1st Edition

Everyday Irrationality
How Pseudo- Scientists, Lunatics, And The Rest Of Us Systematically Fail To Think Rationally

ISBN 9780813340265
Published December 26, 2002 by Routledge
243 Pages

USD $58.95

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Book Description

Robyn Dawes defines irrationality as adhering to beliefs that are inherently self-contradictory, not just incorrect, self-defeating, or the basis of poor decisions. Such beliefs are unfortunately common. This book demonstrates how such irrationality results from ignoring obvious comparisons, while instead falling into associational and story-based thinking. Strong emotion—or even insanity—is one reason for making automatic associations without comparison, but as the author demonstrates, a lot of everyday judgment, unsupported professional claims, and even social policy is based on the same kind of "everyday" irrationality.

Table of Contents

Preface -- Irrationality Is Abundant -- Irrationality Has Consequences -- Irrationality: Emotional, Cognitive, Both, or Neither? -- Irrationality as a "Reasonable" Response to an Incomplete Specification -- Probabilistic Rationality and Irrationality -- Three Specific Irrationalities of Probabilistic Judgment -- Good Stories -- Connecting Ourselves with Others, Without Recourse to a Good Story -- Sexual Abuse Hysteria -- Figure Versus Ground (Entry Value Versus Default Value) -- Rescuing Human Rationality

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