The Art of Choosing

  • by Sheena Iyengar
  • Narrated by Orlagh Cassidy
  • 10 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Every day we make choices. Coke or Pepsi? Save or spend? Stay or go?
Whether mundane or life-altering, these choices define us and shape our lives. Sheena Iyengar asks the difficult questions about how and why we choose: Is the desire for choice innate or bound by culture? Why do we sometimes choose against our best interests? How much control do we really have over what we choose? Sheena Iyengar's award-winning research reveals that the answers are surprising and profound.
In our world of shifting political and cultural forces, technological revolution, and interconnected commerce, our decisions have far-reaching consequences. Use The Art of Choosing as your companion and guide for the many challenges ahead.

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What the Critics Say

"Iyengar writes in a lucid, catchy style, very much in the Malcolm Gladwell vein of pop psychology–cum–social commentary, but with more rigor. The result is a delightful, astonishing take on the pitfalls of making up one's mind." (Publishers Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Read something else on decision making

I am an avid "reader" of audiobooks on sociology and marketing. This was one of the few that I couldn't even make it through the first 3 hours. This seems to be more of a story about this person's life than something that will help explain why people make certain choices.
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- Michael

Collectivism versus the individual

Good book, but her collectivist bias comes through too strong.

When discussing the religious as compared to the non-religious she says the religious have had their choices taken away. Seems trivial in context, but had she said something to the effect that the religious have chosen to live by certain strictures of faith, she would have been both more accurate, and objective (she was examining American adults who had the ability to walk away from their chosen faith).

She also makes a series of value statements concerning the superiority of the collective versus the individual without actually making a case as to why the collectivist is superior. Populist language that highlights the seeming humility of the collectivist and the ego of the individual passes as evidence instead.

History shows us that the more collectivist cultures are more easily led, and less likely to resist dictators. Germany in WW1 and WW2, Imperial Japan, Soviet Russia, the tragedy of Communist China, Pol Pot, and so on. They were all made possible, by the same collectivist cultures that she seeks to portray as superior here.

Still, a good book for the research, and I would recommend it, but it needs to be approached with a wary eye.
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- Ray

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-19-2010
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio