Hope's Book List

Reality, Perception and Misperception

Who datReality Isn't What It Used to Be: Theatrical Politics, Ready-To-Wear Religion, Global Myths, Primitive Chic, and... by Walter Truett Anderson (Jul 1990) (early book on “believing is seeing “and other ways we are hardwired to distort/there is a newer edition)

The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge by Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann (Jul 11, 1967)  (this is the classic book in the field —dense, I was never able to get undergrads to read it)

Mindfulness 25th anniversary edition (A Merloyd Lawrence Book) by Ellen J. Langer (Oct 14, 2014)(one of the early behavioral experimenters  to show the importance of getting “unstuck” from rigid thinking—she called it mindfulness, now a classic).

The Psychology of Judgment and Decision Making (McGraw-Hill Series in Social Psychology) by Scott Plous (1993)  (this is a more accessible version of  much of Tversky and Kahneman),

The Evolution of Cooperation: Revised Edition by Robert Axelrod and Richard Dawkins (Dec 5, 2006) (not the edition I have, uses computer simulations to show how cooperation can evolve between people and groups without direct communication, also optimal strategies)

The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think Differently...and Why by Richard E. Nisbett (Apr 5, 2004) (good examples)

How Real Is Real?by Paul Watzlawick (Jan 12, 1977)( in this early book the challenge  to notions of objective reality,that is calling attention to individuals as different filters, thereby “seeing” different realities).

Ackoff's Fables: Irreverent Reflections on Business and Bureaucracy  – March 27, 1991by Russell L. Ackoff (Author) (wonderful book with amusing illustrations about problem-solving/how people often defeat themselves)

Risk and Blame: Essays in Cultural Theory by Mary Douglas (Dec 21, 1994) (one of the classics in this literature, there are at least a half dozen books by Mary Douglas(who was a visiting professor at NU at one time), I have included the ones I think will interest you most)

Risk and Culture: An Essay on the Selection of Technological and Environmental Dangers by Mary Douglas and Aaron Wildavsky (Oct 27, 1983

Natural Symbols: Explorations in Cosmology by Mary Douglas (Sep 30, 2003

Linked: How Everything Is Connected to Everything Else and What It Means for Business, Science, and Everyday Life by Albert-laszlo Barabasi (Jun 24, 2014) ( Very valuable info about networks and their differences;I have trouble getting people to read this as they are put off by the math—that won’t be a problem for you)

Why Intelligence Fails: Lessons from the Iranian Revolution and the Iraq War (Cornell Studies in Security Affairs... by Robert L. Jervis (Dec 22, 2011) (good illustrations)

Eyewitness Testimony: With a new preface by the author by Elizabeth F. Loftus (Mar 2, 1996) (some of the larger amount of behavioral evidence of how poor are eyewitness accounts)

How Risky Is It, Really?: Why Our Fears Don't Always Match the Facts by David Ropeik (Feb 8, 2010) (seems written just for you!)

Blind Spots: Why We Fail to Do What's Right and What to Do about It by Max H. Bazerman and Ann E. Tenbrunsel (Dec 23, 2012) (Bazerman is Harvard B. school prof who made his name in business psych teaching about negotiations—i.e different people will come to different settlements; in other words, it is NOT all about the facts).

Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences by John Allen Paulos (Aug 18, 2001) (This author keeps trying to educate the media and the general public about their poor mathematical reasoning, this is one his several  efforts).

The Myth of Continents: A Critique of Metageography by Martin W. Lewis and Kären Wigen (Aug 11, 1997) (would be very curious about what you think of this one, suggesting we trap ourselves in categories that are less useful than broader views)

Philosophy in the Flesh: the Embodied Mind & its Challenge to Western Thought by George Lakoff and Mark Johnson (Oct 8, 1999) (probably Lakoff’s most difficult book—but useful and thought provoking with the premise that everything we learn is via metaphor,a follow up to Metaphors We Live by the same authors who are linguists)

Women. Fire. and Dangerous Things: What Categories Reveal About the Mind by George Lakoff (0100)

Rational Choice in an Uncertain World: The Psychology of Judgment and Decision Making by Reid Hastie and Robyn M. Dawes (Nov 17, 2009)

Choices, Values, and Frames by Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky (Sep 25, 2000) (their early work, Tversky died before the Nobel was awarded, examples in which even professionals make mistakes we might expect only of the novice because of framing, etc. )

Judgment under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases by Daniel Kahneman, Paul Slovic and Amos Tversky (Apr 30, 1982) (another of their early works).

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman (Apr 2, 2013)

Turning Numbers into Knowledge: Mastering the Art of Problem Solving 2nd (second) Edition by Koomey PhD, Jonathan... (0010) (one of many)

The Truth about the Truth (New Consciousness Reader) Paperback – August 30, 1995by Walter Truett Anderson  same (Author as Reality Isn’t What It Used to Be))

The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evilby Philip Zimbardo (Jan 22, 2008)(Zimbardo did a follow up to the Milligram experiements and concluded it is not the bad apple but the bad barrel that causes overreach of authority toward abusive behavior)

Don't Believe Everything You Think: The 6 Basic Mistakes We Make in Thinking Paperback – May 2, 2006 by Thomas E. Kida (accessible for general audiences in re: common mistakes)

Truth, Lies, and O-Rings: Inside the Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster by Allan J McDonald and James R. Hansen (Apr 1, 2012) ( Tufte is relevant here also)

Brain Science

Predictably Irrational, Revised and Expanded Edition: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely (Apr 27, 2010)(how we are hardwired for certain mistakes which in some  ways may have survival value)

Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconscious
 by Gerd Gigerenzer (Jun 24, 2008) Adaptive Thinking: Rationality in the Real World (Evolution and Cognition) by Gerd Gigerenzer (Mar 7, 2002) (one of my favorite neuroscientists)

Human: The Science Behind What Makes Us Unique by Michael S. Gazzaniga (Jun 24, 2008) )(lots of useful neuroscience from him also)

Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain
by David Eagleman (May 15, 2012)( has a premise about who can be rehabilitated and how neuroscience will one day guide rehab practice

Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behaviorby Ori Brafman and Rom Brafman (Jun 2, 2009)

decision-making, much online material about his work)

Visual Intelligence: How We Create What We See by Donald D. Hoffman (Feb 17, 2000) ( students are pretty quick to understand –and are surprised about how the brain “constructs” what we “see” from what the eye “collects”—helps open a path to grasping the “construction” of reality)



The Social Construction of International News: We're Talking about Them, They're Talking about Us (Praeger Studies... by Philo C. Wasburn (Oct 31, 2002)

Don't Believe It!: How Lies Becomes News by Alexandra Kitty (Mar 1, 2005) (Detailed accounts of the media getting it wrong).

Projections of Power: Framing News, Public Opinion, and U.S. Foreign Policy (Studies in Communication, Media,... by Robert M. Entman (Dec 15, 2003) ( taught at NU, very insightful examinations of differences in how media framed the Soviet downing of Flight 007 off Korea and the shootdown by the US of an Iranian passenger plane).

When the Press Fails: Political Power and the News Media from Iraq to Katrina (Studies in Communication, Media... by W. Lance Bennett, Regina G. Lawrence and Steven Livingston (Sep 15, 2008) (when framing matters)

Mediated Political Realities by Dan D. Nimmo and James E. Combs (Aug 1989) (very reliable accounts of distortions)


Policy Paradox: The Art of Political Decision Making (Third Edition)by Deborah Stone (Dec 16, 2011)(this is my go-to policy book to explain to students how policy is made and how difference arise about values, facts, and instrumentalities)

Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions by Gary Klein (Feb 26, 1999) (very engaging examples about the value of experiences and unconscious learning)

The Psychological Dilemma of Foreign Policy  by Joseph De Rivera, 1968. (this book is no longer in print but gives very good accounts/examples of  how poor communications leads to foreign policy errors)

The Punishment of Virtue: Inside Afghanistan After the Taliban by Sarah Chayes (Jun 26, 2007) ( accounts of stupidity/shorsighteness that left a power vacuum filled by warlords and Taliban resurgence after main US military efforts in Afghanistan. This view is reiterated in an article in the Nov.-Dec. Foreign Affairts article by Max Boot).

The Measure of Reality: Quantification and Western Society, 1250-1600 by Alfred W. Crosby (Dec 13, 1997) (what measurement was like before its full development in music, etc.)