The Rational Animal: How Evolution Made Us Smarter Than We Think by Douglas T. KenrickThe Rational Animal: How Evolution Made Us Smarter Than We Think by Douglas T. Kenrick

The Rational Animal: How Evolution Made Us Smarter Than We Think

byDouglas T. Kenrick, Vladas Griskevicius

Hardcover | September 10, 2013

Pricing and Purchase Info

$24.62 online 
$30.00 list price save 17%
Earn 123 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


Ships within 3-5 weeks

Ships free on orders over $25

Available in stores


Why do three out of four professional football players go bankrupt? How can illiterate jungle dwellers pass a test that tricks Harvard philosophers? And why do billionaires work so hard#151;only to give their hard-earned money away?

When it comes to making decisions, the classic view is that humans are eminently rational. But growing evidence suggests instead that our choices are often irrational, biased, and occasionally even moronic. Which view is right#151;or is there another possibility?

In this animated tour of the inner workings of the mind, psychologist Douglas T. Kenrick and business professor Vladas Griskevicius challenge the prevailing views of decision making, and present a new alternative grounded in evolutionary science. By connecting our modern behaviors to their ancestral roots, they reveal that underneath our seemingly foolish tendencies is an exceptionally wise system of decision making.

From investing money to choosing a job, from buying a car to choosing a romantic partner, our choices are driven by deep-seated evolutionary goals. Because each of us has multiple evolutionary goals, though, new research reveals something radical#151;there's more than one "you” making decisions. Although it feels as if there is just one single "self” inside your head, your mind actually contains several differentsubselves, each one steering you in a different direction when it takes its turn at the controls.

The Rational Animalwill transform the way you think about decision making. And along the way, you'll discover the intimate connections between ovulating strippers, Wall Street financiers, testosterone-crazed skateboarders, Steve Jobs, Elvis Presley, and you.
Douglas T. Kenrickis a professor of psychology at Arizona State University and the author ofSex, Murder, and the Meaning of Life. He lives in Tempe, Arizona.Vladas Griskeviciusis McKnight Professor of Marketing and Psychology at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. He lives in Edina, Minnesota.
Title:The Rational Animal: How Evolution Made Us Smarter Than We ThinkFormat:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 9.5 × 6.5 × 1 inPublished:September 10, 2013Publisher:Basic BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0465032427

ISBN - 13:9780465032426

Look for similar items by category:


Editorial Reviews

“The Rational Animal is a fun romp through the comedy of human errors. Again and again, the authors find, evolutionary urges and hardwired brains explain behaviors rational economists cannot. Humans just don't make sense, it seems, unless you expect them not to.”—Mother Jones“[An] entertaining and informative book.”—Minneapolis Star-Tribune“A persuasive—and entertaining—look at the Darwinian dynamics of decision making.”—Booklist“Vigorously investigated.... Sharp, piquant science/behavioral-economics writing.”—Kirkus Reviews“Why do we overspend, underinvest, and make seemingly poor decisions? The Rational Animal shows that the answer comes from a simple, but often overlooked place: Our animal ancestors. Whether we like it or not, evolution has shaped who we are today. But rather than making us foolishly irrational, looking deeper inside ourselves reveals a surprisingly brilliant beast.”—Jonah Berger, author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On