‘Think like a freak’ Book review

“Think like a freak” written by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner and published by Penguin Books is the third book written by Levitt and Dubner. It’s predecessors being the extremely popular, “Freakonomics,” and, “Superfreakonomics.” The main focus of the book is to encourage people to look at problems from different perspectives, and in doing so attack the root cause of the problem to eliminate it altogether rather than find short term solutions, which can be applied to both everyday life and specific economic issues too. I thoroughly enjoyed the lighthearted nature of the book and the humorous tone throughout. Further to this I particularly enjoyed the second and seventh chapters named, “The three hardest words in the English language,” and, “What do King Solomon and David Lee Roth have in common?” respectively. The second chapter encourages the reader to ask more questions about fundamental issues which many people often wrongly assume the answer to, as well as presenting the idea that saying “I don’t know” (the three hardest words in the English language according to Levitt and Dubner) is actually more beneficial in the long run than, again, incorrectly presuming the solution. The seventh chapter (supported by the sixth chapter) goes on to explain that in order to correctly assess a situation, one must understand the incentives of all parties involved. The authors understood that many may attempt to disguise their true incentives, therefore, people may act differently than if they were being truthful. As a result of this, the book discussed many ways in which we should try to uncover the true objectives of people, which in turn will be a useful tool when deciphering the incentives and intentions of both consumers and firms. Although there were some references to economic events and theory throughout the book, I believe that the piece should have been more focused on economic policies. The book was very interesting and I learnt a lot from it, however the economic content was actually a lot less than I had imagined it would be.

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