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The Art of Choosing by Sheena Iyengar

May 15
Book Review

Book Review

Book Review of The Art of Choosing: 2 Treasure Boxes
Publisher: Hachette Audio, Audible Audio Edition, Listening Length: 10 hours and 36 minutes, ASIN: B003D7S8W4

What is the science and psychology behind making choices, and why do we do what we do? The Art of Choosing looks at what drives our choices and Ms. Iyendar backs up her claims with research. She discusses freedom and control and how these affect what we choose.  In Chapter one, part two Ms. Iyengar says, “When we speak of choice, what we mean is the ability to exercise control over ourselves and our environment. In order to choose, we must first perceive that control is possible.”

Ms. Iyengar has written numerous essays, but The Art of Choosing is her first book. It is non-fiction and it analyzes how people make choices. It was shortlisted for the Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award in 2010.

The Art of Choosing is supported by research and surveys with some surprising results. It was insightful to learn how cultural upbringing affects choices. Ms. Iyengar tests children of different backgrounds and those with an Asian upbringing were motivated if they felt their mother made the choice for them, whereas Anglo-American students felt the exact opposite. The same results were observed within factories in these different regions. Ms. Iyengar included research that was done on animals, which I felt uncomfortable reading, but the results cannot be disputed. The information is related in an interesting manner that includes stories, facts and draws the reader in through some well placed questions.

I recommend this book as a good read that provides some fascinating information. Although, I am not too sure what benefit I received other than entertainment.

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