Lehrer, Jonah. How we decide. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009.
For 35 years, my father designed and tested truck transmissions. Late in his career, his company sent him worldwide to analyze problems for customers. Sometimes he could pinpoint the problem after listening to the engine for several minutes. He always considered himself totally rational and would have denied that emotion could have played a part in his diagnostic skill.
How We Decide is about the recent discoveries in neuroscience that explain how decisions are made. Early cognitive science described the mind as operating in a deliberate and rational manner. Yet the mind is composed of a network of different areas, many of which are involved with the production of emotion. When someone makes a decision, emotional impulses influence judgment, no matter how carefully the pros and cons have been weighed. (more…)