Sunday, December 18, 2016

The Undoing Project - Book Review

I am not big on Psychology only because I had not heard or knew much about it or its application before I came to the US. Once in the US I was astonished more than surprised at the number of people who have a psychology degree. It was as if the study of psychology permeated every aspect of life. I wondered why would someone wanting to do software development for instance want to learn psychology? Since everyone was studying it I thought this was the subject that people landed on when they had interest in nothing else.

I did not quite understand the need for so many folks to learn psychology and I did not get it. But only if I had paid a bit more attention to what psychology really was! The mind and human behavior does affect the way everything around us functions doesn't?

DD went off to college this year and I hoped that she would not spend any more time than required on psychology courses. In my mind learning psychology was not all that useful.

The only reason I even picked the book "The Undoing Project" was because of the review I saw in Wall Street Journal and wanting to know more about cognitive bias and how it affects thinking and its application in Big Data.

What a fantastic book it turned out to be. I read it faster than I read my favorite court room dramas or a John Grisham - my favorite author of whose books I have never missed one. My understanding of psychology and its application has changed quite a bitI have lots more respect and appreciation for this branch of science.

Michael Lewis is a fantastic writer and has the gift of writing a fast paced book that is not fiction and making it a lot more interesting than fiction books can ever be. Interwoven with the lives of the Nobel Prize winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman and his partner and collaborator Amos Tversky spins a fascinating tale of their research and along the way teaches a thing or two about psychology. This is the one of the first books by Michael Lewis that I have read though I have seen a movie based off of his book - Moneyball but never quite got around to reading any of his books.

I landed on the book by chance and now DD is making rumblings about registering for a few more Psychology courses after taking one in her first semester in college. Glad that I have a new respect for the science I am better prepared to accept her wanting to study the subject without simply shutting it down. Who said events in life happen at random?

For those of who are not interested in Big Data or Cognitive Bias but are interested in simply reading a very good book about 2 brilliant scientists go ahead and pick this book and I assure you, you will not be disappointed. You might even come away with a greater understanding of the human mind and its limitations and its approach to every day events.

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks ISG for the wonderful review. Hope to pick it up soon. Cheers


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