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Irrationality: the enemy within

 (6/10)

Why do doctors, army generals, high-ranking government officials and other people in  positions of power make bad decisions that cause harm to others? Why do prizes serve  no useful function? Why are punishments so ineffective? Why is interviewing such an  unsatisfactory method of selection?  Irrationality is a challenging and thought-provoking book that draws on statistical  concepts, probability theory and a mass of intriguing research to expose the failings  of human reasoning, judgement and intuition. The author explores the inconsistencies  of human behaviour, and discovers why even the experts find it so hard to make  rational and unbiased decisions.  The version I read was a recently published new edition with an updated prologue and  epilogue, as well as with several updated footnotes where the research in the book  had been overtaken by newer research. Nonetheless, it really is a bit of an old book  now. I have no doubt it was a bestseller and important piece of popular science  writing when it was first published, and it is still very relevant, but most concepts  have since been discussed elsewhere in a more directly applicable manner. I also got a  bit bored towards the end.  I would definitely recommend this book if you have never heard of confirmation bias  or regression to the mean, but if this is familiar territory it is probably better if you  go and find a more recent book where these concepts are discussed specifically  related to your area of interest
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