from Neuro Relay.com 7/12 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
Author: Jonah Lehrer is a young (32) American Science Writer, Blogger, Speaker & Journalist to national Newspapers + a Rhodes Scholar – who writes on the topics of psychology, neuroscience, decision-making and the connections between science and humanities. He has published another similar book “Intuition: How Creativity Works”
Overview: a micro-analysis of the way we make decisions and of how we can improve this process, as the human brain is “the most complicated object in the known universe”. Neuro-Science & Neuro-Marketing are gaining a lot of attention in the marketing field. Decoding the “decision-making” process is the focus. Everyday we make decisions, and we are defined by them, so it is vital to understand this process in order to refine it. The Author wraps the information he provides with stories & details from over 200 academic research results, because “the black box has been broken open”, understanding human behavior from the inside. The book’s engaging content also presents the thin line between a “good” decision & a “bad” decision,
The Id against the Ego; our primal brain fighting our frontal lobes”. Good decisions require using both sides of the mind. As the author states, “Those three pounds of flesh” inside the skull determine all of our (economic) decisions. “How we Decide” shows us how to take advantage of our varied mental tools. The key chapters will be present below.
1. The Quarterback in the Pocket
The first chapter emphasizes on the importance of “emotions” in decision-making. As the author reports, Plato imagined the mind as a Chariot pulled by two horses (a well-behaved one & a stubborn one); the Rational brain is the Chariot driver, as it holds the reins and decides where the horses run. Using this metaphor, Plato divided the mind into two separate spheres, where desire & reason are pulling in different directions. On the other hand, Freud imagined the human mind as divided into a series of conflicting parts. Modern science came up with a new metaphor: the mind is a computer with “software programs”.
Examples: One of the stories Jonah Lehrer presents is about how a player made the decision that led his team to victory at 2002 Super Bowl. Another interesting one is about a man who had a brain damage near the frontal lobe and lost emotions, leaving him unable to make decisions. His pathology suggests that emotions are a crucial part of the decision making process, as “a brain that can’t feel, can’t make up its mind”.
Orbito Frontal Cortex (concerned with perceptions of emotional states) connects the feelings generated by the Amygdala to the stream of conscious thought, making Homo Sapiens “the most emotional animal of all”.
[ Dopamine, Feelings, Reason, Thought in Premium Content ]