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Short Inspiration Book to Sharpen Up Your Thinking
on 21 May 2016
A short, neat book which seems to be primarily an inspiration piece, but none the worse for that. Although it does have some "case studies" of actual research, all of which are interesting enough, the purpose of the book is to examine how one might bring economics - and robust stat-based psychology - into thinking about problems, and how to think about how to tackle those problems. Two examples will hopefully illuminate what I mean: firstly, the emphasis on re-framing the question to solve the actual problem, where most problems are actually examined through a framework which already presumes that certain types of solutions will be the ones adopted; secondly, a basic guide to incentives, which get you to think about how incentives actually work and how to think about using the incentives to achieve what you actually want them to, whilst avoiding secondary outcomes you don't. And to re-assure (?) you that any incentive system will be gamed to some degree. Hopefully this gives an indication of the sort of thing that the book is aimed at. Other reviewers have remarked that there is a slight "self-help" feel to the book, both in tone and aim - I'd agree with that.
The writing is clear and engaging and avoids off-putting professional jargon. The book is brief enough to attract a very casual reader with some interest in the subject. Recommended.