Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Making decisions

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Interesting book review in New Scientist:

ONE of the most enduring depictions of the human mind, favoured by thinkers from Plato to 20th-century psychologists, is as a well of perpetual conflict between reason and emotion, where good judgement relies on using rational thought to overcome the impulsiveness that would otherwise lead us astray.

We now know better: the understanding that emotions play a crucial role in decision-making – and that people who sustain damage to the emotional parts of their brains are plagued by pathological indecision – has been one of the great revelations of recent cognitive science. The key question is when and how far we should rely on feeling when making choices. Since our emotional response system evolved in an environment very different to today’s, it is bound sometimes to lead us astray.

Jonah Lehrer‘s mission in The Decisive Moment is to help us determine when to override our instincts and when to let them run. If you are up to speed with the latest findings of psychology and neuroscience you will be familiar with much of his material, but as a popular distillation of the science of decision-making it is second to none.

His broad reach takes in …

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

14 April 2009 at 9:35 am

Posted in Books, Daily life, Science

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