Irrationality

Irrationality

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by Stuart Sutherland
     
 

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Why do doctors, army generals, high-ranking government officials, and other people in positions of power make bad decisions that cause harm to others? On the other hand, why do people insist on sitting through an awful play or film just because the tickets were expensive?

Irrational beliefs and behaviour are virtually universal. It is not only gamblers and

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Overview

Why do doctors, army generals, high-ranking government officials, and other people in positions of power make bad decisions that cause harm to others? On the other hand, why do people insist on sitting through an awful play or film just because the tickets were expensive?

Irrational beliefs and behaviour are virtually universal. It is not only gamblers and parapsychologists that fall into simple statistical traps to do with sample sizes or simple assumptions, but experts of all types, selection committees, and everyday people. "Irrationality" is an iconoclastic volume that draws on a mass of intriguing research to examine why we are irrational, the different types of irrationality, the damage it does us, and the possible cures. It also argues that we could significantly reduce irrationality and its effects - but only if we first recognize just how irrational we really are.

'The implicit premise behind this column is that, each week, I say in effect: Have a look at this, it's well worth reading. Today, I go further: explicitly, I now say: You must buy this book, for every home should have it." Nicholas Lezard, The Guardian

'Superb! The thinking man's self help book; it left me infinitely wiser, but I know it won't change my behaviour one tiny bit.' Ben Goldacre, author of Bad Science

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Editorial Reviews

Oliver Sacks
Terrifying, sometimes comic, very readable and totally enthralling
Richard Dawkins
Extremely gripping and unusually well written

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781905177707
Publisher:
Pinter & Martin
Publication date:
01/01/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
821 KB

Meet the Author

Stuart Sutherland was Professor of Psychology at the University of Sussex. A prolific columnist and contributor to the New York Times, he is best known for his books Irrationality and Breakdown.

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Irrationality 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
SergeantAwesome 11 months ago
Fantastic book which highlights how irrationality creeps its way into the decision making process. While there are a few things in which other compelling evidence may contradict, the information is presented rationally and logically through case study and research. Sutherland really points out how people, who often believe themselves to be rational individuals, are more often irrational in the frequent decisions they make and how their thinking can easily lead to irrationality. Everyone can learn many things from this book, I know I certainly did. I recommend this book to everyone.
ShakirBahzad More than 1 year ago
This book is one of the best researched and put-together books I've read in a very long time. I've always thought of myself as a rational and scientific. Well, I was wrong! The book is supported by studies and scientific papers all of which are cited and can be examined by the reader. I'm a physician. So, the evidence-based approach works very well for me. However, the book is not as dry as textbooks or articles found in scientific journals. It is also not a self-help book, although it gives a thorough insight about what you've considered rational behaviour. Highly recommended.