How We Decide

Illustration by John Ueland for TIME

How We Decide

By Jonah Lehrer Houghton Mifflin; 259 pages

Humans are supposed to be rational creatures. But while we strive to base our decisions on thoughtful deliberation and analysis, the occasional fit of passion has been known to creep in. Jonah Lehrer explores these warring impulses, revealing the mind to be a series of competing catalysts, a tangled network of reason and emotion. Using a raft of anecdotes and scientific studies, Lehrer answers some seemingly simple--and highly entertaining--questions. Does expensive wine really taste better than the cheap stuff, or are we biased by the price? Why do we spend more...

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