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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Also, there’s much to be said in criticism of “evidence-based” thinking e. Feb 26, Rachel rated it did not like it Shelves: I also had a problem with the tone of this book. He stayed at Oxford for his DPhil which he took in zoology under the supervision of J. May 29, s rated it did not like it.

Drawing causal conclusions from unrelated events is called illusory correlation. Mar 24, Orestes rated it really liked it Recommends it for: And it’s useful to know when it doesn’t really matter and you can just please your inner reptile, and when you really do need to sit down and analyse things properly. While not much new information for meit was a good compilation, providing a nice structure and linking items to each other.

Sign up for Blinkist. Refresh and try again. Sign up to your secret to success: The habit of obedience is so ingrained that people can act out of obedience without even knowing that they are doing so.

We form instant impressions and then only look for the evidence that will support our view, we suffer from availability error, meaning that we give more weight to the shtherland and memorable, or the most recent, and ignore the less exciting evidence, stuarf after reading the chapter on reward and punishment, you begin to wonder how any kind of education has ever worked at all.

In fact, the use of a similar abstractly economical assumptions is the source of perhaps the most obvious controversies as to which of the described behaviours are truly irrational.


I have to admit to being a psychologist by education, so the vast majority but not all of the content of Irrationality was not new to me, but Sutherland did a good job of presenting the most significant phenomena in one lucid, concise and well written volume accessible to non-specialists but substantiated by descriptions of actual experiments and not just their conclusions and well referenced too.

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Read, highlight, and take notes, across web, tablet, and phone. The last chapter did a great job of summarizing without repeating the main fallacies into a few key categories grouped by a possible explanation and yet the author recognized that many of these were not proven and just conjecture. For most of the book, Sutherland is a master with the juicy anecdote, although the book sags in the middle as he abandons real world examples in favour of that boring, over familiar, Person A, Person B, Person C scenario.

What always fascinates me about books like this is the ingenuity of psychologists in devising experiments that will expose the specific ways how our minds work. 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. Otherwise, prejudice is maintained. All in all, recommended. This is unfortunate, since I recall a lot of things I thought about the book while I was reading it, but didn’t mark any of the pages for quoting.

Sep 25, Steve rated it really liked it Shelves: Furthermore, the morals at the end of each chapter could be a little less whimsical and a little more useful. For most of the book, Sutherland is a master with the juicy anecdote, although the book sags in the middle as he abandons real world examples in favour of that boring, over Academic attempts to hit the “trade” market have made for the creation of a capacious graveyard down the years.

The simple two card trick, for example, which I won’t describe in detail here since it would be too much like giving away the twist in the tail. This is not a treatise on human irrationality, but it is an entertaining, funny and very valuable array of examples that everybody should be more conscious of. Some of the case studies of how really really really important ‘decisions’ were made are a little worrisome, especially because of course human nature has not really changed in suthherland meantime.


I noticed this particularly with medical studies – having been in medical school myself I wtuart the, at times, glaring mistakes, which didn’t impress me at all. The hope that “it might get better” has never once been justified. When a particular belief is involved, we tend to go to extreme lengths to look for sruart evidence while refusing to believe contrary evidence. Unstoppable, like the glaciers.

Already have an account? The book goes on to try to explore, explain and offer solutions to the various forms of human irrationality, always relying on studies to back up the conclusions.

Irrationality: The Enemy Within – Stuart Sutherland – Google Books

Norman Stuart Sutherland Snippet view – Okay, we don’t always elect great leaders or do the right thing irratiojality our neighbours, family, friends. This is one of the modest triumphs – an at times fascinating exploration of why people behave irrationally. And yet we are also capable of numerous self-deceiving and irrational behaviours – from superstitions to racism.

Nov 22, Linda Vituma rated it really liked it. Elsewhere, he launches into the self-serving stupidity of the more exalted professions. Being more influenced by early than by late items in a list is called the primacy error.

In this iconoclastic book Stuart Sutherland analyses causes of irrationality and examines why we are irrational, the different kinds irrationaliity irrationality, the damage it does us and the possible cures.

I’m soooooo bored with this. Dopo aver letto questo libro ho rivisto il mio concetto di “buon senso” o di “senso comune”.