• Gut Feelings

  • The Intelligence of the Unconscious
  • By: Gerd Gigerenzer
  • Narrated by: Dick Hill
  • Length: 7 hrs and 29 mins
  • 3.6 out of 5 stars (251 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Gerd Gigerenzer is one of the researchers of behavioral intuition responsible for the science behind Malcolm Gladwell's bestseller Blink. Gladwell showed us how snap decisions often yield better results than careful analysis. Now, Gigerenzer explains why our intuition is such a powerful decision-making tool.

Drawing on a decade of research at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Gigerenzer demonstrates that our gut feelings are actually the result of unconscious mental processes - processes that apply rules of thumb that we've derived from our environment and prior experiences. The value of these unconscious rules lies precisely in their difference from rational analysis - they take into account only the most useful bits of information rather than attempting to evaluate all possible factors. By examining various decisions we make - how we choose a spouse, a stock, a medical procedure, or the answer to a million-dollar game show question - Gigerenzer shows how gut feelings not only lead to good practical decisions but also underlie the moral choices that make our society function.

In the tradition of Blink and Freakonomics, Gut Feelings is an exploration of the myriad influences and factors (nature and nurture) that affect how the mind works, grounded in cutting-edge research and conveyed through compelling real-life examples.

©2007 Gerd Gigerenzer (P)2007 Tantor Media Inc.

Critic Reviews

"A pleasing, edifying tour of territory that has long been dark and unexplored." ( Kirkus)

What listeners say about Gut Feelings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

My Gut Says You Should Read This Book

The original academic and body of research that Gladwell based his best-selling "Blink" on. Gigerenzer experiments on "fast and frugal" decision making have many implications for situations we face all the time in our lives - I just have not quite worked out if I'm so easily swayed and nudged (see below), and my mental probabilistic machinery is so poor (again see below) when I should trust my gut feelings and when I should do the opposite.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Trust your instincts

Very interesting and insightful into the runnings of the human mind, including what we see and DON'T see. If you've ever wondered why you should trust your instincts (trust your gut), this is the book for you.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Great book but inappropriate for Audible

Liked the thesis, but as the PDF is not available , I could not really grasp all of it. Also, the author users instincts and intuition interchangeably, which is confusing. I believe that they are very different. Not recommended for Audible.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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excellent read for all groups

very informative, Good references to previous chapters​, The information on intelligence is most satisfying, these concepts can implemented in many forms of life.

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    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting new take on how decisions are made.

What did you like best about this story?

It was interesting to learn how our intuitions use simple rules to come to more accurate conclusions than if we overthink problems.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
  • mf
  • 09-23-09

Critique of American Medical and Political Systems

While the book has some interesting material, this book, authored from Munich, becomes a -- "hit piece" may be too strong a word, but it is something like that, on the American medical system and an analysis of left vs. right. I have listened to all but the last hour and a half and must say that, while it is informative and has some interesting things in it, it is a very slow and uninteresting reading, for the most part.

3 people found this helpful

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Probably the simplest yet the best book on decision-making

Before reading this book, I wasn’t sure whether to use my head or my heart when I make decisions. I was most of the time unsure about the many decisions that I make everyday, then this book came along and changed my life forever.

In this book, author and professor Gerd Gigerenzer taught me that most of the time, the best decisions are made without having to think too much about it, because unaware to many people, we already have the most powerful decision-making computer in us: our unconscious mind. Unbeknownst to many, our unconscious mind is always paying attention to things around us that we see and encounter and is taking in everything and in turn using that data to help us make the best decisions for us.

Unlike the conscious mind, the unconscious mind aka gut feeling, won’t be affected by emotions, overthinking or the current environment we’re in when we’re making the decision - the unconscious mind aka gut feeling just knows what is best for us from the accumulation of facts and factors that it accumulated unconsciously for the entire duration of us being alive.

In conclusion, this book has changed my life forever for the better. To anyone who’s struggling with decision-making and wants a book that will teach him/her how to make better decisions in life, read/listen to this book.

PS thank you Professor Gerd Gigerenzer for your work and for writing this book!