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How We Decide   by Jonah Lehrer  (Part I of  II)

“How We Decide” is an interesting book that explains how our brains work. The book points out that we are not as logical or as aware as we think are when we make decisions.


“How We Decide” describes the neuroscience behind decision making.  The author, Jonah Lehrer talks about why people make bad decisions and what they can do to make fewer bad choices.


Lehrer discusses how, when things aren’t concrete our brain tends to minimize the implications.  As a practical application, the book discusses how folks spend more when they use credit cards than when they have to pay for things using cash.


The Author talks about how feelings can fool us into making bad decisions. One example of this is the power of “loss aversion” (the fear of loss) vs. the strength of positive motivation. If we find out from our bank that we can earn $200 by filling out some paper work we are moderately likely to complete the task; however, if we find out that unless we finish the paper work we are likely to have $200 taken out of our account we are highly likely to comply.  We do not give opportunities the same energy that we attribute to dangers and as a result we miss out on opportunities.


I will continue my discussion of how our brain reacts based on factors we are not aware of and on how our feelings drive our behavior, in part II of “How We Decide”.   In my third blog on this subject I will discuss decision making and couples.

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