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Every month or so I like to read a book that I hope will just make me a little smarter.
Well, this is one of the better “make me smarter” books that I’ve read in a long time. It’s chock-full of simple but profound psychological, behavioral, and economic insights that will make you a better thinker and decision maker and help you avoid some of the more common cognitive pitfalls that lead people astray in their lives, and the arguments and examples presented in the book are exceptionally clear and orderly, which gives you a firsthand look at how a brilliant mind works—an ideal to strive toward in your own reasoning and analysis.
This book is also a good read for anyone interested in becoming a better marketer, because great marketing ideas ultimately come from a deep understanding of human psychology and persuasion, from creative translations of observations about how people think and behave into commercial applications.
One of the things that most struck me while reading this book is just how easily we can be manipulated—and just how much of our personalities and lives can run on automatic—if we don’t make a conscious effort to at least consider zigging when something in us really wants to zag.
This is particularly relevant in today’s political and social climates. The propaganda machines of every side of every debate are in overdrive, and are more sophisticated than ever, but they still rely for their power on the exploitation of many of the thinking traps and cognitive biases discussed in this book. Simply reading about these inborn deficiencies doesn’t necessarily cure us of them, but hey, maybe they’ll help us see through some of the daily dose of demagoguery and agitprop.
Anyway, the bottom line is if you like to learn about what goes on behind the curtains of our minds and how it influences our attitudes, emotions, choices, and behaviors, then this book is for you.
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