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.
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