Sway: The Irresponsible Pull of Irrational Behavior

Rom Brafman, Author, Ori Brafman, Author . Doubleday/Currency $23.95 (206p) ISBN 978-0-385-52438-4

Recently we have seen plenty of irrational behavior, whether in politics or the world of finance. What makes people act irrationally? In a timely but thin collection of anecdotes and empirical research, the Brafman brothers—Ari (The Starfish and the Spire ), a business expert, and Rom, a psychologist—look at “sway,” the submerged mental drives that undermine rational action, from the desire to avoid loss to a failure to consider all the evidence or to perceive a person or situation beyond the initial impression and the reluctance to alter a plan that isn't working. To drive home their points, the authors use contemporary examples, such as the pivotal decisions of presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and George W. Bush, coach Steve Spurrier and his Gators football team, and a sudden apparent epidemic of bipolar disorder in children (which may be due more to flawed thinking by doctors making the diagnoses). The stories are revealing, but focused on a few common causes of irrational behavior, the book doesn't delve deeply into the psychological demons that can devastate a person's life and those around him. (June)

Reviewed on: 04/07/2008
Release date: 06/01/2008
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