ISBN: ; Author: Stuart Sutherland; Details: | paperback | pp | Irrationality is a challenging and thought-provoking book that draws on . Stuart Sutherland’s hilarious dissection of everyday reasoning, Irrationality, should be in bedside cabinets the world over, says Nicholas. The Enemy Within – Irrationality by Stuart Sutherland.

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Within groups, opinions tend to shift beyond the typical, average, opinion of the individuals. Sutherland has written a satisfying little book that opens the door to being slight Human beings are not nearly as reasonable as we think we are. Essentially, this is groupthink.


Why do doctors, generals, civil servants and others consistently make wrong decisions that cause enormous harm to others? I think that a book whose main purpose is to inform should be written in a way to help the reader get an overall idea of the main topics explained. May 29, s rated it did not like it. First published inIrrationality proposes, and to any reasonable mind proves, that we are for the most part credulous fools who would do well, in most circumstances, to stop and think before we go and do something stupid; for stupid things are what we often end up doing, however much we congratulate ourselves on being rational animals.

Jan 18, Darren Goossens rated it really liked it. This book is replete with summaries of studies that on the whole show that we are creatures of habit, instinct and fear more than thought and reason. It was too patronizing, and the author seemed to have personal vendettas against some members of society, namely feminists, members of the medical profession, and psychologists who do social experiments.

Academic attempts to hit the “trade” market have made for the creation of a capacious graveyard down the years. The instances of irrational behavior introduced in the boo This book shows a number of psychological biases during human assessment of reality which, the author claims, moves us away from taken optimal decisions.

Some of the best decisions I’ve ever made would have seemed irrational at the time they were taken – unintended consequences abound. May 04, Terry Clague rated it really liked it. The enemy within, a lay reader’s guide to the psychology of cognitive biases and common failures of human judgement. This is the first pop science book on rationality I ever read, and it made a great impression on me. Good companion to Kahneman’s “Thinking, Fast and Slow”.


Irrationality – Stuart Sutherland – Google Books

The civil service comes in for some gleefully pointed criticism – he quotes one civil servant who once said: The purpose is for the reader to appreciate poor fallible human nature, and maybe avoid a few of the suthelrand that plague human cognition.

Just enjoyed, with qualifications, Stuart Sutherland’s Irrationality, which I’d had sitting on my Amazon wishlist for ages and irrationally not got around to buying. Jun 29, David Wen rated it liked sutheland.

And we know so little! A prolific columnist and contributor to the New York Times, he is best known for his books Irrationality and Breakdown.

A second edition of Breakdown was published in Being more influenced by early than by late items in a list is called the primacy error. He was also interested in human perception and cognition, and in he published Irrationality: This book was written inand it shows. If you already believe that we’re basically animals in clothes, this will not disabuse you. Feb 16, Uwe Tallmeister rated it it was amazing.

The habit of obedience is so ingrained that people can act out of obedience without even knowing that they are doing so. I myself find important that for all of us the word irrationality to mean the same so that semantic conflicts could be avoided, but it is far more important to identify all these different type of behavior to get conscience about ourselves, whether this is irrational or not. I didn’t realize this is a reprint of a work that is 20 years old, but it’s still quite relevant.

It does so by means of captivating and many times funny examples, mainly drawn from psychological experiments, but also from interesting historical events and common behavior. Norman Stuart Sutherland Snippet view – Everywhere he finds evidence that people who should use actuarial methods, rather than intuition, to determine probabilities don’t do so.

Regardless of his intention, you will certainly come away being suspicious of things that you previously took for granted as “common sense” or beyond needing to be understood. And in a sense that is the key point. This means that committees, subgroups of in-groups tend to be more extreme than the group from which they are drawn. How do we decide which car to buy and which person to trust? And what fraction of decisions are made like than?


Sutherland also discusses utility theory, basically a statistical method to not only include expected outcomes, but including the usefulness of these outcomes. He basically says that only by understanding statistics and by essentially falling back on some means of scoring the alternatives and then picking the one with the best score can we really make rational decisions.

In the s and s he carried out numerous experiments on rats but also on other species such as octopus; the two-factor theory of discrimination learning that he developed with Nicholas Mackintosh was an important step in the rehabilitation of a cognitive approach to animal learning after the dominance of strict behaviourism in the first half of the twentieth century.

While the book was written 21 years ago, it was very helpful and insightful and the editor made sure to comment on things that had changed in a footnote but it was rarely needed.

Reason to be cheerful

It probably means this review is tainted by irrationality as well. No time to read? Dopo aver letto questo libro ho rivisto il mio concetto di “buon senso” o di “senso comune”.

Would more people be happier if the irratuonality shifted towards more rationality? We make emotional decisions and then convince ourselves they were carefully reasoned. Irrationality is a guide to illogical decisions, unreasonable actions and irrational behavior as a whole. The book is full of suhherland that are fairly obvious to skeptics and represent hard to convey truths in practice. Norman Stuart Sutherland Snippet view – Who is it for? Bad Science by Ben Goldacre teaches how to read and interpret health reporting, while Irrationxlity Tiger that Isn’t by Michael Blastland and Andrew Dilnot tries to rectify human shortcomings in statistical reasoning.

In the last chapter the author dares to approach this issue, but at that point he can only relate single causes with single instances of behavior, missing the whole picture again.

You could, if you were in a real hurry, read only these morals and find your powers of ratiocination enhanced. View all 8 comments.

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