Eye Wide Open is a well-researched look at how people make decisions. Noreena Hertz provides examples, research, and her own observations for how people are influenced, which ultimately effects the decisions they make. She contends that people need to get better at how they collect, filter, and process information. This is no easy task given the amount of data people must sift through on a daily basis. In addition, the constant disruption of how information is delivered is not an easy feat to master. Finally, there is no such thing as certainty any longer; the old rules do not apply.
“The answer lies primarily in the power of language, the ability of carefully chosen words to shape our reactions, change the way we think and influence our decisions.”
This is a text heavy book. There is so much research that the information is not easily digestible. The reader must really focus on its content, but if they do, they will be rewarded with helpful information and insights. The quick tips at the end of each chapter are useful, but not always self-explanatory (so don’t try to digest Hertz’s material by just going to the quick tips!). Hertz uses stories to make her point and provide learning opportunities for the reader. This reviewer loved the section on being more math literate so that one can analyze how numbers are presented more objectively. Data can in fact be misleading. Asking key questions to help understand any bias that may be presented, either knowingly or unknowingly. It is not certain if one will become a better decision maker right away, but even if one becomes only a bit more thoughtful about how he or she thinks, the process he or she uses to make a decision, then this book could chart the way to better decisions in the future.
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