How We Decide
How We Decide
The first book to use the unexpected discoveries of neuroscience to help us make the best decisions.
Since Plato, philosophers have described the decision-making process as either rational or emotional: we carefully deliberate, or we blink and go with our gut. But as scientists break open the mind’s black box with the latest tools of neuroscience, they re discovering that this is not how the mind works. Our best decisions are a finely tuned blend of both feeling and reason and the precise mix depends on the situation. When buying a house, for example, it’s best to let our unconscious mull over the many variables. But when we’re picking a stock, intuition often leads us astray. The trick is to determine when to use the different parts of the brain, and to do this, we need to think harder (and smarter) about how we think.
Explaining decision-making on the scale of neurons makes for a challenging task, but Lehrer handles it with confidence and grace. As an introduction to the cognitive struggle between the brain’s “executive” rational centers and its more intuitive regions, “How We Decide” succeeds with great panache.
— The New York Times
What Lehrer delivers is a readily engaging, literate and well-researched glimpse into the great mystery of how we make up our minds.
— San Francisco Chronicle
A tour de force of limpid writing, well-marshalled anecdotes and conclusions that overthrow conventional wisdom. This book could change the way you think about thinking.
— The London Observer