Gigerenzer Gut Feelings

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Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconscious by Gerd Gigerenzer

Gut Feelings book best buy here


  • Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconscious
  • Author: Gerd Gigerenzer
  • Publisher: Viking Penguin Books
  • Genre: Sociology, Psychology
  • Non – fiction
  • Publishing Year 2007 -2008
Other Gerd Gigerenzer books:

  • Calculated Risks: How to Know When Numbers Deceive You (2003)
  • Rationality for Mortals: How People Cope with Uncertainty (Evolution and Cognition) (2011)

Best Buy Here

Gerd Gigerenzer in his book Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconscious attempts to answer the question on how intuition works but more importantly when you should trust your gut instincts and when they are just plain wrong. He consider the neural processes that has let mankind develop “rules of thumb” or “heuristics” to better make decisions. Which heuristics help us make better decisions about amateurs beating the stock-market, catching a fly ball, or choose a lover?

What Gerd Gigerenzer provides is the science and theory which underpins that absolute must read blink book by Malcolm Gladwell.In Gigerenzer Gut Feelings he highlights a key point that instinctual decisions are not impulsive but have brain based rules, that although seemingly simple are surprising accurate. Recent research that has come to light has supported his findings that reason may not be the best decision making tool, but reason should instead be used to check whether we have made the correct intuitive decision

Gigerenzer has trained U.S. federal judges, German physicians, and top managers in decision making and understanding risks and uncertainties.

Gigerenzer Gut Feelings Summary:

Intuition works by using rules of thumb. To make decisions quickly the brain uses rules formed typically from similar experience techniques used in past problem-solving.

Short cuts to better decision making, Gerd Gigenrenzer shows you how five simple one-at-a-time questions will yield a more reliable answer than a 50-variable formula that tries to account for everything. He shows you how you can use a “Fast and Frugal” decision tree to come up with a good imperfect decision. Be a Satisficer (able to accept a good decision and move on) rather than a Maximizer (perfection at the cost of analysis paralysis)

Tells you how amateurs can beat the stock-market.

Intuition often trumps more considered reason.

Most interesting read is an account of how the the Berlin Wall came down due to a mistranslation (a must read).

Positives Negatives
  • Engaging writing that is easy to read
  • Fills in how the brain works, a gap that was left in blink book by Malcolm Gladwell
  • Gives some excellent tools in examples
  • An entertaining as well as good introduction into recent research on how we use heuristics to make decisions
  • Written more as a series of essays or articles
  • does not highlight the danger of following intuitions


Reader comments:

” ..something concrete is fulfilled in Gut feelings, which is almost like a response to Blink; the author is saying to Gladwell “this is how its done, young jedi!”  Alain “Alain” (Washington, DC)

“…Gigerenzer shows that heuristics (rules of thumb) can outperform the information-greedy favorites of the social sciences like multiple regression analysis and neural networks with back propagation…” – Hagios (Rhode Island)

“…I gave this five enjoyable stars because several months after reading it, I often use the book’s main points . ..” – Brad4d “bb” (United States)

“..I wished I have read this book 25 years ago… I recommend this book ..”  – Letemendia Mariano (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

“..Conversational, well organized, and backed with lots of experiments and studies, Gigerenzer’s book is an enjoyable, thought-provoking, practical view of human nature at work. …” – Lynn Harnett (Marathon, FL USA)

“..with more than a few laugh-out-loud sections and many more “aha!” moments. ..” – Oliver Snow (Melbourne, Australia)

Gut Feelings book best buy here

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