June 13, 2014

Book Review Fridays- Nudge

I read this book while I was completing my Master's degree (required reading) , and have since have kept it on hand to refer back to from time to time. Nudge by Richard Thaler, and Cass Sunstein is a highly informative read. Although, I must offer a note of caution- it is a somewhat dense read. If you are wanting a breezy read, this is not the book you would want to pick out. It is, however, a pick for those days you want some food for thought. So bear this in mind when reading.

The book challenges that humans are making the common mistakes as a result of the social contract we adhere to... in other words - that we all follow a trend based on our predecessors on a large scale. We make the same mistakes, and continue to do so without realizing. The "nudge" part indicates that we should actively think about the decisions we are making, and work to move away from auto decision-making mode, and into a more active thinking mode to improve our lives. It further provides evidence of this theory by citing several studies that have recorded instances of humans commonly using biases, and backgrounds as their basis to make decisions.

My only challenge to this notion would be that if we are a result of our experiences, how can we make conscious decisions that go against the very thread of how we understand the world around us? We understand things through examples of our parents, and our life happenings. If not this, than what? Where do we get information different from our predecessors? Were they not in the same conditions (I mean the "human condition") we were in? This was my only concern when thinking about applying this book to reality. Who knows? - maybe you'll find the answer when you read the book.

Overall, I think it very similar to Blink by Malcolm Gladwell, you can check-out my review here, but has a more scientific tone, and a more serious message. I think with constant re-reading and understanding I might truly be able to make better decisions about "health, wealth, and happiness," but I'm sure changing thought processes can take a while.

Score- 4.8 out of 5

If you are ready to pick your brain, you can use this link to Amazon.com here

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