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Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior Hardcover – Deckle Edge, Jun 3 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Business (June 3 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385524382
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385524384
  • Product Dimensions: 2.2 x 14.6 x 22.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 227 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #253,179 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mark on May 19 2009
Format: Hardcover
Sway attempts to provide some simple and concrete rules about the 'forces' that drive us. There are interesting anecdotes and the presentation is well conceived: the authors make their points clearly and frame their ideas in a way the reader can apply to his or her own experience. However, I found that they sometimes got a bit carried away with / over-applied their simple ideas, and that a much thinner book could have carried equal weight.

Overall, it was a somewhat enjoyable read with a few thought-provoking sections. I recently read 'Predictably Irrational', and found that to be a much better book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on Nov. 13 2009
Format: Paperback
The Brothers Brafman are like the Brothers Heath (Chip and Dan, co-authors of Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others and forthcoming Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard) in that they seem to have an insatiable curiosity about what may, at first, seem to be aberrational human behavior but is in fact commonplace. In their book Sway, the Brafmans seek answers to questions such as these: Why would skilled and experienced physicians made decisions that contradict their years of training? What psychological forces underlie our own irrational behaviors? How do these forces creep up on us? When and why are we most vulnerable to them? How do they shape our business and personal relationships? When and how do they put finances, even our lives, at risk? And why don't we realize when we're being swaying?

The Brafmans obviously have a sense of humor. How else to explain chapter titles such as "The Swamp of Commitment" in which they discuss how Florida's then football coach, Steve Spurrier, dominated the SEC conference because the other coaches in the conference were loss averse and committed to a "grind-it-out-and-hold-in-to-the-ball offensive strategy. He played to win; they played not to lose. He introduced the "Fun-n-Gun" offense that scored more points in less time and attracted better recruits. In anther chapter, "The Hobbit and the Missing Link," they focus on a precocious young Dutch student named Eugene Dubois (1858-1940) who, after earning his degree in medicine, marriage, starting a career as well as a family, decided to seek what was then believed to be the missing link between apes and the more humanlike Neanderthals. He found it in the East Indies but both he and his discovery was largely ignored. Why?
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Gord McKenna on Jan. 29 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Some interesting ideas, a survey of some of the ideas in the literature, tons of examples.

But overall, doesn't really answer the question about WHY we are swayed, but quite a lot of WHEN we are swayed and HOW we are swayed. It seems to wander all over the map, snippets here and there, back to this, ahead to that...

Could use a bit more hard core summary -- jut when we are attracted to irrational behaviour and why. Why do we engange in irrational behaviour? Naming it doesn't explain it. Why are we programmed to ovoid loss even at the expense of winning? Why to we hate to see someone else win?

The book needs a bit more structure, a bit more focus. Every chapter is sort of the same with new examples.

Anyway, some interesting annecdotes, but ultimately the book fails to move.
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