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The Art of Thinking Clearly Hardcover – 14 May 2013

4.0 out of 5 stars 92 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 14 May 2013
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 358 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTorch; 1 edition (14 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062219685
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062219688
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 3.1 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,258,877 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Dobelli examines our most common decision-making failings with engaging eloquence and describes how to counter them with instructive good sense."--Robert Cialdini, author of "Influence"

."..a serious examination of the faulty reasoning that leads to repeated mistakes by individuals, businesses, and nations...In this fascinating book, Dobelli does not offer a recipe for happiness but a well-considered treatise on avoiding 'self-induced unhappiness.'"--Booklist (starred review)

"Rolf Dobelli is endowed with both imagination and realism, a combination hard to find since the 16th century Renaissance."--Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of the "New York Times Bestseller The Black Swan"

"A fireworks show of insights into how our minds work. If you want to avoid tripping on cognitive errors, read this book."--Iris Bohnet, Professor and Academic Dean, Harvard Kennedy School, Director of the Harvard Decision Science Laboratory

."..easy-going prose...what [Dobelli] does is pinpoint exactly the assumptions, bias and illusions that shape our thinking and decision-making processes in both business and personal relationships that can cost us dearly as individuals and as a society."--Financial Times

A fireworks show of insights into how our minds work. If you want to avoid tripping on cognitive errors, read this book. --Iris Bohnet, Professor and Academic Dean, Harvard Kennedy School, Director of the Harvard Decision Science Laboratory"

Dobelli examines our most common decision-making failings with engaging eloquence and describes how to counter them with instructive good sense. --Robert Cialdini, author of "Influence""

a serious examination of the faulty reasoning that leads to repeated mistakes by individuals, businesses, and nations In this fascinating book, Dobelli does not offer a recipe for happiness but a well-considered treatise on avoiding self-induced unhappiness. --Booklist (starred review)"

easy-going prose what [Dobelli] does is pinpoint exactly the assumptions, bias and illusions that shape our thinking and decision-making processes in both business and personal relationships that can cost us dearly as individuals and as a society. --Financial Times"

Book Description

Already a huge bestseller in Europe, this is essential reading for anyone with important decisions to make, in the vein of THINKING, FAST AND SLOW and THE DECISION BOOK. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Rolf Dobelli has compiled 99 cognitive errors in one delightful anthology. His text is entertaining, and I often found myself smiling and nodding along in agreement with his short anecdotes. The book reads like a blog; each chapter is discrete. Thus, readers needn't peruse the chapters in any particular order. In that sense, "The Art of Thinking Clearly" is a good coffee table book (an advantage of the hard copy over the ebook); I could pick it up and leaf through the chapters that took my fancy at ease. I found the volume to be a great conversation starter among friends.

Although Dobelli doesn't include any original research, he breaks down difficult cognitive science theories into layman's terms and aptly illustrates various biases that govern human actions. His ideas are provocative and lead to further reflection. I garnered an insight into how my brain's cognitive errors dictate my everyday behaviour. Since I've finished the book, I find it difficult not to analyze my every thought and action to try to figure out what bias - if any - is at work. "The Art of Thinking Clearly" shone a new light on my understanding of the thought process.

This is a light, educational, fun read.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
`The art of thinking clearly' by Rolf Dobelli took 10 days to arrive. It is hardback, but thick paperback sized (326 pages), made up of 99 Chapters each of two to three pages.

Originally the text was written as a series short magazine articles, so this is in effect a bound collection all in one place.

Rolf tackles the many ways in which thinking errors can occur (what we think is going on, and what is actually going on, can and often is very different). In a sense this is quite profound, we all run around with models of how the world works (and interconnects), and these models provide a handy short cut to quick decisions rather than thinking things through from scratch every time. Rolf clearly and logically and with examples shows us how and why these models are in error (the links are incorrectly connected) and while there might be good material going in, the wrong model all but guarantees the wrong material out.

As humans we are programmed for the here and now, long and very short time scales are difficult for us to grasp, big numbers are just big numbers etc. Rolf tackles psychological perception and how we can be confident and sure about something, yet we have mislead ourselves or been mislead by others, but our confidence means the alarm has not sounded. These sorts of thinking errors have been well researched by psychologists, but largely buried in academic journals and tomes. Rolf brings them out, makes them live and contemporary, and with examples shows, actually, anyone with a working brain needs to beware.

So this is less a book about `The art of thinking clearly' and more a book about `I think, therefore I err', and is no less valuable for that, just don't expect methods, plans and exercises for thinking clearly.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The concepts in this book are so smart and straightforward, you will kick yourself for not knowing and applying them in your life already. As you read through the book you will find many instances where you can relate your own action or more importantly your own inaction to a cognitive error. In essence, the book provides you with necessary frames to make better more informed decisions. For me, understanding how sunk cost cognitive error has framed my inaction on taking a decision to move past a bad business decision will be worth many times the cost of the book. The Art of Thinking Clearly is for everyone but business people, students and university faculty in particular will find this book a thought provoking read.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is just fabulous, the title says it all.
I opened the amazon box, made a coffee, sat down to have a browse .... and had read 50 pages before I even looked up.
It's a collection of 100 short articles (each is just 3 small-sized pages) on different aspects of thinking and where we (tend to) go wrong.
Each article starts with 'a story' to grab your attention, then explains the thinking process involved and the mistakes we may make on the way to a (poor?) decision and/or maybe how big business cashes in on that erroneous thinking.
It's compulsive reading. The individual headings drag you in....'oh, just one more chapter, then I'll put it down'
E.g. Would you wear Hitler's Sweater? (Contagion Bias)
E.g. Live each day as if it were your last - but only on Sundays (Hyperbolic Discounting)
E.g Hurts so good (Effort Justification)
You may not fall into all the traps, but you're guaranteed to fall into some of them. You'll learn something, you'll likely learn a lot. But who cares anyway? Just read the book because it's FUN.
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Format: Hardcover
The book is a nice, handy guide to showcasing just how badly human beings think and reason. It's a comprehensive guide to a huge chunk of major and minor psychological software errors that we humans are so prone to. Some will be already known by the reader, many will come as a surprise, especially the more mathematical ones. It's a great book to show to friends as the chapters are short and easily digestible, and can be read independently of eachother.

It is by no stretch a perfect guide. It makes mistakes and can often come across as far too cynical and cut-and-dry. It seems as if the book preaches that a logical solution is always within reach, but this is not always the case. I'd much rather the overall theme be one of keeping an open mind rather than trying to calculate the most logical course of action in any given scenario (important, yes, but not everything).

The book can also read as a bit disconnected from more common examples. I'd like to have seen some more general examples that most people are likely to relate to. The book emphasizes the business and finance world a lot, which I'm not unsympathetic to since that is the author's background, but it can feel like too much of a business/financial guide sometimes instead of a book on clear thinking. It can demonstrate how a businessman might be financially better off by thinking clearly, but how is the average person going to benefit from clear thinking? This is something I hoped the book would delve into more, as I think clear and critical thought should be encouraged universally, not just for academics.

As a book I'd probably give it 3 stars, but I rate it higher since books like this are so few but so very needed.
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