Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Gino (Harvard Business School) provides an easy-to-read review of some research studies about how people's cognitive (and emotional) processing can influence decisions and get them "sidetracked." The book is divided into three sections: "Forces from Within," which are factors all people face when making decisions; "Forces from Our Relationships," which influence decision making and often create problems due to misperceptions about the nature of those relationships; and "Forces from the Outside," which is the complex context in which decisions are made. Topics include "inaccurate views of the self," "infectious emotions," "insidious social bonds," social comparisons, and having too narrow a focus. The book covers research findings and ideas previously expressed elsewhere, but the section on the influences from relationships is somewhat novel. For the general reader desiring to learn more about research studies on some human decision biases and their effects, this book can provide a valuable perspective. Summing Up: Recommended. General readers and undergraduate students. J. J. Bailey University of Idaho
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We've all made decisions and plans with the best of intentions: to save for retirement, to search for a better job, to go on a diet. However, we're surprisingly bad at anticipating our own behavior and at sticking to those well-intentioned decisions. Harvard Business School professor and psychologist Gino investigates the behavior psychology behind this self-defeating behavior, and describes the forces that influence our decisions-"forces within ourselves," "forces from our relationships with others," and "forces from the outside world." In lively prose, Gino describes experiments conducted with students, observing as despite their best intentions they get caught up in contagious emotions, focus too narrowly, fail to take the perspective of those around them into account, and form unproductive social bonds. If only we could acknowledge and recognize "the forces that derail [our] decisions," as Gino advocates, we could try to make better decisions and stick to them. Though the book is pitched to fans of Dan Ariely, Gino's style and execution is much like his, and some experiments are even repeated and may not feel fresh. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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Researcher Gino (business, Harvard Business Sch.) investigates what causes plans to go astray in both personal and professional situations. She dissects behavioral studies and the actions of businesses like Ducati, Volksawagen, Yahoo!, and FIJI water, identifying nine principles to help individuals reduce the potential for making bad decisions. The book divides these principles into three key areas that influence our daily lives: our emotional state, our relationships, and our environment. Gino explores how the pressure exerted by these influencers can distract both unsuspecting individuals and companies from achieving their goals, giving readers a deeper understanding of the hidden traps that sabotage decision-making. V-ERDICT This book will appeal to readers of Dan Ariely, Chip Heath, and of others who write about behavioral economics. Gino's writing is accessible and the case studies are both informative and entertaining. Highly recommended.-John Rodzvilla, Emerson Coll., Boston (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.