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The Mind of the Market : How Biology and Psychology Shape Our Economic Lives
by Michael Shermer

Overview -

" A] captivating raconteur of all the greatest hits of behavioral, evolutionary and neuropsychology . . . Fascinating."--"Los Angeles Times Book Review"

How did we make the leap from ancient hunter-gatherers to modern consumers, and why do people get so emotional about financial decisions?  Read more...


 
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More About The Mind of the Market by Michael Shermer
 
 
 
Overview

" A] captivating raconteur of all the greatest hits of behavioral, evolutionary and neuropsychology . . . Fascinating."--"Los Angeles Times Book Review"

How did we make the leap from ancient hunter-gatherers to modern consumers, and why do people get so emotional about financial decisions? The national bestseller "The Mind of the Market" uncovers the evolutionary roots of our economic behavior.

Drawing on the new field of neuroeconomics, psychologist Michael Shermer investigates what brain scans reveal about bargaining, snap purchases, and establishing trust in business. He scrutinizes experiments in behavioral economics to understand why people hang on to losing stocks and why negotiations disintegrate into tit-for-tat disputes. He brings together findings from psychology and biology to describe how our tribal ancestry makes us suckers for brands, why researchers believe cooperation feels (biochemically) like sex, and how even capuchin monkeys get indignant if they don't get a fair reward for their work.

Entertaining and eye-opening, "The Mind of the Market" explains the real science of economics. Michael Shermer is the author of nine previous books, including the bestselling "Why People Believe Weird Things." He is a columnist for "Scientific American," the publisher of "Skeptic "magazine, and the founder and director of the international Skeptics Society. He lives in Southern California. In this exploration, author and psychologist Michael Shermer uncovers the evolutionary roots of our economic behavior. How did we make the leap from ancient hunter-gatherers to modern consumers and traders? Why do people get so emotional and irrational about bottom-line financial and business decisions? Is the capitalist marketplace a sort of Darwinian organism, evolved through natural selection as the fittest way to satisfy our needs? Drawing on the new field of neuroeconomics, Shermer investigates what brain scans reveal about bargaining, snap purchases, and establishing trust in business. He scrutinizes experiments in behavioral economics to understand why people hang on to losing stocks, why negotiations disintegrate into tit-for-tat disputes, and why money does not make us happy. He brings together astonishing findings from psychology, biology, and other sciences to describe how our tribal ancestry makes us suckers for brands, why researchers believe cooperation unleashes biochemicals similar to those released during sex, why free trade promises to build alliances between nations, and how even capuchin monkeys get indignant if they don't get a fair reward for their work.
"The theme of Michael Shermer's new book is a graceful paradox. Decades of study of behavioral psychology, neuroscience and genetics, layered over more than a century of evolutionary studies, proves that we're not completely rational in making economic choices. But an understanding of our fascinating limitations, which Shermer provides, makes us freer than we were before we knew of them . . . The most compelling chapters of Shermer's book take us on an intimate tour of the best of the last half-century's work in behavioral economics and neuroscience . . . Shermer notes that we must consciously choose freedom--all more important since the temptation, in light of the weird decisions we sometimes make in the marketplace, is to surrender to someone who must know better."--Nicole Gelinas, "The New York Post"

" A] captivating raconteur of all the greatest hits of behavioral, evolutionary and neuropsychology, and] provider of wonderful cocktail party material . . . Fascinating."--"Los Angeles Times Book Review
""The book has no end of conversation starters, from capitalism as modern Darwinism to neuroeconomics that show that--biochemically, at least--a human brain is shockingly similar during smooth business deals and sex."--"Boston Globe
""Have you ever wondered how people develop trust and live together peacefully? Michael Shermer's new book uses psychology and evolution to examine the root of these human achievements . . . He] has earned the right to our attention."--"Washington Post"

"The theme of Michael Shermer's new book is a graceful paradox. Decades of study of behavioral psychology, neuroscience and genetics, layered over more than a century of evolutionary studies, proves that we're not completely rational in making economic choices. But an understanding of our fascinating limitations, which Shermer provides, makes us freer than we were before we knew of them . . . The author, an adjunct economics professor at Claremont Graduate University, compares the argument for top-down, centrally planned economics to the argument for intelligent design. Devotees of the latter often argue that 'evolution' could not have designed something so complicated as the human eye, just as proponents of top-down economics argue, that, say, New York City needs the government to create jobs for the poor by doing things like build sports stadiums because the market won't do it on its own. Shermer easily demolishes another myth about both evolution and economics that both depend exclusively on cutthroat, bloody-handed 'survival of the fittest' competition to weed out the weakest creatures and companies . . . The most compelling chapters of Shermer's book take us on an intimate tour of the best of the last half-century's work in behavioral economics and neuroscience . . . Shermer notes that we must consciously choose freedom--all more important since the temptation, in light of the weird decisions we sometimes make in the marketplace, is to surrender to someone who must know better."--Nicole Gelinas, "The New York Post
"""The Mind of the Market: How Biology and Psychology Shape Our Economic Lives" is a really fun book Interestingly . . . It is no surprise that Shermer is a popular author; his style is engaging, and he brings up fascinating topics and different ways of looking at phenomena. Shermer is able to take nearly

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780805089165
  • ISBN-10: 0805089160
  • Publisher: Henry Holt & Company
  • Publish Date: January 2009
  • Page Count: 308


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Books > Business & Economics > Economics - Theory

 
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