Cass R. Sunstein is a law professor at Harvard Law School and is the most cited law professor in the United States.
So are we in a position to make better choices today than we were a decade ago? Certainly there are some who believe so. Psychologists claim we are subject to hidden mental processes that lead us to one thing rather than another; economists offer predictions about what people will buy; and some philosophers claim that our choices echo our evolutionary past.
Are these claims merited? Do they reflect the beginnings of a new science of choice? This book offers a critical overview of these and other claims, showing where they are justified and where they are exaggerated. It will be an essential reference for anyone interested in whether science can help us to understand both the ways people make choices in their everyday lives and how these may be changing.
The book looks at decision making and behavior from the point of view of (i) individual behavior and choice; (ii) group and interactive choice; and (iii) collective choices and decision making. In particular, it covers the following aspects: instances when bounded rationality leads to decisions inconsistent with standard economic assumptions; risk and the processes by which investors and consumers make decisions; altruistic and cooperative behavior as alternatives to competition; game theory as a way to explore motives of cooperation versus competition; the determinants of happiness and the relationship between utility and well-being; the concept of social capital, including motivations for charity and being a responsible citizen; how trust and fairness relate to economic actions and the motivation to cooperate rather than compete; behavior such as crime, corruption and bribery from ethical, social and economic viewpoints; and, finally, the decision making process of collective choice and how societies develop rules for governing themselves.
This is the first book to bridge economics, psychology, sociology and political sciences and explain the nuanced subtleties of decision making.
In this eye-opening handbook, the internationally noted speaker, economics expert, and bestselling author of IOU: The Debt Threat and Silent Takeover reveals the extent to which the biggest decisions in our lives are often made on the basis of flawed information, weak assumptions, corrupted data, insufficient scrutiny of others, and a lack of self-knowledge.
To avert such disasters, Hertz persuasively argues, we need to become empowered decision-makers, capable of making high-stakes choices and holding accountable those who advise us.
In Eyes Wide Open, she weaves together scientific research with real-world examples from Hollywood to Harry Potter, NASA to World War Two spies, to construct a path to more astute and empowered decision-making in ten clear steps. With a razor-sharp intellect and an instinct for popular storytelling, she offers counter-intuitive, actionable guidance for making better choices—whether you are a business-person, a professional, a patient, or a parent.
If you read nothing else on decision making, read these 10 articles. We’ve combed through hundreds of articles in the Harvard Business Review archive and selected the most important ones to help you and your organization make better choices and avoid common traps.
Leading experts such as Ram Charan, Michael Mankins, and Thomas Davenport provide the insights and advice you need to:Make bold decisions that challenge the status quoSupport your decisions with diverse dataEvaluate risks and benefits with equal rigorCheck for faulty cause-and-effect reasoningTest your decisions with experimentsFoster and address constructive criticismDefeat indecisiveness with clear accountability
In Best Laid Plans, the author examines how any action can have cascading impacts across time, place, and sector, explaining the eight social mechanisms of unintended consequences that complicate matters and often defeat best laid plans. This book will be of great interest to managers, analysts, researchers, or other employees working for businesses, governments, and not-for-profit organizations, as well as general nonfiction readers who delight in learning about how the world works.
Nobel laureate Richard H. Thaler has spent his career studying the radical notion that the central agents in the economy are humans—predictable, error-prone individuals. Misbehaving is his arresting, frequently hilarious account of the struggle to bring an academic discipline back down to earth—and change the way we think about economics, ourselves, and our world.
Traditional economics assumes rational actors. Early in his research, Thaler realized these Spock-like automatons were nothing like real people. Whether buying a clock radio, selling basketball tickets, or applying for a mortgage, we all succumb to biases and make decisions that deviate from the standards of rationality assumed by economists. In other words, we misbehave. More importantly, our misbehavior has serious consequences. Dismissed at first by economists as an amusing sideshow, the study of human miscalculations and their effects on markets now drives efforts to make better decisions in our lives, our businesses, and our governments.
Coupling recent discoveries in human psychology with a practical understanding of incentives and market behavior, Thaler enlightens readers about how to make smarter decisions in an increasingly mystifying world. He reveals how behavioral economic analysis opens up new ways to look at everything from household finance to assigning faculty offices in a new building, to TV game shows, the NFL draft, and businesses like Uber.
Laced with antic stories of Thaler’s spirited battles with the bastions of traditional economic thinking, Misbehaving is a singular look into profound human foibles. When economics meets psychology, the implications for individuals, managers, and policy makers are both profound and entertaining.
Shortlisted for the Financial Times & McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award
Dr David Halpern, behavioural scientist and head of Number 10's Behavioural Insights Team, or the 'Nudge Unit', invites you inside the unconventional, multi-million pound saving initiative that makes a big difference through influencing small, simple changes in our behaviour. Using the application of psychology to the challenges we face in the world today, the Nudge Unit is pushing us in the right direction. This is their story.
In the international bestseller, Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman, the renowned psychologist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. The impact of overconfidence on corporate strategies, the difficulties of predicting what will make us happy in the future, the profound effect of cognitive biases on everything from playing the stock market to planning our next vacation—each of these can be understood only by knowing how the two systems shape our judgments and decisions.
Engaging the reader in a lively conversation about how we think, Kahneman reveals where we can and cannot trust our intuitions and how we can tap into the benefits of slow thinking. He offers practical and enlightening insights into how choices are made in both our business and our personal lives—and how we can use different techniques to guard against the mental glitches that often get us into trouble. Winner of the National Academy of Sciences Best Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and selected by The New York Times Book Review as one of the ten best books of 2011, Thinking, Fast and Slow is destined to be a classic.