We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
Call anytime(888) 283-5051
 >   > 
Everything Is Obvious: Once You Know the Answer | [Duncan J. Watts]

Everything Is Obvious: Once You Know the Answer

Why is the Mona Lisa the most famous painting in the world? Why did Facebook succeed when other social networking sites failed? Did the surge in Iraq really lead to less violence? How much can CEO’s impact the performance of their companies? And does higher pay incentivize people to work hard? If you think the answers to these questions are a matter of common sense, think again.
Regular Price:$24.50
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

Why is the Mona Lisa the most famous painting in the world? Why did Facebook succeed when other social-networking sites failed? Did the surge in Iraq really lead to less violence? How much can CEO’s impact the performance of their companies? And does higher pay incentivize people to work hard?

If you think the answers to these questions are a matter of common sense, think again. As sociologist and network science pioneer Duncan Watts explains in this provocative book, the explanations that we give for the outcomes that we observe in life - explanation that seem obvious once we know the answer - are less useful than they seem.

Drawing on the latest scientific research, along with a wealth of historical and contemporary examples, Watts shows how common sense reasoning and history conspire to mislead us into believing that we understand more about the world of human behavior than we do; and in turn, why attempts to predict, manage, or manipulate social and economic systems so often go awry.

It seems obvious, for example, that people respond to incentives; yet policy makers and managers alike frequently fail to anticipate how people will respond to the incentives they create. Social trends often seem to have been driven by certain influential people; yet marketers have been unable to identify these “influencers” in advance. And although successful products or companies always seem in retrospect to have succeeded because of their unique qualities, predicting the qualities of the next hit product or hot company is notoriously difficult, even for experienced professionals.

Only by understanding how and when common sense fails, Watts argues, can we improve how we plan for the future, as well as understand the present - an argument that has important implications in politics, business, and marketing, as well as in science and everyday life.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

©2011 Duncan J. Watts (P)2011 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"Every once in a while, a book comes along that forces us to re-examine what we know and how we know it. This is one of those books. And while it is not always pleasurable to realize the many ways in which we are wrong, it is useful to figure out the cases where our intuitions fail us." (Dan Ariely, James B. Duke Professor of Behavioral Economics at Duke University, and New York Times best-selling author of Predictably Irrational)

“A deep and insightful book that is a joy to read. There are new ideas on every page, and none of them is obvious!” (Daniel Gilbert, Professor of Psychology at Harvard University and author of Stumbling on Happiness)

"A brilliant account of why, for every hard question, there’s a common sense answer that’s simple, seductive, and spectacularly wrong. If you are suspicious of pop sociology, rogue economics, and didactic history - or, more importantly, if you aren’t! - Everything is Obvious is necessary reading. It will literally change the way you think." (Eric Klinenberg, Professor of Sociology. New York University)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (144 )
5 star
 (53)
4 star
 (37)
3 star
 (33)
2 star
 (18)
1 star
 (3)
Overall
4.0 (88 )
5 star
 (35)
4 star
 (27)
3 star
 (15)
2 star
 (9)
1 star
 (2)
Story
4.0 (88 )
5 star
 (35)
4 star
 (28)
3 star
 (19)
2 star
 (5)
1 star
 (1)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 04-17-11
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 04-17-11 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    487
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    433
    326
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    246
    0
    Overall
    "We're not as smart as we think we are"

    Watts lays out a solid survey about why, in many cases, the reasons we think cause certain things to happen, just may not be the case. Solid narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hill Castle Rock, CO, United States 09-16-11
    Hill Castle Rock, CO, United States 09-16-11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "misleading"
    What disappointed you about Everything Is Obvious?

    I thought this was going to be a book about how things work. It is, instead, his opinion and commentary on society. The title could not be more misleading. I want my money back.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 11-12 of 12 results PREVIOUS12NEXT

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.