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The irresistible pull of irrational behavior.

Why do we act irrational? Making decisions that go beyond common sense? Ori and Rom Brafman address that issue in their book SWAY.

Their premise is that "our behavior and decision making are influenced by an array of such psychological undercurrents and that they are much more powerful and pervasive than most of us realize."

The Brafman's book is chock full of stories and interesting anecdotes that illuminate the undercurrents that influence our behavior.

What are those undercurrents?

Here are the ones that the Brafmans discovered:

Loss aversion - this is a form of playing not to lose, making decisions in order to cut our losses, or avoid further losses.

Commitment - this is our tendency to hold fast to our course of action in the face of accumulating losses.

Value attribution - we attribute value to people or things based on quick impressions.

Diagnosis bias - once we diagnose a situation we see the world through the lens of that diagnosis and all of reality conforms to our bias.

Fairness perception - we'll often act against our own best interests if we feel that we are being treated unfairly.

Altruism-Pleasure conflict - people will perform better for altruistic motives than for rewards. In other words, if someone does something for altruistic motives and then you come back and offer them a reward for doing the same thing, you will often find them losing motivation and/or performing worse.

Group Conformity - when in group settings, people tend to stifle their own opinions, often when their own opinions are patently correct and the groups are patently false, to go along with the group.

You gotta check out SWAY


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