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How We Decide


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With a casual style and frequent use of anecdotes, this pop neuropsychological book imparts complex information in easy-to-take audio doses. The book explains how the conscious, rational part of the brain and the pattern-seeking "instinctual" system participate in decision making-and which system is most reliable in various situations. David Colacci has an engaging, relaxed delivery that enhances the book's accessibility. The only jarring note: Colacci provides different voices for the people interviewed in the text, which feels odd given that Lehrer, not Colacci, did the interviewing, and Colacci could have no idea what these real people actually sound like. However, this is the most minor quibble with this intriguing peek into the complex mystery of our own mental functioning. A Houghton Mifflin hardcover (Reviews, Nov. 24). (Mar.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

Rhodes scholar Lehrer (Proust Was a Neuroscientist) takes listeners on a journey through how the human brain makes decisions, exploring factors that influence decision-making and combining medical diagnostic data with real-life examples. While Malcolm Gladwell's Blink discussed from afar how reason and intuition influence snap decisions, Lehrer's book digs more deeply into new research from the fields of psychology, sociology, and neuroscience to provide an erudite, scholarly view of the inner workings of the human brain as it makes decisions. Audie Award nominee David Colacci's (The Suspect) evenhanded delivery will help listeners of this often technical material stay focused. For interested lay readers as well as students and professors of psychology/psychiatry. [Audio clip available through brillianceaudio.com.-Ed.]-Dale Farris, Groves, TX Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

"Cash or credit? Punt or go for first down? Deal or no deal? Life is filled with puzzling choices. Reporting from the frontiers of neuroscience and armed with riveting case studies of how pilots, quarterbacks, and others act under fire, Jonah Lehrer presents a dazzlingly authoritative and accessible account of how we make decisions, what's happening in our heads as we do so, and how we might all become better 'deciders.' Luckily, this one's a no-brainer: Read this book."--Tom Vanderbilt, author of "Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us)
""Over the past two decades, research in neuroscience and behavioral economics has revolutionized our understanding of human decision making. Jonah Lehrer brings it all together in this insightful and enjoyable book, giving readers the information they need to make the smartest decisions."--Antonio Damasio, author of "Descartes' Error and Looking for Spinoza
""Jonah Lehrer ingeniously weaves neuroscience, sports, war, psychology, and politics into a fascinating tale of human decision making. In the process, he makes us much wiser."--Dan Ariely, author of "Predictably Irrational
"Should we go with instinct or analysis? The answer, Lehrer explains, in this smart and delightfully readable book, is that it depends on the situation. Knowing which method works best in which case is not just useful but fascinating. Lehrer proves once again that he's a master storyteller and one of the best guides to the practical lessons from new neuroscience."--Chris Anderson, editor in chief of "Wired" and author of "The Long Tail
"As Lehrer describes in fluid prose, the brain's reasoning centers are easily fooled, often making judgments based on nonrational factors like presentation (a sales pitch or packaging)...Lehrer is a delight to read, and this is a fascinating book (some of which appeared recently, in a slightly different form, in the New Yorker) that will help everyone better understand thems

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