Book Review: The Art of Thinking Clearly by Rolf DOBELLI

Logical thinking and analysis pertain to see an issue in its proper perspective, finding out its real causes and the plausible connection between the inputs and the outputs of a situation and acting accordingly for desirable results. However, with few exceptions, most of us have faulty thinking framework and make decisions which are not pragmatic. Irony is that right from our childhood, most of us start learning what psychologists say cognitive biases or erroneous thinking and faulty logic which then become our decision making framework,

The Art of Thinking Clearly by Rolf Dobelli is an excellent treatise on recognising these cognitive biases and a primer on how to avoid them while making critical decisions.  If you wish to change the way you think about yourself and life in general,and do not have the time to read the original books from which the author has copied them namely Daniel Kahneman, Dan Ariely, Steven Pinker, Nassim Taleb, etc to name a few, then this is the book you were looking for.

Consisting of 99 short chapters, every chapter being 2.5 pages long, it is not for one time reading or one -sitting reading. To me it is bed-side table book which must be consultede every night for reading 2 or three chapters and fully absorbing their lessons. MY TAKE

  • Never overestimate the probability of success(particularly in business), just because someone made tons of money in doing certain business; 90 % fail within first three years of starting business.
  • Confirmation bias, tendency to selectively interpret new information so that it becomes compatible with our existing theories, is a recipe for disaster. Always seek maximum information from multiple sources before committing time and resources
  • Conformity, when everyone is agreeing with a proposal in a group, is extremely dangerous. Appoint someone to act as a Devil’s advocate to see the hidden sides of the issues
  • Loss Aversion – The fear of losing something motivates people more than the prospect of gaining something of equal value.
  • Presence of something is more noticeable and valued than its absence. e.g. presence of disease than its absence. OR getting off a plane and not noticing that it did not crash.
  • It is not what you say, but how you say, that’s important. 98% Fat Free product seems more healthy than a product with 1% Fat.

Nice, solid theories on why we think the way we do and how we can better handle different situations. I wish I could give this book more stars, because the theories within do deserve more.

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