I'll Have What She's Having: Mapping Social Behavior

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Overview

Humans are, first and foremost, social creatures. And this, according to the authors of I'll Have What She's Having, shapes?and explains?most of our choices. We're not just blindly driven by hard-wired instincts to hunt or gather or reproduce; our decisions are based on more than"nudges" exploiting individual cognitive quirks.I'll Have What She's Having shows us how we use the brains of others to think for us and as storage space for knowledge about the world. The story zooms out from the individual to small ...

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Overview

Humans are, first and foremost, social creatures. And this, according to the authors of I'll Have What She's Having, shapes—and explains—most of our choices. We're not just blindly driven by hard-wired instincts to hunt or gather or reproduce; our decisions are based on more than"nudges" exploiting individual cognitive quirks.I'll Have What She's Having shows us how we use the brains of others to think for us and as storage space for knowledge about the world. The story zooms out from the individual to small groups to the complexities of populations. It describes, among other things, how buzzwords propagate and how ideas spread; how the swine flu scare became an epidemic; and how focused social learning by a few gets amplified as copying by the masses. It describes how ideas, behavior, and culture spread through the simple means of doing what others do.It is notoriously difficult to change behavior. For every "Yes We Can" political slogan, there are thousands of "Just Say No" buttons. I'll Have What She's Having offers a practical map to help us navigate the complex world of social behavior, an essential guide for anyone who wants to understand how people behave and how to begin to change things.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[A] highly informative tool-kit for understanding the exchange of knowledge and behaviour between people and is a must-read for anyone engaged in marketing and social media."— Collyn Ahart, YCN

"It's fascinating, thought-provoking, and contains some really useful, practical structures around using data around a business to understand what sort of market you're in." —John V. Willshire, Smithery

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Mark Earls is a London-based author and consultant on marketing, communication, and behavior change.

Michael J. O'Brien is Dean of the College of Arts and Science, Professor of Anthropology, andDirector of the Museum of Anthropology at the University of Missouri.

John Maeda is President of Rhode Island School of Design and former Associate Director of theMIT Media Lab. In 2008 Esquire magazine named Maeda one of the 75 most influential people of the twenty-first century. He is the author of The Laws ofSimplicity (MIT Press, 2006) and other books.

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  • Posted December 20, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    The title of this study of social behavior comes from the Katz D

    The title of this study of social behavior comes from the Katz Deli scene in the romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally. One woman observes another appearing to have an orgasm at a nearby table and tells the waiter: “I’ll have what she’s having.” The title serves as useful shorthand for the human practices of imitation, replication and diffusion of ideas. Academics Alex Bentley and Michael J. O’Brien and consultant Mark Earls offer lucid prose and easy-to-follow examples in their fine introduction to social behavior. getAbstract recommends their insights to those interested in greater self-knowledge, social change, or marketing and innovation.

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