Read what people think about How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer, and write your own review.

Summary | Reviews | More Information | More Books

How We Decide

by Jonah Lehrer

How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer X
How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer

Buy This Book

About this book


Page 1 of 3
There are currently 18 reader reviews for How We Decide
Order Reviews by:

Write your own review!


Who knew emotions can be our best guide in decision making?
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. With a myriad of examples drawn from all walks of life (the quarterack, the credit counselor, the guy protecting a submarine), author Lehrer challenges our common belief that the best decisions are made devoid of emotion. The author, through real examples applied to extensive scientific research and studies, challenges that notion. By example after example, he counters the belief we can make decisions without our emotions, which he defines in terms of specific portions of the brain and their functions. Again, by example, he cautions that while some of our brain functions, which are tied to our emotions, are our best friends in decision-making, other functions of the brain betray us, leading us to disastrous decisions and judgments. I found his examples relating to why we continuously spend more than we have, individually and collectively, fascinating. Who knew that the human brain played a role in the "sub-prime mortgage crisis!"

This is a book to linger over and ponder. The author has rendered what could have been just "cold" science into an intriguing journey through the human mind and its direct role in all human decisions, good and bad.

Making Decisions - heart or mind?
Emotion or rational thought? This book presents an enthralling explanation of the processes that the brain uses to decide what decisions it will make. Full of stories and anecdotes, it kept this reader’s interest throughout. The chapter on psychopaths and why they are so dangerous is chilling. The book is very current and includes information regarding the 2008 presidential election and how emotion and rational thought played out in the selection of candidates. Even the acknowledgments at the end are fun--the book was written because the author couldn't decide which type of Cheerios to buy!

Decide to check out How We Decide!
I loved this book! While getting ready to host a holiday party, in my mad scramble to stow away odds and ends, I misplaced this book. It took me forever to find where I stashed it. To make matters worse, I thought about it all the time in the interim - the ideas and information really stayed with me. I say "to make matters worse", but really, isn't that the hallmark of a good book?

I'm a big fiction reader, not so much of a non-fiction reader, but I requested this book because I have an interest in the brain and its functioning. I've taken a couple of "just for fun" non-credit college classes about the brain, so I was inclined to like the book from the beginning, but I enjoyed it even more than I thought I would. I don't think readers need to have any particular prior knowledge about the brain, though, because the author does a fantastic job of communicating how the brain processes information in layman's terms. I've always thought of the brain as the last frontier in medicine, but this book really offers an excellent glimpse into something that is still somewhat of a black box.

Two of the most interesting parts of the book occur early on, first when the author discusses how children respond differently depending on whether they're told they're smart or whether they're told they worked hard and second, when the author discusses gambling and Parkinson's medication.

As much as I liked this book, it did take me a while to get through it once I found it again.

How We Decide is wonderful...
An engaging and simply written accounting of what happens in our brains when we make decisions. I am not a science buff by any means but I was able to understand and easily follow along with the the way Lehrer broke it down for the reader. Interesting cases studies and anecdotes render an interesting and compelling read.

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.

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

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.

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.
  • Page
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

More Information


Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Winter
    by Ali Smith
    "God was dead; to begin with." This first sentence of Winter perfectly sets up the dreamy journey ...
  • Book Jacket: A Land of Permanent Goodbyes
    A Land of Permanent Goodbyes
    by Atia Abawi

    When you're a refugee, everyone has lost, at least for the time being... And the journey ...

  • Book Jacket: Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    by Mario Giordano
    Munich matron and self-described worldly sophisticate, Isolde Oberreiter, has decided to retire to a...
  • Book Jacket: Eat the Apple
    Eat the Apple
    by Matt Young
    Truth is stranger than fiction. Matt Young's memoir tackles the space in between truth and ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Sometimes I Lie
    by Alice Feeney

    This brilliant psychological thriller asks: Is something a lie if you believe it's the truth?
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    by Mario Giordano

    A charming, bighearted novel starring Auntie Poldi, Sicily's newest amateur sleuth.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Balcony

The Balcony
by Jane Delury

A century-spanning novel-in-stories of a French village brimming with compassion, natural beauty, and unmistakable humanity.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

One N U G

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.