Master Class

We skimmed the book so you wouldn’t have to

Sidetracked: Why Our Decisions Get Derailed, and How We Can Stick to the Plan

by Francesca Gino (Harvard University Press), $25

Take into account your emotional state before making a decision. “You may discover that you are dismissing the suggestions of a colleague just because you are in a bad mood,” writes Gino. p62

Weigh alternatives to a given decision. “Thinking counter-factually expands our focus from just one frame of reference to many other frames, and encourages you to reach a more balanced view.” p198

Situational forces can influence decisions. A change as “subtle” as “dimmed lighting” in a room can create “illusory anonymity,” she writes, which leads to more “lying and cheating.” p201

Beware the superficial “social bonds” in your network that can affect your judgment. “We easily form connections, such as sharing the same birthday,” she writes. “These connections can derail our decisions.” p227


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