Buy Irrationality by Stuart Sutherland (ISBN: ) from Amazon’s Book Store. Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible orders. Irrational beliefs and behaviours are virtually universal. In this iconoclastic book Stuart Sutherland analyses causes of irrationality and examines why we are. Stuart Sutherland’s hilarious dissection of everyday reasoning, Irrationality, should be in bedside cabinets the world over, says Nicholas Lezard.

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Our brains, and the basic wiring of our minds, are not designed. I’ll give it three stars because politically, this leads to some overly individualist conclusions – Popperian falsification is evoked and the UK public sector comes in for a major bashing – Sutherland mentions only ustherland that irrationality is rife in private companies too.

Unstoppable, like the glaciers. Good insights irratiionality how people think irrationally, very strong on evidence from psychological studies, with thorough academic references at the back. Of course, this is now more than twenty years old the first edition dates fromirratiionality probably nowadays there are many eqivalent books, but this one gives a good overview of many common pitfalls in decision making, illustrating many cognitive biases: Furthermore, the morals at the end of each chapter could be a little less whimsical and a little more useful.

Jul 07, Elif rated it liked it.

And with Sutherland, clarity of thought and clarity of expression are one. Mar 24, Orestes irratiohality it really liked it Recommends it for: They show us some biases that make our judgement poorer, and therefore our decisions. Unfortunately, in my opinion, it just fell short of what it was trying to do. I have to admit to being a psychologist by education, so the vast majority but not all of the content of Irrationality was not new to me, but Sutherland did a good job of presenting the most significant phenomena in one lucid, concise and well written volume accessible to non-specialists but substantiated by descriptions of actual experiments and not just their conclusions and well referenced too.

Ancient, published inbut still interesting if not entertaining, even if much of its contents has now been rehashed in later works, though still poignantly relevant for our extensive modern online discourse, where reason is often not the primary concern. To alleviate this, nembers of different groups can cooperate to work towards a common goal, though this only is shown to bring people together when the goal is achieved. Also, one thing the book only touched on was why people are irrational.



This may sound obvious, but in practice it will mean you hit a brick wall when pointing this out in the real world: Discover by category See recently added titles See popular titles.

Specifically, evidence favoring a belief strengthens it, while if the same evidence disproves a belief, it is ignored.

As a consequence, organizations, particularly public ones, tend to make irrational decisions. Feb 16, Uwe Tallmeister rated it it was amazing. The book covers, roughly, two groups of interrelated phenomena: Of course, this is now more than irratjonality years old the first edition dates fromand probably I’m soooooo bored with this.

Reason to be cheerful

Jul 14, Ben Pace rated it really liked it Shelves: This is the first pop science book on rationality I ever read, and it made a great impression on me. He was also interested in human perception and cognition, and in he published Irrationality: Intuition, the failure to understand how probabilities work, and the curious phenomenon of “availability” universalizing the most recent experience we can remember or alternatively the first experience, depending on whether you perceive later information as replacing or augmenting the original all conspire irrationalitu help us survive, but not to be reasonable.

Other editions – View all Irrationality: Jan 11, Rob rated it liked it. Nevertheless very readable and informative.

Yet so much has been done. We form instant impressions and then only look for the evidence that will support our view, we suffer from availability sutherlwnd, meaning that we give more weight to the dramatic and memorable, or the most recent, and ignore the less exciting evidence, and after reading the chapter on reward and p This is a catalogue of wrong thinking: Just a little harder to get ahold of.

Wonderfully written examination of human irrational behaviours and cognitive mechanisms; convincing, well researched and even with advice on how to watch out and try to minimise your own unreason. Get unlimited access to the most important ideas in business, investing, marketing, psychology, politics, and more.


Irrationality by Stuart Sutherland

The civil service comes in for some gleefully pointed criticism – he quotes one civil servant who once said: Just send us an email and we’ll put the best up on the site.

The material is quite good as irratjonality survey of various human tendencies to make irrational decisions. Like most psychology books written by academics, this reads like idrationality textbook so it’s a bit of work to get through. Anyone who wishes to learn to make better judgements and thus to take better decisions.

And how can we improve?

Spock-like decisions because the brain is very different to that of a computer. People are also ruled by past experiences and learning, emotions, values, instinct and desires. I noticed this particularly with medical studies – having been in medical school myself I spotted the, at times, glaring mistakes, which didn’t impress me at all.

View all 8 comments. He stayed at Oxford for his DPhil which he took in zoology under the supervi British PsychologistNorman Stuart Sutherland 26 March — 8 Novemberalways known professionally as Stuart Sutherland, was a British psychologist and writer.


Although capable of reason, human animals are certainly not rational by default. As humans, we consider ourselves to be distinguished from other animals by our capacity for rational thought. Highly recommended for all. Of course, this is now more than twenty years old the first edition dates fromand probably There were some irtationality aspects to it, and I found a few pearls of wisdom, but overall, the book was simply not worth it.

Irrationality by Stuart Sutherland – book review

He doesn’t use specialist jargon, though, and the book should be accessible to any educated lay reader, although descriptions of some experimental set-ups were necessarily rather convoluted.

You don’t have an account? In my life, relatively few.