The Art of Thinking Clearly by Rolf Dobelli – A book review

Are we muddled in our thinking? Did we know that? Can we tell that we are thinking right? Have we made decisions with wrong thinking? The Art of Thinking Clearly provides 99 flaws in thinking and attempts to address how to avoid the pitfalls of thinking. The book is divided by chapters with each chapter devoted to a thinking problem. Each chapter occupies three pages and not too long for reader to grasp the content quickly.

Rolf Dobelli provides supporting evidence (from literature searches of research papers) to convince us on a particular thinking issue. This bit is important to win over skeptics over authenticity of the problem.

Though the domain is psychology (individual and social context), the book is written in a way as not to overwhelm readers with technical jargons and turn them off. 99 chapters may seem a lot, but I did not take long to read them. The intent of this book is for readers to avoid making wrong decisions as a result of flawed thinking. With hindsight, flawed thinking and resulting problem appeared obviously clear only after it happened. Can we avoid this pitfall in the future? One can only hope to remember the details of thinking right when we are hit with a decision point in the future.

I can understand why this book is on the bestseller list. It is a clever way to capture the market because we wanted to know what we are not thinking right.

I wanted to add one idea of my own. If one’s mind is calm, focused and concentrated devoid of all bias (i.e. knowing that there is emotion in us and addressing it), clear thinking can naturally arise. If one can remain mindful to surrounding events daily and gather data over time, rational thinking can become a possibility in the future without being impeded by emotions.

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