The Empathy Gap

Building Bridges to the Good Life and the Good Society


By J.D. Trout

 "The Empathy Gap is, with the author's words, a "story of the American freedom", as seen from the point of view of psychology of behavior and decision-making. With a friendly style of discoursing and down-to-earth examples the author explains why, what we think as freedom of choosing and determining our own future, ends up being a cage in which our own psychological shortcomings trap us. These shortcomings have a name, 'psychological biases', and are omnipresent in people's everyday decision-making practices.

The book opens with a mention of the big elephant in the room: the series of economic downturns that struck most of the populated world since 2007 and which are still ongoing as this review is being written. The economic crisis manifested its first symptoms as early as 2003, with the less popularized credit crisis of thousands of military families and some years later the better-known and widely talked about subprime mortgage crisis. Why do we take up loans that we know we will likely be unable to pay back? Why do we offer loans to people whose risk of defaulting from payment is too high to take? Psychological biases are shared by creditors and debtors and affect all indiscriminately, and ultimately, affect the whole society. With these questions Trout begins investigating what goes on, or better, what goes wrong, in the human mind, when we judge events, evaluate options and take decisions."

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Photo from Flickr Creative Commons. 

(Something interesting I found)Posted: Wednesday, July 29, 2009 by ajstasic
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