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Streetlights and Shadows: Searching for the Keys to Adaptive Decision Making (Bradford Books) Paperback – 23 Sep 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: MIT Press (23 Sept. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262516721
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262516723
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 259,424 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"I know of no one who combines theory and observation--intellectual rigor and painstaking observation of the real world--so brilliantly and gracefully as Gary Klein."--Malcolm Gladwell, author of Outliers and Blink -- Malcolm Gladwell "Gary Klein has taken aim at attempts to base decision making on analytic reasoning. To his credit, he does not claim that analytic decision models are useless. He argues that they are limited, and he shows how and why. Klein shows the importance of human understanding and experience as alternatives to analytic models, especially in complex and dynamic situations. He makes his point with many excellent examples, drawn both from his own extensive experience and from the literature. This is a book that should be read by anyone with a serious interest in how decisions ought to be made, whether by humans or machines." Earl Hunt , Professor Emeritus, University of Washington "I know of no one who combines theory and observation--intellectual rigor and painstaking observation of the real world--so brilliantly and gracefully as Gary Klein." Malcolm Gladwell , author of Outliers and Blink

About the Author

Gary Klein is a Senior Scientist at Applied Research Associates. He is the author of Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions (1999) and the coauthor of Working Minds: A Practitioner's Guide to Cognitive Task Analysis (2006), both published by the MIT Press.


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Format: Paperback
I'm a big fan of Gary Klein's book Sources of Power, and I keep quoting it often in workshops and lectures. Streetlights and Shadows: Searching for the Keys to Adaptive Decision Making is a follow-up to Sources of Power, published 10 years later. Although it's not exactly fresh meat, it only recently came to the top of my book queue. With the topic of adaptive decision making, this book fits in nicely with the recent trends in software delivery. My impression of the book was not as mind-blowing as Sources of Power, but it was certaintly thought-provoking enough to deserve a strong recommendation.

The key thread in the book is examining the relationship between analysis and intuition, largely comparing standard procedures and skills based on experience. `The way we see in bright light differs from the way we see in shadows. Neither is the "right" way. We need both.' is a quote that summarises Klein's argument well. He examines contexts in which standardising ways of doing things helps and the contexts where that hurts, in particular with skilled performers, showing that experts mostly rely on heuristics drawn from stories instead of rules. There are many nice stories in the book about decision biases, but often arguing for the oposite conclusion from most popular psychology books. Klein discredits most of the research on decision biases and exposing how reasoning strategies can lead to errors because they were done using college students performing tasks that are unfamiliar, artificial, and relatively independent of context. His idea is that biases aren't distorting our thinking, but instead reflect our thinking.
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Format: Hardcover
Tssia. The book is about decision making. It can be thought of as a commentary on the author's research wherein he and his colleagues has interviewed several thousand decision makers about how they make decisions in various kinds of settings. The short summary of their finding is that there are many common situations where both skilled decision makers (military, firefighters, suregons etc.) as well as ordinary people buying houses, things in as shop etc. systematically make better decisions when they use intuition rather than formal, mechanical decision processes. The areas in which intuition seems to trump formal methods are where decisions has to be made in complex situations where simple rules are not easily available. These areas are not necessarily easily describable, and often the interviewees have a hard time even describing that they actually made a decision, far less how they actually made them. The book then goes on to describe how this intuition comes into existance (through the buildup of expertise, accumulation of scenarios that can be pattern-matched to the situation at hand), where it is applicable, and outlines both where the limits of mechanistic decision processes and intuitive processes are. Without giving actually any really distinct rules for nailing down where those limits are, of course :-)
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By GDB on 20 April 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is very good, Klein has again made a damm good book, Klein has also include some info from Kahneman both of these lads wonce did not see eye to eye but in recent years there works have started to over lap and this book shows it in parts. very good book!
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Format: Hardcover
In 1998, Gary Klein gave readers Sources of Power, a thoughtful, innovative consideration of how to make decisions in complex situations. Here, he returns to the same subject in even greater depth. Klein has spent decades studying and interviewing people, such as firefighters, soldiers and pilots, who make decisions in complicated, shifting, high-stakes circumstances. He discusses what most people believe about making decisions, and shows how they err...some of the time. In ambiguous, unknown settings or under complex conditions, people tend to simplify until their beliefs become dangerous. This entertaining book grapples with many of life's more challenging situations. As a result, getAbstract recommends Klein's insights to leaders, trainers and anyone who must make more effective decisions in crises.
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