The Art of Thinking Clearly

art of thinking clearly




How much harder the work is to think about how you yourself think? Our brains are so powerful, but also highly prone to taking short-cuts and producing what psychologists call “cognitive errors.” Meaning, we don’t often think as clearly as we might think.

Through this book, the author brings out a collection of simple errors we all make in our day-to-day thinking. It helps to spot biases and uplift self to make better choices, be it at work or at home. Dobelli uses examples and hypotheticals to illustrate each error. Some people who are short-readers and scanners may enjoy this aspect, but the long-readers may not find it interesting.

In daily life, we systematically overestimate our chances of success and remain in the illusion of not digging around in the graveyards of the unsuccessful. You hear only of successful authors and fail to recognize how unlikely its failure is. The same goes for photographers, entrepreneurs, artists, athletes, Noble prize winners, television presenters and beauty queens.

We tend to think that Harvard make you smarter without realizing the fact that it is recruiting brightest students around. The female models advertise cosmetics and many female believe that these products make them beautiful. In fact, simply, the models are born attractive and only for this reason they are selected for cosmetics advertising.

Unlike in the past, following other people is no more always right now. Social proof, sometimes make an individuals feel they are behaving right just because they are with many other people. The author described social proof as the evil behind bubbles and stock market panic. A novelist W.Somerset Maugham said “ If 50 million people say something foolish, it is still foolish.” I feel that in a democratic world, there is a possibility of social proof being supported by self-interested conglomerates to gain political interest. As such, it ultimately results into the concentration of wealth in few hands in the country. Hence, social proof may not be always a reliable basis of decisions nowadays.

The book reminds of brunt of our ignorance over small errors in our daily life. If small things are well taken care, bigger things will be in appropriate shape. As such, through creative art of thinking, we can easily overcome all errors, perhaps even most disastrous outcome that may occur otherwise. After all, for more challenging decisions in your life, The art of Thinking Clearly is a reliable source to refer to.


Reviewed by on November 6th, 2018