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The Art of Choosing [Paperback]

Sheena Iyengar
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Book Description

9 Mar 2011

Every day we make choices. Coke or Pepsi? Save or spend? Stay or go?

Whether mundane or life-altering, these choices define us and shape our lives. Sheena Iyengar asks the difficult questions about how and why we choose: Is the desire for choice innate or bound by culture? Why do we sometimes choose against our best interests? How much control do we really have over what we choose? Her award-winning research reveals that the answers are surprising and profound. In our world of shifting political and cultural forces, technological revolution, and interconnected commerce, our decisions have far-reaching consequences. Use this book as your companion and guide for the many challenges ahead.

'No one asks better questions, or comes up with more intriguing answers' Malcolm Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • Paperback: 339 pages
  • Publisher: Twelve; Reprint edition (9 Mar 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446504114
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446504119
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 7.9 x 1.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,826,704 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


** 'Sheena Iyengar's work on choice and how our minds deal with it has been groundbreaking, repeatedly surprising, and enormously important. She is someone we need to listen to' Atul Gawande, author of BETTER and COMPLICATIONS ** 'No one asks better questions, or comes up with more intriguing answers' Malcolm Gladwell, author of THE TIPPING POINT --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

* An eye-opening account of the hidden workings of choice in everyday life

* Subtitle: The Decisions We Make Everyday - What They Say About Us and How We Can Improve Them

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought-provoking analysis of choice 16 Aug 2010
By Rolf Dobelli TOP 500 REVIEWER
Easy choices - like cake or death, as in British comedian Eddie Izzard's famous routine - don't require much thought or study. But almost any other choice invites complications and confusion, a problem social psychologist Sheena Iyengar mines and turns into fascinating reading. In this study of different facets of decision making, she delves into such topics as whether your devotion to Coca-Cola relies on its taste or its ties to Santa Claus, and she touches upon subjects as varied as fashion, rats, jam, arranged marriage, and even the life and death of premature babies. This compelling book (with a beautiful cover) answers questions about decisiveness with intriguing studies, though you may not agree with every conclusion. Perhaps Iyengar could have offered her suggestions for improved, real-life decision making more succinctly, but she provides excellent detail, plus take-home tips for making better choices in the supermarket or the boardroom. Given the fine job she's done combining research with gee-whiz revelations, getAbstract suggests this book to managers, marketers, public relations professionals and all sales executives.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
I was sitting in New York at JFK airport in November 2010, bored stiff. I bought a copy of the FT. (International edition] In this was a review of the above book:

" Iyengar, a psychologist and professor at Columbia Business School, is a pioneer in the study of how we make choices, and her book is in a class apart from the pop- psych ramblings that clog the bookshelves. An erudite and elegant investigation of choice and its effect on issues, such as marketing, employment and healthcare."

So I bought the book because of the review. The content is stimulating and will certainly encourage you, to think about the decisions/choices that you make across all aspects of your life

The author has a tendency to drift from one concept/idea to another. The book I found, also did not fully come across as a cohesive, integated whole, this was most apparent towards the end. One of the strengths of the book, is the extensive literature, research and range of people she has used, in putting this very readable book together.

The very extensive reviews in the US are broadly positive. (See However some refer to other books, on this sort of topic which some reviewers say are worth considering/better than this one. I have not read the alternatives that are put forward, but have bought some 200+ books from Amazon, over the past few years and reviewed 100+ and regard this as a reasonable buy. My rating is somewhere between 3-4 stars.

In one review in the US the author is described as a " brave and determined women," yes, this most certainly comes across after reading the book. Despite her blindness she has written, a surprising and insightful book. The last part of the book needs pulling together more effectively, to do justice to the content which is generally of good quality.

Stan Felstead - Interchange Resources UK.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful 25 July 2011
By Andrea
A real practical support for getting acquainted with your own decision process and all factors influencing the way you perceive and then choose.
It requires to be read very slowly in order to recognize and match the patterns described, thus getting the most of it.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Choosing 6 Aug 2010
Before choosing to buy this book I saw both on a visit to the book shop and suggested by recommendation on Amazon;I decided to observe how many times I made a choice that day and to analyzing what were the reasons for choosing.By mid-day I rushed back to the bookshop hoping that the book was still there.
This book is a must for anyone who wants to understand a basic activity we exercise every moment of our lives.
The book is well and clearly written with lots of interesting anecdotes.
I feel privileged to have been taken on this narrative journey and saddened when I finished it.
I recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I picked up Sheena Iyengar's book in a book shop in Dubai and didn't put it down until I'd finished it. An academically robust and stimulating read, it combines thought provoking research on how we choose everything from pensions to jams. A lovely narrative style means it's easy to get through too.
If you are in the business of getting people to choose what you want them to I'd highly recommend it.
Phil Hesketh (UK)
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