The Art of Thinking Clearly

The Art of Thinking Clearly

eBook - 2013 | 1st ed.
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An exploration of human reasoning reveals how to recognize and avoid simple errors in our day-to-day thinking in order to transform the decision-making process.
Publisher: New York : Harper, ©2013.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780062359803
9780062219701
0062219707
Characteristics: 1 online resource (xviii, 358 pages)
Additional Contributors: Griffin, Nicky
Contents: Why you should visit cemeteries : survivorship bias
Does Harvard make you smarter? : swimmer's body illusion
Why you see shapes in the clouds : clustering illusion
If fifty million people say something foolish, it is still foolish : social proof
Why you should forget the past : sunk cost fallacy
Don't accept free drinks : reciprocity
Beware the "special case" : confirmation bias (part 1)
Murder your darlings : confirmation bias (part 2)
Don't bow to authority : authority bias
Leave your supermodel friends at home : contrast effect
Why we prefer a wrong map to none at all : availability bias
Why "no pain, no gain" should set alarm bells ringing : the it'll-get-worse-before-it-gets-better fallacy
Even true stories are fairy tales : story bias
Why you should keep a diary : hindsight bias
Why you systematically overestimate your knowledge and abilities : overconfidence effect
Don't take news anchors seriously : chauffeur knowledge
You control less than you think : illusion of control
Never pay your lawyer by the hour : incentive super-response tendency
The dubious efficacy of doctors, consultants, and psychotherapists : regression to mean
Never judge a decision by its outcome : outcome bias
Less is more : paradox of choice
You like me, you really, really like me : liking bias
Don't cling to things : endowment effect
The inevitability of unlikely events : coincidence
The calamity of conformity : groupthink
Why you'll soon be playing mega trillions : neglect of probability
Why the last cookie in the jar makes your mouth water : scarcity error
When you hear hoofbeats, don't expect a zebra : base-rate neglect
Why the "balancing force of the universe" is baloney : gambler's fallacy
Why the wheel of fortune makes our heads spin : the anchor
How to relieve people of their millions : induction
Why evil is more striking than good : loss aversion
Why teams are lazy : social loafing
Stumped by a sheet of paper : exponential growth
Curb your enthusiasm : winner's curse
Never ask a writer if the novel is autobiographical : fundamental attribution error
Why you shouldn't believe in the stork : false causality
Why attractive people climb the career ladder more quickly : halo effect
Congratulations! you've won Russian roulette : alternative paths
False prophets : forecast illusion
The deception of specific cases : conjunction fallacy
It's not what you say, but how you say it : framing
Why watching and waiting is torture : action bias
Why you are either the solution
or the problem : omission bias
Don't blame me : self-serving bias
Be careful what you wish for : hedonic treadmill
Do not marvel at your existence : self-selection bias
Why experience can damage your judgment : association bias
Be wary when things get off to a great start : beginner's luck
Sweet little lies : cognitive dissonance
Live each day as if it were your last
but only on Sundays : hyperbolic discounting
Any lame excuse : "because" justification
Decide better
decide less : decision fatigue
Would you wear Hitler's sweater? : contagion bias
Why there is no such thing as an average war : the problem with averages
How bonuses destroy motivation : motivation crowding
If you have nothing to say, say nothing : twaddle tendency
How to increase the average IQ of two states : Will Rogers phenomenon
If you have an enemy, give him information : information bias
Hurts so good : effort justification
Why small things loom large : the law of small numbers
Handle with care : expectations
Speed traps ahead! : simple logic
How to expose a charlatan : Forer effect
Volunteer work is for the birds : volunteer's folly
Why you are a slave to your emotions : affect heuristic
Be your own heretic : introspection illusion
Why you should set fire to your ships : inability to close doors
Disregard the bra nd new : neomania
Why propaganda works : sleeper effect
Why it's never just a two-horse race : alternative blindness
Why we take aim at young guns : social comparison bias
Why first impressions are deceiving : primacy and recency effects
Why you can't beat homemade : not-invented-here syndrome
How to profit from the implausible : the black swan
Knowledge is nontransferable : domain dependence
The myth of like-mindedness : false-consensus effect
You were right all along : falsification of history
Why you identify with your football team : in-group out-group bias
The difference between risk and uncertainty : ambiguity aversion
Why you go with the status quo : default effect
Why "last chances" make us panic : fear of regret
How eye-catching details render us blind : salience effect
Why money is not naked : house-money effect
Why New Year's resolutions don't work : procrastination
Build your own castle : envy
Why you prefer novels to statistics : personification
You have no idea what you are overlooking : illusion of attention
Hot air : strategic misrepresentation
Where's the off switch? : overthinking
Why you take on too much : planning fallacy
Those wielding hammers see only nails : déformation professionnelle
Mission accomplished : Zeigarnik effect
The boat matters more than the rowing : illusion of skill
Why checklists deceive you : feature-positive effect
Drawing the bull's eye around the arrow : cherry picking
The Stone Age hunt for scapegoats : fallacy of the single cause
Why speed demons appear to be safer drivers : intention-to-treat error
Why you shouldn't read the news : news illusion.
Summary: An exploration of human reasoning reveals how to recognize and avoid simple errors in our day-to-day thinking in order to transform the decision-making process.

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6
6675tap
Nov 29, 2015

It's difficult to see how all of the authors' friends could take his advice about the news without the author having to modify his own strategy for keeping up with the news.

s
Sabine3
Jan 24, 2015

A clever book explaining how we all fall into cognitive traps, and the difference between 'hot' and 'cold' thinking, that is, intuitive and rational. Divided into 100 short chapters, it's easy to read and very thought provoking.

j
JakeHalfDone
Dec 06, 2014

Did not enjoy. Author opinions presented as facts from studies.

g
geojj
Jul 09, 2014

This is a wonderful introduction to the many logical fallacies that derail our decision-making processes.

The author, a German Swiss novelist and entrepreneur, has an easygoing, conversational writing style. He uses lots of real examples to show how hard it is to break free of these barriers to clear, logical thinking.

Upside:
The book is broken into mini-chapters of only a page or two each. This enables the busy reader to finish a few chapters during a work break or right before going to sleep at night.

The author also encourages the reader to learn more about each topic with suggestions of other books.

Downside:
Too much name-dropping of all the rich and famous people he knows. Gets irritating after the tenth reference. He hangs out with Warren Buffet. I am so impressed. Not really.

Also too many of his examples come from the areas of business and investment for the average reader. How about a few more examples from normal everyday family life that normal people can relate to?

Overall:
A good book, definitely worth your time. Will make you think differently from the very first pages. A-/B+

c
cdimov
Aug 30, 2013

Rolf Dobelli does very thorough job of stepping through many common different errors in thinking. He forms a clear, short and quick style of stating a fallacy or bias, defining it, and describing it in three pages, then moves on to the next psychological error or trap. He makes his way through 99 such cognitive errors through the book. Great style, succinct, and packed with fascinating information.

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