June 23, 2009

How We Decide

"How We Decide" by Jonah Lehrer is an exploration of all the nuances that go into the decision-making process. It is an approachable blend of cutting edge science an anecdotes about how decisions people made influenced their lives (both in life-and-death situations and the ordinary). He explores the decision making process through various facets, among them: dopamine, feelings, thinking, morals, internal argumentative dialog, and thinking about thinking. I suspect a second reading is in order as I usually find reading on airplanes to be a distracting.

Some quotes from the book that I wanted to capture:

159: Herbert Simon said it best: "A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention."
188: As Mother Teresa put it, "If I look at the mass, I will never act. If I look at the one, I will."
244-249: the author lays out decision-making guidelines:

  • Simple problems require reason

  • Novel problems also require reason

  • Embrace uncertainty

  • You know more than you know

  • Think about thinking

253: decision-making strategy known as Cockpit Resource Management (CRM)

Tags: books thinking