the next good book

The Undoing Project

By Michael Lewis


352 pages

What’s it about? This non-fiction book is equally about the origins of Behavioral Economics and the unique partnership and friendship between Israeli psychologists Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman.What did it make me think about? This book emphasized how rare and difficult true partnerships are. It also shed light on how we make decisions.  A early tidbit of what was discussed, “In some strange way people, at least when they are judging other people, saw what they expected to see and were slow to see what they hadn’t seen before.”  How would your decision making change if you were more aware of this?  Apparently not too much, “Simply knowing a bias wasn’t sufficient to overcome it:”. So even being aware that we see something a certain way, can not stop us from doing it. Should I read it? If you are interested in human behavior then this book is enormously interesting.  Having said that, I did feel like behavioral economics is still just touching the iceberg of human decision making, so you may come away from this book feeling vaguely unfulfilled. Quote- “Shore asked him how he became a psychologist.  ‘It’s hard to know how people select a course in life,’ Amos said. ‘The big choices we make our practically random. The small “choices probably talk more about who we are. Which field we go into may depend on which high school teacher we happen to meet.  Who we marry may depend on who happens to be around at the right time of life. On the other hand, the small decisions are very systemic. That I became a psychologist is probably not very revealing. What kind of psychologist I am may reveal deep traits.'”

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