Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior
by Ori Brafman and Rom Brafman
Doubleday Business (2008), Hardcover, 224 pages
Have you ever driven through a snowstorm, against all logic, to get to a meeting? Held onto a tanking stock? Reading Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior may help you understand why. An easy read in the style of The Tipping Point (Malcolm Gladwell), Sway uses anecdotes and popular psychology research to outline some common behavioral pitfalls. Although the book lacks in-depth analysis and contradictory research to be considered serious academic fair, it gives familiar examples of illogical actions in the face of mounting evidence. Sway explains concepts like loss aversion, commitment, and diagnosis bias and how they play out in individuals and groups. Personally, I found a lot of value in being reminded of how important dissenters are, even if the dissenters are wrong, and how “stay the course” is usually the worst option.
For further reading, friends recommended Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely (I haven’t read it yet). I give Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior 3.5 stars out of 5.