For FALL 2010's delicious offerings of books, art, food, film, and unique travel--check out the NEW ISSUE of our online magazine FEAST--you will not go away hungry-- http://www.feastofbooks.com/

Between issues, read our blog posts as we and our special guests share thoughts, ideas, and recommendations about books, art, food, film, and travel. We love to hear from our readers, so please post a comment! Thanks-- Rosemary Carstens, editor

SNAX ONLINE is moving during the first quarter of 2011 -- stay tuned!

Snax Online is undergoing a redesign and will be moving to a new location. Check back from time to time for a link. In its new format, this blog will cover a wider range of topics but also its usual five. In the meantime, keep up with what's happening in the world of books, art, food, film, and travel at http://www.FEASTofBooks.com --

See you in 2011!!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Think you know how to make decisions? Thinking once, twice . . .

HOW WE DECIDE, Jonah Lehrer. Houghton Mifflin 2009. Think it’s the rational mind that makes the best decisions? The less emotional involvement the better? Think again says Jonah Lehrer in this fascinating new book about where decisions take place in the brain and the important interaction of experience-based emotion and pure “fact-based” analysis. Lehrer makes a topic that could be a yawn pertinent and gripping as he tells stories of real-life, critical decisions made by pilots, sports figures, and poker players, and he makes you think hard about how you form your own opinions and choose among options. If you want to make better decisions and utilize the strengths of various parts of your brain, this is a good place to begin.

This young writer is no slouch at making his own decisions and has put his brilliance to work as a contributing editor at Wired and as author of How We Decide and Proust Was a Neuroscientist. A Columbia U grad who studied at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, Lehrer has written for the New Yorker, Nature, Seed, the Washington Post, and the Boston Globe. He’s also a contributing editor at Scientific American Mind and National Public Radio's Radio Lab. To learn more, check out his blog at http://scienceblogs.com/cortex/ or his website at http://www.jonahlehrer.com/


Anne said...

Fascinating, Rosemary. I've got to read the book! I find decisions a challenge and perhaps could gain some insights. Thanks for the post here and on Facebook.

All good wishes!!

Rocky said...

I appreciate the labour you have put in developing this blog. Nice and informative.

sibylle said...

I've read before, in the scientific literature, that our emotions make the decicions. apparently people with the emotion centers of their brain destroyed by accident become incapable of making decisions.

Melanie Mulhall said...


This looks like a book we authors should read--and every entrepreneur, for that matter. Knowing how people make decisions might help us focus our messages.


ClaireWalter said...

I had a philosphy professor who believed that we (or most of us) make decisions in different ways. Sometimes, we make rational decisions -- thinking things out in advance and contemplating the consequences of those decisions. Sometimes we make emotional decisions -- spur of the moment, reactionary and/or intuitive. Sometimes we make empirical desisions -- previous experience in similar situations or observation of other people's experiences. There might have been a fourth way too, but I can't remember it. In any case, he came up with a philosphy, if you will, that he called "Growing Empirical Coherence" to explain that we make decisions in different ways, depending on the situation. And yes, he wrote a (required reading) text explaining it.