Saturday, May 18, 2013

We need more data!

I'm kind of a sucker for non-fiction that purports to explain human behavior through economics or statistics or some math that I never took in college.  I'm not sure if it's because I always want proof or because I have an insatiable curiosity about why people do the things they do (or maybe it's those long subtitles!).

In the library, there are constant opportunities to observe human behavior, explainable or otherwise.  Really, anywhere there are people, there are opportunities to be baffled by their actions.  Sometimes, it may not be obvious, even to ourselves, why we do certain things or react in specific ways.  If you'd like to participate in a little armchair anthropology, arm yourself with these books:

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink

Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (And What It Says About Us) by Tom Vanderbilt

Why We Make Mistakes: How We Look Without Seeing, Forget Things in Seconds, and Are All Pretty Sure We Are Way Above Average by Joseph T. Hallinan

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell

On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not by Robert A. Burton

The Invisible Gorilla: And Other Ways Our Intuitions Deceive Us by Christopher F. Chabris and Daniel J. Simons

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