My Book Pick for Election Season

41RtytNpsfL._SX332_BO1,204,203,200_Just about every candidate in the race for president has a book they would like you to read—namely, theirs.

My suggestion for one book for people to read during this presidential election season was written by a professor, not a politician. It is called Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman, a Nobel Prize winner in economics. This book, which came out in 2011, is guiding, either directly or indirectly, every campaign out there.

The book is about the science of how people make decisions. When I read it, so much of the logic and rhetoric of political campaigns seemed so much more obvious. There are many examples I could give, but here is one.

Testing has shown that if a person hears something said enough times, it begins to feel like the truth. This happens because of an evolutionary process that harkens back to the hunter-gatherer years. Humans hunted and gathered in areas they knew, because you were less likely to encounter strange animals/people and be killed. In a strange place, who knows what can happen. So familiar = yay! Tests by scientists have shown how quickly people begin to agree with statements they’ve heard repeated multiple times, with no supporting evidence or even evidence to the contrary. The baldest example of this is Donald Trump with repeated promises that his health plan/tax plan/border wall will be fantastic, but every candidate does this in some form. Remember this when you watch the debates and hear the phrases candidates roll out over and over again, in support of themselves or in attacks on opponents.

Read Thinking, Fast and Slow. In so many ways, it will alert you to the games that campaigns play with language.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s