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Publisher's Summary

How did we evolve from ancient hunter-gatherers to modern consumer-traders? Why are people so emotional and irrational when it comes to money and business decisions?

Best-selling author Michael Shermer believes that evolution and evolutionary psychology provides an answer to both of these questions through the new science of evolutionary economics. Drawing on research from neuroeconomics, Shermer explores what brain scans reveal about bargaining, snap purchases, and how trust is established in business. Utilizing experiments in behavioral economics, Shermer shows why people hang on to losing stocks and failing companies, why business negotiations often disintegrate into emotional tit-for-tat disputes, and why money does not make us happy.

Employing research from complexity theory, Shermer shows how evolution and economics are both examples of a larger and still somewhat mysterious phenomenon of emergence, where one plus one equals three. The Mind of the Market will change the way we think about the economics of everyday life.

©2008 Michael Shermer (P)2008 Michael Shermer

What listeners say about The Mind of the Market

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Good ideas overshadowed by obnoxious polemics

I was ready to like this book. I embrace many of the underlying ideas. However, and maybe it's just me, when an author decides he will preemptively override my own critical judgment and weighing processes,, ignore the other (sometimes weighty, anyway worthy of sober consideration, if only in dismissal) side of issues and instead (in word and tone) simply (audibly, melodramatically) sneer, the process is cheapened. My intelligence is insulted. I reckon the author doesn't trust the reasoning enough to resist veering right away into that sort of tone and cramped, insistent polemic. A pity. I found myself wondering whether this author was simply ignorant of much history and regulatory thinking, he was so abruptly and contemptuously dismissive, or instead he might have arrived at his views through a thorough review; I could not tell. I had the feeling of "gee whiz, we have these two neato ideas, capitalism and evolution, let's cram them together and spit all over anything that doesn't neatly fit the social Darwinist model." I hate to break it to you pal, a lot of these ideas were current 100 years and more ago. I would much rather read William James and Oliver Wendell Holmes of that earlier time. I find their intellectual temperance (relatively speaking) breezy in comparison.

5 people found this helpful

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Disappointing on many levels

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

The behavioral psychology info was quite interesting, but I feel the author never really tied any of it to the market or economics. There were some ties pointed out, for sure, but certainly not enough to support the ostensible aim of this book.

What didn’t you like about the narrator’s performance?

TERRIBLE! Authors should not narrate their own books. Disjointed sentences, poor flow, dismal delivery. I genuinely think this book would have gained a full star had it been read by a professional or had I simply read the dead tree version.

2 people found this helpful

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a must read

An excellent description abouth how our evolutionary past is still a part of us

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Very informative/interesting.

Even in the areas where I ultimately didn't come to the same conclusion as the author, it was still reasonably-put/well-argued from his side. Great read overall.

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excellent introduction to many topics in economics

this book will likely serve as a marvelous introduction to several important disciplines all under the umbrella of economics

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Interesting, but little cohesion and a so-so narra

I like Michael Shermer's ideas and the topics he writes about. But I found the audio version of Mind of the Market lacking. It lacked a focus. Read more like a series of interesting tidbits than a cohesive book. Shermer is a good narrator, but a times was a bit hard to follow.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-01-19

Good ideas in a middling package

Like a good meal nearly ruined by a bad ingredient, it is frustrating to see good ideas delivered in a middling package. Shermer's skeptical optimism is firmly rooted in cutting-edge social and natural sciences. Many of his detractors are shocked by his unapologetic defence of free market capitalism, and it does sound occasionally starry-eyed. But he backs up his arguments with good evidence, especially when discussing the economic dimensions of behavioural, neuro- and social psychology. The problem lies not with the contents, but with the structure of the book. Did the editor sleep on the job? The chapters are loosely connected ruminations on various topics without a strong, overarching narrative. They rehash latest popular science articles, which is fine, but they also recycle his own earlier books. And, by the end, you are left wondering, "That was it?" Overall, I enjoyed the audiobook, thanks to the author's snappy narration, the abridged format, and the fascinating barrage of popular science trivia. Shermer's position is a strong and important one. But this book does not do it justice. It feels like a competent but forgettable cash grab for the airport lounge market.