essence and then 'translating' them to be understood by the lay person.

    "How we Decide" takes us through what has previously been believed about decision making, the role emotions play in decision making and assumption most people hold regarding decision making. Then Mr. Lehrer presents the new research on the brain and what is being learned about decision making. He provides the reader with some very concrete and readable examples of everyday decision making. He also goes on to give recommendations on how to improve our decision making.

    Very interesting and useful read; highly recommend it.
  • Jane (San Diego CA)

    How do you know?
    What goes into a decision? When should you analyze things carefully and when should you let your subconscious work on it? This book strives to give you the knowledge you need to analyze the type of decision you are making and what kind of thought process it requires.

    Lehrer explains how the different parts of the brain work in decision-making through actual examples of decisions made in a wide range of fields including sports, shopping, medicine, the military, aviation, firefighting, political campaigns, and financial investment, to name a few. Some are life and death decisions, while others have no serious consequences.

    The ideas and concepts are fascinating, and while this is complex and technical information, Lehrer makes it understandable to the lay person.
  • Linda Kapusta, Belvidere North H. S. Librarian (Belvidere IL)

    How We Decide, by Jonah Lehrer
    We hear that, “Not to Decide is to Decide.” Thus, it would appear that we are always making decisions – one way or another.

    But exactly what is involved in making decisions? What happens internally, in our bodies and our brains? And when we make a decision, is it because we have rationally considered all possibilities? Jonah Lehrer, author of How We Decide, is a neuroscientist with a talent for explaining the scientific side of human decision making in a way that non-scientific minds can understand and enjoy.

    This book is highly readable, informative, and enjoyable, if you are fascinated by how the human mind works.
  • Liz (Morristown NJ)

    Worth Reading
    I enjoyed how the author used commonly known sports figures and stories to show the process of how people make decisions. And it is truly amazing how complex and involved the process is, with past experiences, emotions and morality all playing a role. This book is definitely worth reading and geared to the average person, not just those with scientific backgrounds.
  • John (Hazleton PA)

    How do We decide
    I loved to read this book because it provides the insight to understand how the human brain works in any situations in order to lead to good and bad decisions making. This book shows the medical aspect of the brain when the humans make the decisions under pressure in any situations. I recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about why humans make good decisions and bad decisions.
  • Eva (Westmont IL)

    Think You Control Your Decisions---Think Again
    This book was extremely interesting. Most people think that they truly control all their decision making abilities, but in essence many times those decisions are so quick that it's truly an internal process. It's almost inexplainable yet there's a real scientific reason for it.

    I thought that it was either your emotional side taking control or your rational side controlling your decisions but there's so much more to the entire process.

    The book describes how athletes make split second without even realizing it to win a game. The decision is almost intuitive. I thought this discussion to be extremely fascinating. Being in a competitive job environment, I now see how the decisions I make impact the sales that attain and the ones I lose.

    Mr. Lehrer's storytelling though not fictional flows so well and is so interesting that you truly want to know how people in all walks of life and ages make decisions and how you can learn to make better one.

    In these uncertain times, this book is certainly one that people who'd like to gain insight into their own processes would benefit from reading.
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