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Rationality for Mortals: How People Cope with Uncertainty (Evolution and Cognition) by Gerd Gigerenzer
ISBN: 0195328981
ISBN13: 978-0195328981
Author: Gerd Gigerenzer
Book title: Rationality for Mortals: How People Cope with Uncertainty (Evolution and Cognition)
Other Formats: txt lrf mobi doc
Pages: 256 pages
Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (May 2, 2008)
Language: English
Size PDF version: 1201 kb
Size ePub version: 1874 kb
Size fb2 version: 1960 kb
Category: Humanities

Gerd Gigerenzer's influential work examines the rationality of individuals not from the perspective of logic or probability, but from the point of view of adaptation to the real world of human behavior and interaction with the environment. Seen from this perspective, human behavior is more rational than it might otherwise appear. This work is extremely influential and has spawned an entire research program. This volume (which follows on a previous collection, Adaptive Thinking, also published by OUP) collects his most recent articles, looking at how people use "fast and frugal heuristics" to calculate probability and risk and make decisions. It includes a newly writen, substantial introduction, and the articles have been revised and updated where appropriate. This volume should appeal, like the earlier volumes, to a broad mixture of cognitive psychologists, philosophers, economists, and others who study decision making.

Books reviews
I read this author's _Reckoning with Risk_ some time ago and found it worthwhile. This is an even better book, despite being an earlier one (2000) than that (2003).

Like evolution, probability is a slippery, subtle subject and some of its main principles and their ramifications can be hard to grasp, even for intelligent people. This book is one of the best out there for explaining some of the fundamental concepts in uncertainty and probability. Gigerenzer uses some striking historical examples to do this. One of these is about John Arbuthnot (1710) who used the concept that we now call the null hypothesis to prove the existence of God. Gigerenzer observes that "Arbuthnot's test illuminates the possibilities and limitations of a null hypothesis.... Divine providence always wins if the null hypothesis loses."

As well as explaining some key concepts such as the null hypothesis, this books shows them in action, as in the Chapter 9 "Understanding Risks in Healthcare."

I recommend this book to anyone who wants to improve or check their understanding of some of the fundamental concepts and also gaps in our current understanding of uncertainty and probability.
Toward the end there are a few filler chapters but other than that excellent!
I have read this text from cover to cover and must say that it is no easy read despite the fact that I studied this subject quite exstensively
I think part of the problem is that the author is rather too argumentitive, which results in certain areas of the book appearing over complicated.
Why is there always a button for requesting a Kindle version of books, but not one for an Audio version of books?

I got the authors "Gut Feelings" which I thought was great in audiobook format, and would like to read this in audiobook format too - consider this as a request I could not submit any other way.
Reading this (as far as my increasing sense of annoyance permitted) was not an experience worth sharing. The author is mudling through with remarkably little analytical clarity.
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