ISBN: ; Author: Stuart Sutherland; Details: | paperback | pp | Irrationality is a challenging and thought-provoking book that draws on . Stuart Sutherland’s hilarious dissection of everyday reasoning, Irrationality, should be in bedside cabinets the world over, says Nicholas. The Enemy Within – Irrationality by Stuart Sutherland.

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Let’s not ignore the rest of the studies who say otherwise.

Get unlimited access to the most important ideas in business, investing, marketing, psychology, politics, and more. He stayed at Oxford for his DPhil which he took in zoology under the supervision of J. I suspect many would not: The last sutheeland did a great job of summarizing without repeating the main fallacies into a few key categories grouped by a possible explanation and yet the author recognized that many of these were not proven and just conjecture. With hindsight on our side, we become overconfident in our ability to predict future outcomes of events.

Dec 19, Jed rated it really liked it. Still, Sutherland injects a lot more wit into his writing than most, such as mentioning students who had ten grandparents with a distressing mortality rate. Clearly something of a classic, this book has been described as a “thinking man’s self-help guide” by Ben Goldacre. The purpose is for the reader to appreciate poor fallible human nature, and maybe avoid a few of the frailties that plague human cognition. Sutherland has written a satisfying little book that opens the door to being slightly less irrational than we would have been.

Anyway, it’s a good book.

Reason to be cheerful

Like most psychology books written by academics, this reads like a textbook so it’s a bit of work to get through. I did find it a little boring to read at times.


The moral of it – careful when making jokes: This is one of the modest triumphs – an at irtationality fascinating exploration of why people behave irrationally.

The issues this book handles are essential for a better individual life and a better social engagement. A prolific columnist and contributor to the New York Times, he is best known for his books Irrationality and Breakdown.

Why do essentially good people agree to apply highly painful electric shocks to others? A complementary negative effect of this decision is that when every single instance of irrational behavior is isolated, it is more difficult to explain the causes of the behavior.

When a particular belief is involved, we tend to go to extreme lengths to look for supporting evidence while refusing to believe contrary evidence. The book covers, roughly, two groups of interrelated phenomena: This book is replete with summaries of studies that on the whole show that we are creatures of habit, instinct and fear more than thought and reason.

Paperbackpages. While not much new information for meit was a good compilation, providing a nice structure and linking items to each other. Although first published inIrrationality still provides a wide if by no means comprehensive account of relevant research. Drawing causal conclusions from unrelated events is called illusory correlation. This book deals with irrationality so the author begins describing what we should understand from that word.

The implicit premise behind this column is that, each week, I say in effect: Quite simply, you start to wonder why on earth more children aren’t taught basic statistical concepts and probability at school, as it is ignorance of these areas that plays such sutherand large part in human irrational thinking, in people from ALL walks of life.


And we know so little!

Irrationality: The Enemy Within – Stuart Sutherland – Google Books

What amazes me is not the fact that humans are, in their daily life, so ‘irrational’, but that the minds that evolved by natural selection of two-legged apes roaming in the grasslands were capable of transcending the limitations of their specialist equipment and coming up with such abstractly rational creations as formal logic, mathematics, statistical reasoning and scientific method.

The enemy within, a lay reader’s guide to the psychology of cognitive biases and common failures of human judgement. Thus, reading Irrationality reinforced my paradoxical, and probably irrational itself, impression that human beings are truly a wonderful piece of work, noble in reason if rather less frequently than it seems.

Of course, this is now more than twenty years old the first edition dates sstuartand probably May 04, Terry Clague rated it really liked it. Aug 07, Rowland rated it liked it Shelves: If you like books and love to build cool products, we may be looking for you.


irrationaoity Stuart Sutherland Reviewed by Magda Healey 4. Specifically, evidence favoring a belief strengthens it, while if the same evidence disproves a belief, it is ignored. No trivia or quizzes yet. By continuing, you agree to our Terms of Service. Available in bitesize text and audio, the app makes it easier than ever to find time to read.