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The Undoing Project: A Friendship that Changed Our Minds

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Dennis Boutsikaris

10 Hours 19 Minutes

Simon & Schuster

December 2016

Audio Book Summary

Forty years ago, Israeli psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky wrote a series of breathtakingly original studies undoing our assumptions about the decision-making process. Their papers showed the ways in which the human mind erred, systematically, when forced to make judgments about uncertain situations. Their work created the field of behavioral economics, revolutionized Big Data studies, advanced evidence-based medicine, led to a new approach to government regulation, and made much of Michael Lewis's own work possible. Kahneman and Tversky are more responsible than anybody for the powerful trend to mistrust human intuition and defer to algorithms.

The Undoing Project is about the fascinating collaboration between two men who have the dimensions of great literary figures. They became heroes in the university and on the battlefield?both had important careers in the Israeli military?and their research was deeply linked to their extraordinary life experiences. In the process they may well have changed, for good, mankind's view of its own mind.

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Reviews

  • Mark Munro

    A book about romance disguised as a history of psychology in economics.

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  • Calvin McEathron

    Interesting listen, but doesn't tie together as well as I expected, no broader conclusions reached. Seems to end suddenly. Great narration

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  • Rod Diaz Varela

    Some parts are great, some are hard to follow. At times it spends too much time on the characters and not enough on the ideas

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  • Mariana Toro

    I found this book a little hard to read. It extends to too many subjects, goes here and there and doesn't dwell long enough in one subject to maintain the reader's interest.

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  • Matt Mcclure

    What you'd hope for from Michael Lewis. He writes well about complex ideas, and brings characters to life. If you are into things like behavioral economics, psychology, group psychology, economics, public policy, sociology, history, then you'll enjoy at least some of this book if not all. In fact, if you are into those topics, i think you SHOULD read this book. The trend of algorithms and AI replacing human choice patterns in society, and our own individual tendencies toward irrational choices are subjects worthy of deep consideration. The Undoing Project unpacks and details the logic, pros, and cons behind this trend. You will think and reflect deeply if you read this book, no doubt about that. As a story it lacked any kind of compelling narrative, other than the arc of the friendship, which is beautiful in its own right, but is hardly enough to carry us through the entire book. It is, before anything else, and idea book. If you aren't into the topics than you won't make it through without falling asleep. Concepts get over explained or redundantly addressed several times, but for me, this just helped me grasp the central ideas and insights pioneered by the lead characters of this book, so I didn't mind the redundancy.

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