Human Nature as We Know it

Economists' long-held concept of the rational consumer, whose always acts in his or her self interests and whose tastes never change, has been sufficiently disproven by psychologists.

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Michael Lewis' Moneyball, an account of how baseball professionals consistently misunderstand players' talents, is relevant to our times' most pressing psychological research. When Lewis' met Daniel Kahneman, perhaps the most eminent psychologist of our era, powerful insights followed. It turns out the mind takes any information it can to give order to our complex reality. Unfortunately, it is not very selective and choices often come down to a strong belief in misinformation.

What's the Big Idea?

Kahneman's experiments won him the Nobel prize in economics even though he is not an economist by trade, but a psychologist. He showed over and over that information which is not at all relevant to a decision can often determine which road we take. The inferences we make are illogical and the part of our brain which guards against our own fallacies is extremely lazy. The result is that we rely on a series of invented concepts in order to explain the world around us. Not surprisingly, it can easily result in failure.

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