How we Decide Book Review
The Author, John Lehrer dwells on the subject of how the human mind, regarded as the most complex object known to man, makes decisions. Reading the book, I have learnt that the human mind consists of several messy networks of different parts of the brain that are majorly involved in synthesis of emotion. Most importantly, the author uses stories and anecdotes to illustrate the core point of the book: the rational side of the brain justifies human decisions. This is after the emotional side of the brain makes the decisions in the first place (Lehrer 7). The author is of the opinion that emotions can get in the way of making rational decision-making, resulting to detrimental outcomes for us.
While reading the chapters extensively, I discovered that excessive information impedes good decision-making, while adequate information leads to good judgment. Our rational brains fail to process numerous pieces of information at once. An attempt to do so is likely to lead to poor judgment. The Author backs his argument using incredible illustration about persons facing imminent danger. For instance, the author talks of a number of firefighters trapped by an advancing wildfire at 30 mph. In addition, he mentions a pilot trying to land an aeroplane that lacks hydraulic power safely and is carrying tens of passengers (Lehrer 15). Both parties had to stop rationalizing about their situation and acted intuitively for the sake of their survival.
The author succeeds to illustrate how at times human instinctive guesses can turn out to be right, and why we need to think pragmatically about our decisions. Since time immemorial, philosophers such as Plato describe decision-making as either emotional or rational. Most importantly, the author uses examples to illustrate when either of the two is the best course to pursue.
Lehrer, Jonah. How we decide. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010. Print.