Everything Is Obvious

Everything Is Obvious

Once You Know the Answer

Book - 2011
Average Rating:
2
Rate this:
Why is the Mona Lisa the most famous painting in the world? Why did Facebook succeed when other social networking sites failed? Did the surge in Iraq really lead to less violence? How much can CEO's impact the performance of their companies? And does higher pay incentivize people to work hard?

If you think the answers to these questions are a matter of common sense, think again. As sociologist and network science pioneer Duncan Watts explains in this provocative book, the explanations that we give for the outcomes that we observe in life--explanation that seem obvious once we know the answer--are less useful than they seem.

Drawing on the latest scientific research, along with a wealth of historical and contemporary examples, Watts shows how common sense reasoning and history conspire to mislead us into believing that we understand more about the world of human behavior than we do; and in turn, why attempts to predict, manage, or manipulate social and economic systems so often go awry.

It seems obvious, for example, that people respond to incentives; yet policy makers and managers alike frequently fail to anticipate how people will respond to the incentives they create. Social trends often seem to have been driven by certain influential people; yet marketers have been unable to identify these "influencers" in advance. And although successful products or companies always seem in retrospect to have succeeded because of their unique qualities, predicting the qualities of the next hit product or hot company is notoriously difficult even for experienced professionals.

Only by understanding how and when common sense fails, Watts argues, can we improve how we plan for the future, as well as understand the present--an argument that has important implications in politics, business, and marketing, as well as in science and everyday life.
Publisher: New York : Crown Business, c2011
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780385531689
Characteristics: 335 p. ; 22 cm

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

p
Persassy
Jul 25, 2014

I'm here because of Hank Green.

DFTBA

e
eastvanbookfan
Apr 17, 2013

Read a lot of this research in other books but its a good book nonetheless. If things like 'confirmation bias' mean nothing to you, read this book. There is so much research written about in this book that people will be amazed to read about and probably say "Okay but I'm different" but of course they are not different. They like everybody else is human.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at SCL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top