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Publisher's Summary

People have always been fascinated by how the mind works. Thousands of times each day, we are presented with choices that require decisions: from what to wear each day to where to live. Over millennia philosophers, theologians, and mathematicians have all weighed in on how we make decisions, and in recent centuries economists, psychologists, and sociologists have joined this investigation. Some of these past theories are essentially aspirational, describing decision making as it should be, not as it often is.

This course provides a different view. In How You Decide: The Science of Human Decision Making, Professor Ryan Hamilton, associate professor of marketing at Emory University's Goizueta Business School, uses research revealed via the scientific method to understand and explain human decision making. While his easygoing manner and anecdotes about surprising and bizarre choices will keep you enthralled, Professor Hamilton also shares what decision science has revealed through empirically tested theories that make falsifiable predictions and lead to testable hypotheses. Based on the outcomes of his own published experiments and those of his colleagues, Dr. Hamilton presents information that allows you to better understand the choices you face every day, the tools you can use to make the best decisions for your personal goals, and how to most effectively influence the decisions of others.

Throughout this course, you'll examine complex and seemingly simple decisions and see the factors that play into both. You'll understand the pitfalls of routines that have become such a part of life that they obscure the decision making process and learn how the memory of a song or joke heard years ago can have an effect on a decision being made today.

Dr. Hamilton emphasizes the complex nature of human beings and the many environmental, physical, and emotional aspects of life that can impact any specific decision at any given moment.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2016 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2016 The Great Courses

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Excellent insights

Practical and pragmatic approach to develop better decisions and easy-to-use information on making better decisions every day.

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    3 out of 5 stars

super interesting and really well presented

a super interesting and very long series. The lecturer keeps it engaging and has a way of delivering the information that is humorous and insightful

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Fascinating and entertaining

Loved it! So much interesting information and presented well. Highly recommend for anyone seeking more information in this area of study.

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  • Francy_B
  • 02-12-2016

Compelling and instructive

This course walks you through the theories and knowledge regarding how the human brain approaches decision making. Learning the concepts made me think about my own behavior and I now understand better the way I (and the people around me) work. It doesn't give you all the answers, but it's a great way to start. The performance is warm and the concepts are clearly explained, even for people who have no knowledge of the topic.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • JARED R CLEMENCE
  • 12-12-2016

Immediately useful

This book directly and immediately effects my day actions and decisions with respect to choosing my brand management strategies

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • David Turkington
  • 27-01-2017

Very applicable and entertaining

Excellent coverage of the topic with examples from the wild. Will definitely change my marketing tactics.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Jurgis
  • 24-01-2017

A solid listen about decision making process

Would you listen to How You Decide: The Science of Human Decision Making again? Why?

I will definitely come back to this book, The author crunched a lot of data and research and put it in to simple words for a normal person to understand. The book is based largely on research and the hard data is chewed up and provided in easy to listen bites.

What other book might you compare How You Decide: The Science of Human Decision Making to and why?

Not sure i can compare it to another book , but this book is a solid one. I could however compare it to sitting in a classroom of an interesting subject lead by an amazing professor. for a semester.

What about Professor Ryan Hamilton’s performance did you like?

Really solid, fact, research based approach, no popular psychology crap.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Definitely no , the nature of this book and the fact that it contains a lot of info and t hat info takes time to digest.

Any additional comments?

I would absolutely recommend this to anyone.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Patrick C
  • 27-12-2016

Ryan Hamilton Makes This A Good Decision

What did you love best about How You Decide: The Science of Human Decision Making?

Ryan Hamilton. Great delivery. Passionate about material and entertaining subtle sense of humor.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Ryan Hamilton

What does Professor Ryan Hamilton bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Adds a lot of color with some subtle sarcasm and humor.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Enjoyed it from start to finish.

Any additional comments?

I will buy anything else narrated by Ryan Hamilton.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Lisa
  • 25-04-2018

Interesting, not what I expected unfortunately.

From the Publisher's Summary it reads "Dr. Hamilton presents information that allows you to better understand the choices you face every day, the tools you can use to make the best decisions for your personal goals..."

Each chapter of the book focuses on a different scenario of decision making. There is probably only one chapter that mentions how to avoid decision making flaws for that one chapter only.

This is clearly a book for the marketing class and doesn't provide any tools what so ever to use in making the best decisions.

Granted the book was very interesting but falls short on the tools aspect.

Not sure why the poor rating for the narrator. Maybe it was his poor attempts at humor or the number of times he says..."so"...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Joe S.
  • 02-02-2017

Loved the entire course.

The content was very good and the instructor's style made it easy the listen to and relate to.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Thomas
  • 18-12-2016

Behavioral Economics Friendly

If you like books on behavioral economics this is a great distillation of the topic.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Jan Marais
  • 09-10-2016

An enjoyable journey into the workings of the decision making process.

By presenting the content in an easy to follow manner, prof Hamilton makes this a must-listen for anyone who seeks to learn more about human decision making.

10 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • kimberpink
  • 02-02-2017

educational book

great feedback. I'll use this information in.my sales as well as in my life!! thank you.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Calum Nobles
  • 01-12-2016

Much less marketing than I expected

If you could sum up How You Decide: The Science of Human Decision Making in three words, what would they be?

Interesting, revealing, educational

What did you like best about this story?

I was concerned that this might be too marketing focused. It was not. It was a good in-depth coverage of a fascinating topic

What does Professor Ryan Hamilton bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

He is a very good narrator ... kept things interesting and moving along

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No ... 20 odd lectures ... you could never take all that in. I might actually listen to it again in a few months

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Outdoors Nerd
  • 25-04-2018

Best book ever

Quite seriously this is the most informative course full of actionable and relatable information. Worth 3 or 4 listens

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  • Ras
  • 10-02-2018

interesting only you know nothing about the topic

This course has an enormous breadth but the coverage per each module is shallow. If you have read just a couple of prominent books about the topic, you can get bored of this course. I pushed really hard to finish the course as an audiobook as it does not have a good narrative and replete with talks on experiment procedures. It is boring to listen to details of each experiment unless you just want to hear stories of experiments one after another. Some basic points ( e.g. type 1 vs type 2) are excessively covered while other more sophisticated points (such as evolutionary psychology) are not explored well. It clearly targets a popular audience which may explain its former positive ratings. Overall, it was not a pleasing listening for me as I was expecting a deeper treatment of the subject.

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  • LC
  • 02-12-2017

Clear and interesting

Very well structured and clear lectures that give an excellent overview of human decision making, how it works, and why it can so often be flawed.