Learn how to think more effectively, at work and at home.
Many scientific and philosophical ideas are so powerful that they can be applied to our lives at home and work and school to help us think smarter and more effectively about our behaviour and the world around us. Surprisingly, many of these ideas remain unknown to most of us.
In Mindware, the world-renowned psychologist Richard Nisbett presents these ideas in clear and accessible detail, offering a tool kit for better thinking and wiser decisions. He has made a distinguished career of studying and teaching such powerful problem-solving concepts as the law of large numbers, statistical regression, cost-benefit analysis, sunk costs and opportunity costs, and causation and correlation, probing how best to teach others to use them effectively in their daily lives.
In this groundbreaking book, he shows that a course in a given field--statistics or economics, for example--often doesn't work as well as a few minutes of more practical instruction in analyzing everyday situations. Mindware shows how to reframe common problems in such a way that these powerful scientific and statistical concepts can be applied to them. The result is an enlightening and practical guide to the most powerful tools of reasoning ever developed--tools that can easily be used to make better professional, business and personal decisions.
Psychology professor Nisbett (Intelligence and How to Get It) again makes a challenging topic accessible in this witty exploration of common errors in thinking (e.g., mistaking correlation for causation). Nisbett challenges long-held assumptions and patterns of thought, having "compared people's reasoning to scientific, statistical, and logical standards and found large classes of judgments to be systematically mistaken." Most readers will emerge with a far better understanding of why they make the errors that they do, and perhaps how to avoid them. Nisbett capably presents dense material in digestible form; statistical analysis will never be child's play, but it's hard to imagine someone doing a better job in explaining the tools it has to offer everyone, and how to employ them. His frequent use of anecdotes from his own life, such as the friend who had to weigh the pros and cons of a job switch, aids comprehension, and he also offers ways of interpreting conflicting scientific (and pseudoscientific) findings.