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Mindware Audiobook

Mindware: Tools for Smart Thinking

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Publisher's Summary

Many scientific and philosophical ideas are so powerful that they can be applied to our lives at home, work, and school to help us think smarter and more effectively about our behavior and the world around us. Surprisingly, many of these ideas remain unknown to most of us. In Mindware, the world-renowned psychologist Richard Nisbett presents these ideas in clear and accessible detail, offering a tool kit for better thinking and wiser decisions.

He has made a distinguished career of studying and teaching such powerful problem-solving concepts as the law of large numbers, statistical regression, cost-benefit analysis, sunk costs and opportunity costs, and causation and correlation, probing how best to teach others to use them effectively in their daily lives. In this groundbreaking book, he shows that a course in a given field - statistics or economics, for example - often doesn't work as well as a few minutes of more practical instruction in analyzing everyday situations.

Mindware shows how to reframe common problems in such a way that these powerful scientific and statistical concepts can be applied to them. The result is an enlightening and practical guide to the most powerful tools of reasoning ever developed - tools that can easily be used to make better professional, business, and personal decisions.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

©2015 Richard E. Nisbett (P)2015 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"The most influential thinker, in my life, has been [Nisbett]." (Malcolm Gladwell, New York Times Book Review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (305 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Neuron Sweden 08-26-15
    Neuron Sweden 08-26-15 Member Since 2016

    Family father, neuroscientist, and non-fiction addict.

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    "Sound scientific advice on how to live your life"

    In this excellent and practical book the prominent psychology, Richard Nisbett, translates psychological research into practical advice that will help the reader to better evaluate situations and to make better decisions. The book is in many ways similar to Kahneman’s book “Thinking fast and slow”, in that it explains where our reasoning, deductions and inferences tend to go wrong. However, Nisbett takes the extra step of trying to formulate simple laws that one can follow to avoid the psychological pitfalls that people often fall into. In some cases this merely means being aware that there is such a pitfall, which according to Nisbett actually helps a great deal. For example, if we are aware of our instinctual tendency to rate anecdotal evidence higher than experimental evidence, we can make a conscious effort downplay anecdotal evidence. Similarly, even if no one uses decision theory (listing pros and cons for all alternatives we are faced with) perfectly, knowing the basics will actually help us make slightly better decisions on average.

    One of the more notable aspects of modern society is that we are constantly being bombarded with information and commercials. A good chunk of this book is dedicated to deciphering findings reported in the media. For example, we should be very skeptical of correlations, because correlation does not equal causation. If obese children tend to have parents that controls the child’s food intake, that does not mean that controlling your child’s food intake will make them obese. A more likely explanation is that when a child becomes obese, parents will want to control food intake. A huge number of similar findings are reported in the media on a daily basis. Unfortunately, journalists, like the rest of us are also susceptible to think that correlation mean causation, and their reports are written accordingly resulting in a lot of confusion. Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of correlation studies will allow the reader to see such reports in a new light.

    Overall, this book is an excellent addition to the popular psychology literature, and Nisbett (who I am familiar with from my studies in Psychology), is a stringent scientist who knows the difference between good science and BS. Readers are certain to find some good, hands on, advice, that they can go out and employ in their everyday life.

    40 of 45 people found this review helpful
  •  
    michael NEWTON CENTER, MA, United States 11-17-15
    michael NEWTON CENTER, MA, United States 11-17-15
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    "A lot of common sense, but really hard to utilize."

    As I read many books about the topic before, from this book I only learned about Asian (Chinese really) approach to logic... I hate to rate this book too low simply because the experimental data and its analysis has been published many times over and the thoughts are also very well known ...to me. For such a large book, I would have expected a lot more... What ever I learned, I can not use anyway, but that is the problem of the whole aspect of economical psychology as a science. Once you get to the area where experiments can not be repeated and forecasts can be explained either way the reality goes, it is hard to evaluate the conclusions.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Curtis J 07-15-16
    Curtis J 07-15-16
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    "Great material, wrong format"

    I read a ton of research based books and this is the first that I would say provided too much information to digest in an audio format. it was good as a means of being exposed to really useful information , but I think this particular book is best in hard copy. none the less, great job by both the author and the narrator

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael W. Irving Los Angeles, CA 06-10-16
    Michael W. Irving Los Angeles, CA 06-10-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Well-trod territory"

    The author competently achieves his purpose. But most of what's in this wide-ranging book will be familiar to anyone even moderately attentive and well-read.

    The author has a self-help, preening tone I found off-putting: Essentially "In this book you'll learn valuable tools that will sharpen your analytic abilities at home, work, and school." The tone is not one of an adult speaking to peers.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jakub 10-11-16
    Jakub 10-11-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Well structured and clear"

    I really liked it. Explains common misconceptions, gives practical advice on how to understand situations, the media and others. Well read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    merijn van baardewijk 09-12-16 Member Since 2016
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    "decent book. but lacks in "wow" factor"

    it was honestly quit interesting. however, not that captivating and i hope some of the ideas stick. it is just a little bit dry. i don't know what the author did wrong. maybe the subject is just not that exciting.

    props for the performance though. what a voice. i want to listen to him more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 09-05-16
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    "Audio books are meant to be Audible"
    Where does Mindware rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    The book is on par with most of the audio books I have listend to so far. Better than some, not as good as others. Good material written, for most part in easy to follow language


    What did you like best about this story?

    It's not a story, but the idea of applying statistical concepts to everyday life is intriguing


    What didn’t you like about Joe Barrett’s performance?

    It is here that my headline stems from. The narrator whispers, like it is a Hitchcock horror story. Every sentence ends in a whisper, sometimes barely audible. Not only is it highly irritating, but also frustrating as important concepts meant to be conveyed by the author just gets lost!
    I will not buy another book by this narrator, not even a Hitchcock horror.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Damion Tolliver 09-01-16 Member Since 2014
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    "basically cliffs notes"

    coincidence or not this book quotes topics from the last few books I listened to. I guess audibles recommendation algorithm is running fine but there was nothing new in this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Seoul, S. Korea 08-30-16
    Amazon Customer Seoul, S. Korea 08-30-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Exposes what we already assumed"

    Good listen for driving to and from work. Offers great ways to check your and others' assertions.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vince Albanese 11-06-15 Member Since 2002
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    "Great listen"

    Balanced, practical approach to decision making. Narration was superb for the topic. Well worth the time.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
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  • N
    London
    9/24/16
    Overall
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    "interesting and thought provoking book."

    this should be in everyone's library. thought provoking enlightened me on a few things. give it a try

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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