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How We Decide

by Jonah Lehrer

How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer X
How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer
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  • 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.
  • 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!
  • Margaret (Springfield VA)
    How We Decide
    By using psychological and neuroscience studies as well as examples about and interviews with people who make decisions, Mr. Lehrer has produced a fascinating book about how we make our own decisions. The book opens with a pilot steering a plane (actually a simulator) to land after an engine catches fire (so timely with the landing in the Hudson). He also includes a study of the pilot of the plane which landed in Iowa a number of years ago. Although at times the science is a bit deep for the casual reader, all in all it is a very accessible and interesting study. Did you, as a reader, ever know what it takes to decide what strawberry jam to purchase or why a poker player folds or holds? The long bibliography and notes add to his study for the reader wanting more details.
  • Sharon (Gainesville TX)
    How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer
    I found this book very interesting and informative. Lehrer cites scientific experiments which show the part of the brain used when making rational decisions versus emotional decisions as well as the parts affected by dementia, Alzheimer's, autism and trauma, etc. It's written in language that a layperson can understand. I would recommend it for those who want a better understanding of these conditions. We have friends who have autism and dementia in their family. It helped me to better understand the problems that they must face.
  • Anna (Auburn AL)
    How We Decide
    All in all I liked this book but I do have a couple of criticisms. First of all, the author misused the term "negative reinforcement" -- it does NOT mean the same thing as punishment! The other thing that I found annoying was that he used the terms brain and mind as if they were interchangeable, which they are not. The brain is, of course, an anatomical structure, while "mind" is a convenient construct we use when talking about consciousness. These criticisms aside, I find the author's contention that we need to use both rational thought and emotional reaction when we are making decisions a compelling one. I particularly liked his use of real-life anecdotes to illustrate what might otherwise have been dry, textbook-ish examples.
  • 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.
  • 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.
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