Friday, March 16, 2018

Overread at Table 3: Book Review of "Sway"

Sway: The Irresistable Pull of Irrational Behavior

Ori Brafman and Rom Brafman

Broadway Books: New York, 2008


Contains many compelling anecdotes regarding human aversion to risk that manifests in making choices that are truly against economic self-interest.  The science (sociology, psychology) behind all this is a little thin, such as citing studies conducted on only a handful of samplings, but it’s an easy read and very engaging. 


Truly, it’s beneficial to spur someone who is interested in this topic to devle into the studies cited, and the greatest benefit I can see is to have someone inspired by this book continue the sociological study further and possibly expand the theory of Economics.   Currently, the field is still largely dominated by the idea that each person makes decisions driven by their own economic self-interest, and this book, as well as other emprical evidence, suggests that this is simply not true.


Sway helps show this, even while not being a fully developed tool on its own.


However, I have to admit that one of the insights pointed out in this book is that we as consumers will make value judgements based on the price of an object.   So, I have to admit, I will never be truly certain if my critique of this book is based on the fact that I got it for $1 at a Library Book Sale, and it has a huge 50% sticker on the front cover.


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