Summary of The Art of Thinking Clearly

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The Art of Thinking Clearly book summary


You are an irrational being, but don’t worry; that’s part of being human. Nobody is immune to cognitive errors, unconscious thinking habits that lead to false conclusions or poor decisions. Mere mortals are prone to an array of common thinking errors and will consistently overestimate their chances of success, prefer stories to facts, confuse the message with the messenger, become overwhelmed by choices and ignore alternative options. For more, see getAbstract co-founder Rolf Dobelli’s set of 99 short chapters, each detailing a cognitive flaw. Knowing these errors won’t help you avoid them completely, but it will help you make better decisions – or at least teach you where you slipped. Dobelli’s underlying humor and his choice selection of anecdotes make this eye-opening compendium of cognitive science theories warmly accessible.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What cognitive biases skew human thinking,
  • How reasoning errors affect your decisions and
  • How to avoid some of the most common mental mistakes.

About the Author

Rolf Dobelli is a co-founder of getAbstract and the founder of Zurich.Minds, a community of leaders in science, the arts and business. His earlier books – novels and aphorisms – were published in German.



To Err Is Human
Human beings are prone to cognitive errors, or barriers to clear, logical thinking. Everyone experiences flawed patterns in the process of reasoning. In fact, many of these common mistakes have a history that goes back centuries. Even experts fall prey to such glitches, ...

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    Cliff Albert 5 years ago
    Certainly thought-provoking and will require a second and a third read to pinpoint exactly what applies. I find myself making many of these mistakes. The quote from Mark Twain especially describes how we generally solve issues.
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    David Forry 5 years ago
    The book summary is phenomenal. The Art of Thinking Clearly looks to be a great business book. I plan to get the full book and read it. The book summary chooses some of the best topics and makes me wonder what other great topics are in the book.
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    Patrick Brigger 5 years ago
    great ideas, very inspiring!
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    Scott Cowperthwaite 5 years ago
    Can relate to sunk cost. Keep fighting ... a losing battle. Good lessons here.
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      Guest 5 years ago
      It takes guts to admit a failure. That's maybe the main problem with sunk cost. Managers rather continue a clinically dead project because they fear to loose their face if its failure becomes apparent. Encouraging people to admit failure as early in a project as possible would save huge amounts of time, money – and nerves.

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