Body Language

I think I have already read this one. But still read it to make sure. Finished it in my journey from kolkata to hyderabad yesterday.

Body Language

By Julius Fast

Rating: 2/5

Being an psychology enthusiast, books like these naturally attract me. After reading it I am not sure whether I read it or not. Though, I found the reason for that – the research & findings given in the book have aged for the present times. There are much better & more enlightening research on the cause & effects, meanings, perceptions of body language. And it is mostly western(American) based, so again disappointed that nothing on Indian psych is researched anywhere yet.

Julius Fast starts the book with giving the reader introduction to a new stream of science – Kinesics. It gives example of how the body language gets misinterpreted by people from different culture & profession. Then it moves to the boundary hypothesis of humans, like an animals’ territorial conceptions. The different areas or zones of introverts & extroverts are looked into. Three chapters deal with this space & its invasion. After that the Masks com in focus. The facial masks/expressions which people wear to hide, to confront, to comfort, to restrict e.t.c. Then the language of touch is explored – how a touch can show a persons’ character. Language of LOVE is the heading for the next chapter – well, I will say it was not even in its infancy stage.( There are lots of research available on that- mostly western, but I find they work in Indian context also many times).
The last few chapters deal with small pointers of Kinesics viz – positions,points,postures,winking,blinking and nods. I am sure you must be knowing almost all of it by now. They are just common sense observations & it is amateur ‘psychology’ enthusiasts first reads/observations. The last chapter deals with new language being developed to study Kinesics. And the various use & abuse of such studies becoming generalist.( They can never be – it has been sort of proved by the failure of teleological science in practical world.)

So my suggestion, you can pick it up if you really want to. But there are much better & fresh studies on the same matter.( And I am not pointing to the popular – Men from Mars & Women from Venus). There are lots of them available now – ‘best’ start with Dan Ariely books.

Arigato 🙂

P.S – I have read almost 15-17 books while I was away from blogging. What do you guys suggest – should I post there review also?

The Upside of Irrationality

Finished this one on my flight back to Kolkata from Delhi.

The Upside of Irrationality

By Dan Ariely

Rating: 4.5/5

Dan Ariely is one of the best author who writes on behavioral economics in a smooth & understandable manner. When I first read his book – ‘Predictably Irrational’, it blew my mind. I was first time peeking into the world of irrationality of our lifes. Then came the books by N. Taleb & D. Kahneman. And now I always look for the irrational rules inherent in the day to day events. Specially in Indian scenario as I find it less explored & highly complex & varied.

The book is divided into two parts.
Part 1 puts light on the ways our behaviors defy rational logic at Work. Let me just put the names of the chapters : Paying More for Less; The Meaning of Labor; IKEA effect; Not-Invented-Here Bias; Case of Revenge. The first chapter deals with why Big bonuses are paid to the higher executives & how much does it affects their productivity.(It’s an illusion mostly). The second one shows what happens when you take away the meaning away from ones work. The IKEA effect is worth exploring. (won’t say much about it). The Not-invented-here bias peeks into our inner selfish attachments. Case against Revenge can help you take that revenge more effectively.

Part 2 deals with illogical actions we take at our home. The first two chapter deals with our capability to adapt to changes in our environment. Dan puts his own excruciating experience to explore this area. Next one is for the singles planning to get their soul-mates.(Check it out if you are single). After that it explores why we easily take money out for One person in need of help. Though reluctant in case when the no. increases. The chapter on Short-term emotions effecting our decisions is enlightening. It can really help in self-development steps.

I also have Ariely’s another book on the shelf – ‘The (Honest) truth about dishonest’. And after reading this one, I am impatient to pick it up. However, I won’t pick it up now.(Delayed Gratification & Changed Priorities – yeah I implement them into my life as well).

For books like this, I plead to people – please, please, please- read it. It’s a golden egg. It’s easily understandable. Anybody can take it up.

Arigato 🙂

Irrational Patterns

Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely
I was procrastinating on this book & i really wasted that time.This was one of the best books i read on behavior economics – i should have read it in one go.
The research done by Dan Ariely is an eye opener, some crucial decisions are taken irrationally by us.I would not like to spoil the book, but i would post the header of some chapters here.

Why Everything is relative – even if it shouldn’t be ?
Why the price of pearl & everything else is up in the air ?
Why we often pay too much when we pay nothing ?
Why we are happy to do things but not happy when paid to do them?

I think this much will be enough to make you curious.If you have read Freakonomics or SuperFreakonomics, the book takes the same form of writing. There are experiments they conducted & the result they found.Anyone can go to the site of Dan Ariely & participate in his surveys.The principle of Arbitrary Coherence and Endowment Effect shows how doubtful our decisions can be; how our attachments to things seem foolish.When we view something from a 3rd party angle, then only we can have some chances of taking rational decisions.

I find all the behavior economics research amazing & think its the right path for the economics to move on to.I personally believe that the economics theories being taught to us have slashed off the role of humans.What ever role a human decision makes in economics is standardized according to Adam Smith’s theories only.The inclusion of Human Being taking irrational decision in the economic & financial transactions has to be researched more, so that superfluous extrapolation & speculation should reduce.All this mess we are now in is the result of all the financial decision which were inconsiderate of the irrational decisions people make.
A really good book, worth buying at least worth keeping an e-copy of it. Do read it if you like behavioral economics.