9780525949824 / 0525949828

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About the book:

To the list of writers connecting mainstream readers and cutting-edge science—Malcolm Gladwell, Steven Johnson, James Surowiecki—add Read Montague, with this exploration of what exactly determines the choices we make.

With a new perspective on the science of decision-making from the researcher at the center of the computational neuroscience revolution, Why Choose This Book? shows what the latest brain science reveals about the crucial events of everyday experience—the choices we make. From how we decide what we consume to what kind of art we like, and even the romantic, ethical, and financial choices we make, Read Montague guides the reader through a new approach to the mind with an accessible style that is both entertaining and illuminating.

In taking apart the mind’s decision-making machinery, Montague first illustrates how our brains are like computers that are slow, small, fuzzy, and cheap—and began with goals like food, water, and sex. Second, he reveals how simple goals like these then turn into ideas like beauty, love, and terror with a life of their own. Finally, he explains how a value system in our heads controls those ideas so we can make good decisions—and how that physical system can break down leading to bad decisions, addictions, mental illness, and even large economic disasters.

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