The Mind of the Market: How Biology and Psychology Shape Our Economic Lives

( 4 )

Overview

"[A] captivating raconteur of all the greatest hits of behavioral, evolutionary and neuropsychology . . . Fascinating."—Los Angeles Times Book Review

How did we make the leap from ancient hunter-gatherers to modern consumers, and why do people get so emotional about financial decisions? The national bestseller The Mind of the Market uncovers the evolutionary roots of our economic behavior.

Drawing on the new field of neuroeconomics, ...

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The Mind of the Market: Compassionate Apes, Competitive Humans, and Other Tales from Evolutionary Economics

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Overview

"[A] captivating raconteur of all the greatest hits of behavioral, evolutionary and neuropsychology . . . Fascinating."—Los Angeles Times Book Review

How did we make the leap from ancient hunter-gatherers to modern consumers, and why do people get so emotional about financial decisions? The national bestseller The Mind of the Market uncovers the evolutionary roots of our economic behavior.

Drawing on the new field of neuroeconomics, psychologist Michael Shermer investigates what brain scans reveal about bargaining, snap purchases, and establishing trust in business. He scrutinizes experiments in behavioral economics to understand why people hang on to losing stocks and why negotiations disintegrate into tit-for-tat disputes. He brings together findings from psychology and biology to describe how our tribal ancestry makes us suckers for brands, why researchers believe cooperation feels (biochemically) like sex, and how even capuchin monkeys get indignant if they don’t get a fair reward for their work.

Entertaining and eye-opening, The Mind of the Market explains the real science of economics.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[A] captivating raconteur of all the greatest hits of behavioral, evolutionary and neuropsychology, [and] provider of wonderful cocktail party material... Fascinating."—Los Angeles Times Book Review

"The book has no end of conversation starters, from capitalism as modern Darwinism to neuroeconomics that show that—biochemically, at least—a human brain is shockingly similar during smooth business deals and sex."—Boston Globe

"Have you ever wondered how people develop trust and live together peacefully? Michael Shermer’s new book uses psychology and evolution to examine the root of these human achievements… [He] has earned the right to our attention."—Washington Post

"Drawing from research, and injecting his own wit, Shermer explains why people make bad decisions about money, why wealth can’t buy you happiness, and why we love cooperating."—Psychology Today

"Compelling… Take[s] us on an intimate tour of the best of the last half-century’s work in behavioral economics and neuroscience."—New York Post

"Entertaining… a fascinating tour d’horizon of discoveries in several of today’s cutting-edge sciences."—The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

"Well-written [and] highly entertaining…. Replete with thought-provoking examples and solid references, the book will start as many debates as it will end."—Choice

"[The Mind of the Market] provides a thorough account of what’s going on in a branch of psychology dedicated to understanding the natural origins of economic decisions."—Science News

"Pure entertainment… Some of the most interesting economic research being undertaken these days draws on the disciplines of cognitive science and psychology, and [The Mind of the Market is a] highly readable contribution."—The Business Economist

"Eye-opening … [The Mind of the Market] recounts truly fascinating experiments and discoveries regarding physiological components of our market decisions…. Filled with fun analogies and a smattering of funny lines."—Humanist

"Thoughtful and complete…You’re certain to learn something new when you read it."—WestWord

"[Shermer] does a bang-up job knitting together the complexities of science and the frail psychology of human beings to explain the unpredictable postmodern world of trade and finance…. An informative, inventive, broad-spectrum analysis of what makes modern man tick, starting with his wallet."—Kirkus Reviews

"Using fascinating examples… Shermer explores the evolutionary roots of our sense of fairness and justice, and shows how this rationale extends to the market…. Offers much insight into human behavior and rationales regarding money."—Publishers Weekly

"The Ripley’s Believe It or Not of behavioral economics, or why people act the way they do in a capitalistic marketplace…. Shermer applies his wide-ranging knowledge of science and its rigorous investigatory discipline to uncover the answers and make connections between trade and emotion—in essence, popularizing neuron-economics."—Booklist

"Extremely interesting… Shermer is a fantastic presenter."—Steven D. Levitt, The New York Times Freakonomics Blog

"Michael Shermer brilliantly shows that the real experts of Homo economicus are often found in psychology, biology, even primatology." —Frans de Waal, author of Our Inner Ape

"Written with his customary verve and flair, The Mind of the Market is Michael Shermer at his best."—Dinesh D’Souza, author of What’s So Great About America

"Economists who understand Charles Darwin are almost as rare as biologists who understand Adam Smith. Yet the two were essentially saying the same thing—that order emerges unordained from competition and innovation. Michael Shermer brilliantly brings the two insights together to explain how the human mind creates the human market."Matt Ridley, author of The Origins of Virtue

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805089165
  • Publisher: Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/6/2009
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 599,113
  • Product dimensions: 6.48 (w) x 8.04 (h) x 0.92 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 5 of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The Bias of Freedom

    This book is biased, biased towards freedom. What the idealogue, whom wrote the previous review, fails to comprehend. Is the corruption of power inherent in any power structure, particulary that which exists in Government. Government by the people, for the people is a bi-product of societal evolution. However, we have allowed our present form of Governance to back-slide into a state of Oligarchy. The idea presented in this book is sound, rational, and based on the emergant science of Evolutionary Psychology. One should read the entire book, before rendering one's own biased assumption.

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  • Posted January 18, 2009

    Why I Believed Wierd Things

    I had enjoyed Michael Shermer's columns in Scientific American for several years so I finally bought his latest book when it came out in paperback. I had not discerned his precise ideological stance from the columns, but two chapters into this, I finally got it. I am astounded that Michael Shermer edits a magazine called the Skeptic, because this book reveals he is not the least bit skeptical, he is a true believer. His jeremidad against The God of Government reveals him to be an ideologue and a shallow thinker. Governments, like markets, are an evolutionarily emergent phenomenon in the development of human civilization, not some irrational appendage that rationalism will do away with. I found this quote from page 20 of the paperback edition particularly amusing and instructive "And nearly everyone still holds to the folk belief that in order for our economy to be healthy, it must be heavily regulated from the top down". Folk belief? How about pressing empirical reality? How about the government having to essentially nationalize the commeanding heights of American finance because left to their own devices they led the global economy over a cliff? I am looking forward to Shermer's next column and then book "Why I Believed Wierd Things"

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 5 of 4 Customer Reviews

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