The book starts with some startling insights. For example, who would have thought that oral sex was a rational alternative to intercourse for couples who didn't want to become pregnant, except perhaps anyone who has ever had or thought of having sex. And thank goodness we have people with PhD's to explain to us that owners take better care of their properties than renters because they have more invested in them, although I suppose we could have also got that insight from anyone who has ever owned or rented anything.
The first part of the book is full of uninspired insights such as these. If you can make it past them there are some interesting nuggets on "rational" discrimination and how dropping out of school can be seen as a rational response to discrimination in the work place. But, the books central thesis--that our behaviors are best viewed as rational responses to incentives--seems overly simplistic. For example, why am I writing a review of this book? It doesn't seem rational--why do I care if you waste a few hours on a silly book--and I'm sure I will regret writing it in a few minutes when I realize I am going to be late for work. Also, the book basically ignores the research presented in Blink and similar books, which suggest decisions are a mix of rational and instinctive processes. That's unfortunate.
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