Jonah Lehrer - How We Decide

Like it or not, decisions are both ubiquitous and inescapable. If you think about it for a second or two, the outcome of our own lives, the welfare of our society, the fulfillment of our relationships and the success of our careers, ultimately depend to a very large degree on the quality of the choices we make. It's a huge responsibility...

In our everyday lives, we may think from time to time about the choices we have to make, but we very seldom think about the process of decision-making itself. What drives it? Are we really in charge of our decisions, or is it ultimately just an illusion? Is there some heuristic we can use in order to consistently reach better decisions? Should we follow our gut or our reason?

Combining the hard-earned wisdom learned from various scientific disciplines, best-selling author Jonah Lehrer explains in the following fascinating lecture (based on his latest book, How We Decide) the evolutionary insight that the brain is composed of different and highly specialized modules, and that learning how to make better decisions requires metacognition: the process of thinking about thinking, and learning when to deploy some modules while restricting others.

In other words, it's not simply a question of emotions vs reason, but of when each is appropriate, given the circumstances and the general nature of the case, and there is a fascinating logic to this apparent madness and chaos. Here is a brief intro:



And here is the entire lecture:




And if you want to see some hilarious footage of the marshmallow test, you've got to check this out.
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