Book Review: Impulse: Why We Do What We Do Without Knowing Why We Do It

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“Why We Do What We Do Without Knowing Why We Do It”. “Impulse”

Author: Dr David Lewis. Publisher Random House Books

– This book as stated in the title, looks at the psychology of impulse decision making.

– The first three chapters deal with the basic science of psychology and how it relates to decision making.

– The fourth chapter looks at the teenage brain and how physiological changes occurring during the teenage years account for many of the behavioural tendencies associated with that age group.

– Subsequent chapters look at the different personality types and how they affect decision making and there is an interesting self-assessment which allows one to categorise one’s own decision making personality.

– The latter part of the book deals with specific decision making scenarios, including how we choose a partner, and an explanation of over-eating behaviour. I found the chapter on impulse buying particularly interesting. The psychological tactics employed by supermarkets to promote impulse buying are explained in some detail and as a consequence, I will never look at a supermarket in the same way – it would appear that they are more intimidating places than I had realized!

The book is a good read and does not require the reader to have any previous knowledge of psychology. It is well referenced and comprehensive and as such would also be of interest to anyone with a research interest in this field.

Book review by Peter Brownson

Posted on July 17, 2014 in TiE UK North News

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