Amazing Decisions: The Illustrated Guide to Improving Business Deals and Family Meals

Dan Ariely and Matt R. Trower. Hill & Wang, $17.95 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-0-374-53674-9
The fraught process of decision making is given a jaunty exploration in this perkily drawn graphic handbook. Behavioral economist Ariely (Predictably Irrational) presents his theories through the characters of energetic scientist Dana and befuddled Adam, who thinks he has to choose between two sets of norms. One is represented by the market fairy (who flits around in a suit and tosses off statements like “We thrive through competition and the free market”) and the other by the social fairy (“You completely missed the point of a social exchange!”). In basic drawings, Adam is walked through the balancing of social and market forces required to negotiate the tricky territories of friendship, families, and gift giving (hint: don’t offer to pay your mother for Thanksgiving dinner, no matter what the market fairy says). Thereafter, Dana overviews social science experiments, which have shown how people react to motivation in complicated and nonintuitive ways. For instance, subjects in one test worked less hard on a routine computer problem when offered money than those offered nothing. In another example, simple social reminders incentivized better than punishments. This easy-reading guide is a useful addition to the pop social-science canon, likely to get clipped for slideshow presentations from classrooms to boardrooms. Agent: James Levine, Levine Greenberg (July)
Reviewed on : 04/18/2019
Release date: 05/07/2019
Genre: Comics
Hardcover - 224 pages - 978-0-374-10376-7
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