Customer Reviews for

Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior

Average Rating 3.5
( 48 )
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(10)

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(19)

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(12)

2 Star

(6)

1 Star

(1)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Great Topic. Great Book!

We all make mistakes. Some minor, others, life-changing. Obtaining all the knowledge we can about this field will enhance our time on earth. Based on great stories and solid research, this fun book takes a meandering stroll down the beaches of behavioral and social scie...
We all make mistakes. Some minor, others, life-changing. Obtaining all the knowledge we can about this field will enhance our time on earth. Based on great stories and solid research, this fun book takes a meandering stroll down the beaches of behavioral and social science. Along the way, we find pearls of wisdom.

In light of the lessons I learned in this book, I will now have to go back and re-read Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinkingby Malcolm Gladwell whose lessons I have been applying at work and home. This book - in a way - is the opposite of Blink whereby our intuition does not rush in to save the day.

I applaud the lack of digressions and tangents. Too often, this type of book leaves the subject matter to discuss an area the reader has not interest in. My only negative critique is that this is really more of a subject for a magazine or journal article rather than a full-blown book length treatment. Still, I really enjoyed the book and hope you find this review helpful.

Michael L. Gooch, SPHR

posted by M_L_Gooch_SPHR on October 26, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Comically Inept

At the end of Chapter Two, the authors engage in precisely the sort of dead head logic they lampoon in Chapter Three, which is where I stopped reading. This is the sort of breezy faux scholarship that department heads are forever force feeding middle management. If you ...
At the end of Chapter Two, the authors engage in precisely the sort of dead head logic they lampoon in Chapter Three, which is where I stopped reading. This is the sort of breezy faux scholarship that department heads are forever force feeding middle management. If you want to learn about human nature, you'll get more by sharing two drinks with a bartender -- about what this book costs.

posted by sstinson on December 29, 2008

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  • Posted December 29, 2008

    Comically Inept

    At the end of Chapter Two, the authors engage in precisely the sort of dead head logic they lampoon in Chapter Three, which is where I stopped reading. This is the sort of breezy faux scholarship that department heads are forever force feeding middle management. If you want to learn about human nature, you'll get more by sharing two drinks with a bartender -- about what this book costs.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 12, 2009

    If you like pop non-fiction, Sway is for you.

    I purchased this after reading the WSJ review, thinking it would have some insights as to irrational behavior. However, it's just a subjective view of decisions the author thinks are nonsensical and then a pseudo-scientific analysis to support that perspective. I should have gone to a book store and skimmed the book first.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 26, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Topic. Great Book!

    We all make mistakes. Some minor, others, life-changing. Obtaining all the knowledge we can about this field will enhance our time on earth. Based on great stories and solid research, this fun book takes a meandering stroll down the beaches of behavioral and social science. Along the way, we find pearls of wisdom. <BR/><BR/>In light of the lessons I learned in this book, I will now have to go back and re-read Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinkingby Malcolm Gladwell whose lessons I have been applying at work and home. This book - in a way - is the opposite of Blink whereby our intuition does not rush in to save the day. <BR/><BR/>I applaud the lack of digressions and tangents. Too often, this type of book leaves the subject matter to discuss an area the reader has not interest in. My only negative critique is that this is really more of a subject for a magazine or journal article rather than a full-blown book length treatment. Still, I really enjoyed the book and hope you find this review helpful. <BR/><BR/>Michael L. Gooch, SPHR

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 26, 2009

    Interesting Look at Human Behavior

    If you like behavioral psychology questions, you'll enjoy this book. It's written as a collection of case studies, in a quick-to-read format. I liked it a lot - but I'm also a Behavior Analyst.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2009

    Quick read - engaging and thought provoking

    This is very easy to read and engaging. good for the beach or the airplane if you're a non-fiction reader interested in why good people make bad choices.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2008

    Not worth the time or money

    The book sounded very interesting from the description. It also started out as a very interesting book, but after about the 3rd chapter, it got boring and seemingly irrelevant. I thought the research was not presented in a way that is consistent with the original findings as presented in the research articles. There was definitely a bias. I hate to say it, but I got swayed by the description. Don't let that happen to you.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2008

    A reviewer

    As a middle school teacher I found the book provided insights into the thinking/decision making of my students. I do, however disagree with the comments about the Joshua Bell experiment. Perhaps people walked by because the music isn't that great. Who decides what music (or art) is objectively great? Maybe people who pay alot to see him in concert say the music is great because they are swayed into believing it. Maybe they say the music is great because it sets them above those less culturally endowed. Decisions about music and art are subjective and judgements about them shouldn't be the basis for objective science. This aside, I enjoyed the book and will use it to help my students (and myself) to make better decisions.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2014

    Love It!

    Fast and entertaining read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2013

    Sway

    Very informative & easy to apply to real-life scenerios.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2012

    Incredibly insightful

    And here i thought all of my bad decisions we just stupid mistakes, something you just have to accept and cant do much about - thats life. Well now i am informed and armed with the knowledge to protect myself from being swayed and instead making more intelligent choices without having to second guess myself.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2010

    Perspectives

    All in all, this was a book that starts of great and plummets down towards. There was some good insight on a part of our irrational behavior.But it seemed rather broad without a clear answer.This is all tolled from his perspective; unfortunately. And supported by some facts to prove his point.Not say that he is complete wrong, he did have intriguing descriptions regarding to how we make our judgment call's.
    This book is worthing read, I might have not found everything worth while because I couldn't apply it to my past experiences. But I did learn a little more about irrational behavior then, I would have not reading. There are a hand full of great description that I found beneficial to me. There were interesting ideas that if acknowledged can help us realize a little bit more about our decisions. I have learned that it's amazing that even thought we all think differently and processes information differently. There is a similarity in how our decision making can be mislead or "swayed" and that is where we all fail and make potential mistakes. I would say that if you get this book it's important to read till the end. Also, to have an open mind while reading not everything might apply to you.

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    Posted January 24, 2010

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