The Undoing Project (Allen Lane, 2016)

Image courtesy of ©Allen Lane Publishers

Title:

The Undoing Project

Subtitle:

A Friendship That Changed our Minds

Author:

Michael Lewis

Review

Opinion in short…

 

One of the most important books I’ve read in a looong time! Here’s why…

Continue reading…

If you’re interested in psychology, this book is for you. It summarises the lives and work of Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky – two Israeli psychologists who changed the way we think about human decision-making.

Made me think a lot about how biased we can be in our decisions about troubled children and families. And about how we need to be very careful and reflective about the judgments we make that effect people’s lives.

Strengths:

  • Unpacks a complex subject – decision-making, judgments, biases, etc. – in a very palatable and accessible way.
  • Interesting to see how two completely different people with opposing characteristics, can hit it off and change the world!
  • Gives a great summary of how Kahneman and Tversky’s thinking developed and the opposition they faced (and faced down!).
  • Is a very provocative read. It left me thinking hard about the way we quickly jump to conclusions which are, often, irrational. Objectivity is a struggle to be grappled with and something that doesn’t come easily – but can be achieved with effort.
  • I’ve always been committed to learning and reflecting on what I do. But this book sent me back to the drawing board, asking myself whether I’m too quick to make assessments and judgments, and whether I rely too much on my own perceived expertise…
  • Raises the idea of heuristics – those rules of thumb by which we all-too-easily make decisions – and provokes thought about the assumptions we make about the meaning and implications of things we see in the service users we work with.
  • It’s a sobering read, but in a really good way. We are all biased and the sooner we admit and face up to this, the quicker we’ll become the objective, fair and rational professionals we need to be…

Weaknesses:

  • The first few chapters – all the stuff about the NBA and the use of statistics in sport – is unnecessary and, to my mind, very boring. I didn’t need it and it didn’t add anything to the story of Kahneman and Tversky. I read this book twice over to get the juice out of it, but just skipped over these chapters second time around – the book was better for it!
  • Spends a little too much time on the life stories of both men. Whilst some of this is interesting and sets the scene for what comes later in their working relationship, it could have been shorter. This would have allowed more time for the fascinating psychological stuff that follows.

Having said all that, this is one of the most important books I’ve read in a good while. I’ve just finished the second reading and really need to go through it again – it’s so rich with ideas and things to think about…

Learn more here…

Get it here…


Or check out the audiobook (like I did!) – learn more here.


Check out my new eBook here… ‘Looking After No.1 – Self-Care for People Working with Troubled Children’

Also available in paperback, here.

Photo courtesy of © 123rf/Ion Chiosea (adapted)

Photo courtesy of © 123rf/Ion Chiosea (adapted)

Disclosure of material connection: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means that if you click the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.

Continue reading... » | | Posted in Books
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. Cheers, JM.

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