Jonah Lehrer on Emotional Hijacking and “How We Decide”

Note: this interview was broadcast on WGBH in Boston as well as on the WGBH Cape and Islands affiliate WCAI/WNAN!
Jonah Lehrer
Jonah Lehrer, the precocious author of Proust Was a Neuroscientist, has come out with a new book called How We Decide. He spoke at the Harvard Book Store, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Click here to listen (28 minutes.)

After his talk, ThoughtCast spoke with Lehrer briefly about the value of emotion in rational decision making, the power of wishful thinking to hijack our reason, and the potential to retrain the brain via the mind. According to Lehrer, we’d generally be better off sticking to our instincts, our initial reaction or impulse, rather than over-think things. Calm, cool deliberation, it turns out, doesn’t always lead to the best results. Jonah Lehrer is a Contributing Editor at Wired Magazine, and has written for The New Yorker, Nature, Seed, The Washington Post and The Boston Globe.
Click here to listen to this rather noisy interview (8:50 minutes.)

Series NavigationHarvard Book Store author talks: Alan DershowitzPublic Media Maverick Jay Allison

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2 Responses to Jonah Lehrer on Emotional Hijacking and “How We Decide”

  1. Matthew Smith July 27, 2009 at 10:22 pm #

    Thanks for the recommendation, Andrew. And thanks for listening. On a more general level, what’s your take on the use of neuroscience to interpret and evaluate human choices?

  2. Andrew Campbell July 27, 2009 at 3:14 am #

    If you enjoy How We Decide, you will like Think Again. Think Again is aimed more at leaders in larger organisations and give practical advice about how to avoid making bad decisions. Both books use the advances in neuroscience to underpine their ideas.


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