Buy Irrationality by Stuart Sutherland (ISBN: ) from Amazon’s Book Store. Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible orders. Irrational beliefs and behaviours are virtually universal. In this iconoclastic book Stuart Sutherland analyses causes of irrationality and examines why we are. Stuart Sutherland’s hilarious dissection of everyday reasoning, Irrationality, should be in bedside cabinets the world over, says Nicholas Lezard.

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Log in to Blinkist. In the obverse, mild threats produce stronger results than strong threats.

Nicholas Lezard’s paperback choice: Irrationality by Stuart Sutherland | Books | The Guardian

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. This book deals with irrationality so the author begins describing what we should understand from that word. sutherlanf

Read, highlight, and take notes, across web, tablet, and phone. Ask whether the command is justified. Okay, we don’t always elect great leaders or do the right thing by our neighbours, family, friends.

His language is elegant and understated. To ask other readers questions about Irrationalityplease sign up. I noticed right away some very strange factual errors that, at times, by light of new evidence that has since been gathered, completely defeat the points being given by the author.

Yet on the whole we go forward, stumbling sometimes, by accident sometimes, yet we do live longer, we have sent people okay, men to the moon, vastly fewer children and mothers die in childbirth.

It’s why people tend sufherland not cut their losses. Human beings are not nearly as reasonable as we think we are. Related, large rewards, strong motivation, but also stress, foster inflexibility when attempting to solve a problem. We tend to feel there’s an increased likelihood of something implausible happening when that is paired with something very plausible, even though that should decrease the chances of it happening.


Reason to be cheerful

Let’s not ignore the irrqtionality of the studies who say otherwise. In this iconoclastic book Stuart Sutherland analyses causes of irrationality and examines why we are irrational, the different But Sutherland’s keen analysis of our propensity to self-delusion takes us into more significant areas than sticking it out through a rotten play – however much doing so may be a metaphor for larger issues.

It probably means this review is tainted by irrationality as well. There are some lovely little ‘try this yourself’ puzzles, where even though I knew there was a trick and I desperately did not want to answer like an irrational creature, I still got it wrong. His enthusiasm for actuarial methods of decisionmaking is inspiring in some cases, but unconvincing in others, particularly the ones where he’s forced to admit that in quite a few circumstances the more rigorous methods can’t be shown to be more effective than more intuitive sutgerland.

Sep 25, Steve rated it really liked it Shelves: Nevertheless very readable and informative. It is important to observe how they are affecting us, but I would not say that it is irrational. If each person recognizes that he or she may be wrong because of some of the reasons outlined throughout the book, it might be that we could live in better harmony with each other.


This one is never ending. Is the war really worthwhile? Log in Log in. We make emotional decisions and then convince ourselves they were carefully reasoned.

We’re not always rational, no, and neither should we be.

Of similar difficulty is the irrwtionality to identify cause and effect. Account Options Irratioonality in. 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.


Connected to this is the boomerang effect, where people become more convinced that they are sutherlxnd when their public beliefs are challenged. Much of what is discussed should be common sense e. He is best known for his book Irrationality and a personal account of his struggle with manic depression, titled Breakdown.

A complementary negative effect of this decision is that when every single instance of irrational behavior is isolated, it is more difficult to explain the causes of the behavior.

Mar 24, Orestes rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Personal tools Log in. The book goes on to try to explore, explain and offer solutions to the various forms of irratioonality irrationality, always relying on studies to back up the conclusions.

It’s not a book delivered in a modern street-smart colloquial but in a highly literate, cultured voice: For example, I find that the behavior based on sociological factors is not irrationalitg. Return to Book Page. Although, as a confirmed interval-leaver, I can smugly pat myself on the back for having worked that one out for myself.

Bad Science irrrationality Ben Goldacre teaches how to read and interpret health reporting, while The Tiger that Isn’t by Michael Blastland and Andrew Dilnot tries to rectify human shortcomings in statistical reasoning. For me, people are not purely rational machines that make Mr. Some of the best decisions I’ve ever made would have seemed irrational at the time they were taken – unintended consequences abound.