81 books like Design for Cognitive Bias

By David Dylan Thomas,

Here are 81 books that Design for Cognitive Bias fans have personally recommended if you like Design for Cognitive Bias. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone

Michael J. Marquardt and Bob Tiede Author Of Leading with Questions: How Leaders Discover Powerful Answers by Knowing How and What to Ask

From my list on asking questions that will change you and the world.

Why are we passionate about this?

Michael Marquardt is Professor Emeritus of Human and Organizational Learning at George Washington University, where he directed the Global Certificate and Executive Leadership Programs. He's a Co-founder and first President of the World Institute for Action Learning. Dr. Marquardt has authored 27 books and his publications has sold over a million copies. Bob Tiede is on the U.S. Leadership Development Team at Cru, an interdenominational Christian parachurch organization. His blog, LeadingWithQuestions.com is in its 11th year and followed by Leaders in over 190 countries. Bob is the author of Great Leaders ASK Questions, Little Book of Big Leading With Questions Quotes, and 262 Questions Paul the Apostle of Christ Asked.

Michael's book list on asking questions that will change you and the world

Michael J. Marquardt and Bob Tiede Why did Michael love this book?

 In story after story Mark shares that the key to connecting with people is to be “More Interested Than Interesting.” 

The author shares a multitude of thoughtful questions, that you will certainly want to begin to employ to communicate your interest in others. And of course, the reason I love Just Listen is that no one will ever become great at “Leading with Questions” without becoming a great listener!

When your family/staff/ friends feel heard, your relational effectiveness will skyrocket! 

By Mark Goulston,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Just Listen as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Getting through to someone is a critical, fine art. Whether you are dealing with a harried colleague, a stressed-out client, or an insecure spouse, things will go from bad to worse if you can't break through emotional barricades and get your message thoroughly communicated and registered.

Drawing on his experience as a psychiatrist, business consultant, and coach, author Mark Goulston combines his background with the latest scientific research to help you turn the "impossible" and "unreachable" people in their lives into allies, devoted customers, loyal colleagues, and lifetime friends.

In Just Listen, Goulston provides simple yet powerful techniques you can…


Book cover of Badass: Making Users Awesome

Alex Hillman Author Of The Tiny MBA: 100 Very Short Lessons about the Long Game of Business

From my list on for solo founders building businesses.

Why am I passionate about this?

Alex Hillman is always thinking about the intersection of people, relationships, trust, and business. He’s an author, educator, and community builder. These days, he splits his time between operating Indy Hall, which is one of the oldest coworking spaces in the world; teaching creative people how to bootstrap their own businesses at Stacking the Bricks; and collaborating with people and organizations towards the goal of helping 10,000 people become sustainably independent by 2029.

Alex's book list on for solo founders building businesses

Alex Hillman Why did Alex love this book?

Whether you sell products or services, customers don’t really buy either: they buy outcomes. And it’s not enough to understand what people want to accomplish, truly successful businesses deeply understand how customers view their own success, and how to create a path from where they currently are to where they want to be. 

In Badass, Kathy uses her unique and very visual learning style to help you get in the head of your customers and understand the world from their point of view. There’s a shortlist of people who’ve had a huge impact on my career, and Kathy Sierra is at the top of that very shortlist. This book embodies that impact, I consider it required reading.

By Kathy Sierra,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Badass as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Imagine you're in a game with one objective: a bestselling product or service. The rules? No marketing budget, no PR stunts, and it must be sustainably successful. No short-term fads. This is not a game of chance. It is a game of skill and strategy. And it begins with a single question: given competing products of equal pricing, promotion, and perceived quality, why does one outsell the others? The answer doesn't live in the sustainably successful products or services. The answer lives in those who use them. Our goal is to craft a strategy for creating successful users. And that…


Book cover of The Essential Yoga Sutra: Ancient Wisdom for Your Yoga

Alex Hillman Author Of The Tiny MBA: 100 Very Short Lessons about the Long Game of Business

From my list on for solo founders building businesses.

Why am I passionate about this?

Alex Hillman is always thinking about the intersection of people, relationships, trust, and business. He’s an author, educator, and community builder. These days, he splits his time between operating Indy Hall, which is one of the oldest coworking spaces in the world; teaching creative people how to bootstrap their own businesses at Stacking the Bricks; and collaborating with people and organizations towards the goal of helping 10,000 people become sustainably independent by 2029.

Alex's book list on for solo founders building businesses

Alex Hillman Why did Alex love this book?

One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned is how to manage my own fear and excitement. How we react to the world around us is one of the few things we are truly in control of! This is the book that helped me most to shift the way I perceive and react to things, allowing me to live more calmly in my work and my life even in the face of complexity, fear, even success. 

This book is weirdly simple, almost child-like in its cadence, but don’t let the simplicity fool you. I found it valuable to sit with the short parables and examples especially when I’m having an emotional response surrounding a business decision. 

This was the first book based on Buddhist teachings that I ever read and made sense to me in a practical way. The writing style is strange (and the author has a truly bizarre…

By Geshe Michael Roach, Lama Christie McNally,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Essential Yoga Sutra as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali is a classic Sanskrit treatise consisting of 195 “threads,” or aphorisms, describing the process of liberation through yoga. Although little is known about Patanjali (most scholars estimate that he lived in India circa 200–300 B.C.), his writings have long been recognized as a vital contribution to the philosophy and practice of yoga. This new, expert translation of the original Sanskrit text of Patanjali’s best-known work presents his seminal ideas and methods in accessible, plain-language English.

Patanjali organized the sutra into four parts: Samadhi (absorption), Sadhana (practice), Vibhuti (supernatural powers), and Kaivalya (liberation). Each represents a…


Book cover of How to Fight a Hydra: Face Your Fears, Pursue Your Ambitions, and Become the Hero You Are Destined to Be

Alex Hillman Author Of The Tiny MBA: 100 Very Short Lessons about the Long Game of Business

From my list on for solo founders building businesses.

Why am I passionate about this?

Alex Hillman is always thinking about the intersection of people, relationships, trust, and business. He’s an author, educator, and community builder. These days, he splits his time between operating Indy Hall, which is one of the oldest coworking spaces in the world; teaching creative people how to bootstrap their own businesses at Stacking the Bricks; and collaborating with people and organizations towards the goal of helping 10,000 people become sustainably independent by 2029.

Alex's book list on for solo founders building businesses

Alex Hillman Why did Alex love this book?

This book is not at all what it seems. If you’ve ever struggled with a project or idea, especially as it grows in complexity, the metaphor of the mythical Hydra may have come to mind. In the myths, the Hydra is especially dangerous because every time you cut off one of its heads, two more grow back in its place. 

Kinda like a project or business that seems impossible to finish. 

Unlike most business books that beat you over the head with case studies, this book uses a single short story styled as a fairytale to unlock and teach dozens of valuable business lessons from across dozens of fields of study: psychology, planning, marketing, negotiation, and more. Half of the fun of reading this book is realizing each time the story is teaching you something useful. It’s like a little treasure hunt of business knowledge all on its own!

By Josh Kaufman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Fight a Hydra as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A survival manual for ambitious artists entrepreneurs ADVENTURERS

You have a Hydra: a grand, ambitious project you’ve always wanted to tackle. It feels overwhelming, unconquerable. Chop off one of a Hydra’s heads, and two more grow in its place.

How will you ever defeat such a terrifying monstrosity – and live to tell the tale?
 
In this illuminating fable, productivity expert Josh Kaufman explores the uncertainty and fear inherent in facing down any ambitious challenge, from starting a new business to completing a work of art.

The risks involved can never be eliminated, but they can be understood, anticipated, and…


Book cover of 101 Essays That Will Change The Way You Think

Charisse Cooke Author Of The Attachment Solution: How to develop secure, strong and lasting relationships

From my list on how to create a great relationship.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was fortunate enough to meet my husband over 17 years ago, and we have packed a lot of life in since then. Along with two kids and a dog, we’ve had our fair share of tough moments: financial challenges, bereavement, family issues, marital disagreement, and traumatic life events that taught me just as much as my two decades-long career as a relationship psychotherapist has. This, combined with working with individuals, couples, and partners in search of what love means and how to practically go about achieving it, has clarified for me just how much we all need tools and teachings when it comes to matters of the heart.

Charisse's book list on how to create a great relationship

Charisse Cooke Why did Charisse love this book?

This book speaks to my soul. Wiest’s writing makes me feel enriched and nurtured as she talks about life and love in a magical, almost poetic way. Full of short and long essays, it’s easy to dip into this book for a grounding reminder, a calming voice, and a warm hug.

I sometimes read it in between my sessions with clients as it is so uplifting, even though it tackles serious subjects. I also adore that this was written when Wiest was a young woman (in her 20s), and it represents the hope and goodness we need in our increasingly hostile world. I feel inspired to be strong and gentle, mentally astute and emotionally awake, assertive and receptive, kind and firm, all at the same time.

By Brianna Wiest,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked 101 Essays That Will Change The Way You Think as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

101 Essays That Will Change The Way You Think, the global bestseller and social media phenomenon, is a collection of author Brianna Wiest's most beloved pieces of writing. Her meditations include why you should pursue purpose over passion, embrace negative thinking, see the wisdom in daily routine, and become aware of the cognitive biases that are creating the way you see your life. Some of these pieces have never been seen; others have been read by millions of people around the world. Regardless, each will leave you thinking: this idea changed my life.


Book cover of Rational Choice in an Uncertain World: The Psychology of Judgment and Decision Making

Steven Pinker Author Of Rationality: What It Is, Why It Seems Scarce, Why It Matters

From my list on rationality and why it matters.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Harvard professor of psychology and a cognitive scientist who’s interested in all aspects of language, mind, and human nature. I grew up in Montreal, but have lived most of my adult life in the Boston area, bouncing back and forth between Harvard and MIT except for stints in California as a professor at Stanford and sabbatical visitor in Santa Barbara and now, Berkeley. I alternate between books on language (how it works, what it reveals about human nature, what makes for clear and stylish writing) and books on the human mind and human condition (how the mind works, why violence has declined, how progress can take place).

Steven's book list on rationality and why it matters

Steven Pinker Why did Steven love this book?

This is technically a textbook and isn’t marketed as a book you bring to the beach. But sometimes, it’s more satisfying to have the big ideas on a topic patiently explained to you in an orderly fashion than to try to pick them up from stories and arguments.

This paperback, coauthored by one of my graduate school teachers (Hastie), explains the famous discoveries by Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman on biases in human reasoning, which Kahneman presented in his bestseller Thinking, Fast and Slow (too obvious for me to include on my list). It also explains lesser-known but still fascinating discoveries and has helpful appendices for those of us who forget some of the basics of probability theory.

By Reid Hastie, Robyn M. Dawes,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Rational Choice in an Uncertain World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the Second Edition of Rational Choice in an Uncertain World the authors compare the basic principles of rationality with actual behaviour in making decisions. They describe theories and research findings from the field of judgment and decision making in a non-technical manner, using anecdotes as a teaching device. Intended as an introductory textbook for advanced undergraduate and graduate students, the material not only is of scholarly interest but is practical as well.

The Second Edition includes:

- more coverage on the role of emotions, happiness, and general well-being in decisions

- a summary of the new research on the…


Book cover of The Art of Thinking Clearly

Michael D. Watkins Author Of The Six Disciplines of Strategic Thinking: Leading Your Organization Into the Future

From my list on books for aspiring strategic thinkers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have devoted my career to helping leaders navigate challenging transitions into new roles, build their teams, and transform their organizations. Strategic thinking is a key foundation of my work as an executive coach and advisor at Genesis Advisers and a professor at the IMD Business School. Whether executives are taking new roles or driving large-scale transformations, they must be able to rapidly analyze the context, craft good visions and strategies, and mobilize people to realize them. I try to equip the leaders I work with with the mental frameworks, tools, and skillsets to adapt and succeed in the first 90 days and beyond.

Michael's book list on books for aspiring strategic thinkers

Michael D. Watkins Why did Michael love this book?

This book deepened my understanding of cognitive biases, complementing what I learned by reading the prior recommendation and giving me more insight into how they can contribute to bad decisions. I realized even more deeply how important it is to think carefully and critically when facing complex problems.

I came away from reading this book trying to do a better job of stepping back, challenging my assumptions, and not acting on my first impressions. It contributed to the work I was doing on structured team problem-solving. It also helped me to help the leaders I work with to understand that their intuition often isn’t based on solid thinking.

By Rolf Dobelli,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Art of Thinking Clearly as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of Story Genius: How to Use Brain Science to Go Beyond Outlining and Write a Riveting Novel (Before You Waste Three Years Writing 327 Pages That Go Nowhere)

Jennifer Louden Author Of Why Bother: Discover the Desire for What’s Next

From my list on when you’re creatively stuck.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been obsessed with the creative process since I was 8 and read Harriet the Spy and realized her writing saved her and after I spied on one of my parent’s cocktail parties and wondered why everybody was so dull (I was so cheeky). Still, it’s the quest that drives me: how do we be fully ourselves in this world and how does creativity help? I explore this question on my podcast Create Out Loud and in my weekly newsletter, and these books have helped me formulate, if not answers, creative and mindful practices that sustain me daily. I hope they inspire you too.

Jennifer's book list on when you’re creatively stuck

Jennifer Louden Why did Jennifer love this book?

I’m a writing mentor and coach, and this book has helped so many of my novelists understand and implement dramatic story structure. If you are trying to write fiction, screenplays, or memoir, and you haven’t read this, prepare to have your mind blown open. I have one word for you: misbelief. Go read the book and you’ll soon understand why it’s a game-changer. Note: Lisa doesn’t mention memoir but when I interviewed her on my podcast, she assured me the concepts work beautifully and have been successfully applied. 

By Lisa Cron,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Story Genius as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Following on the heels of Lisa Cron's breakout first book, Wired for Story, this writing guide reveals how to use cognitive storytelling strategies to build a scene-by-scene blueprint for a riveting story.

It’s every novelist’s greatest fear: pouring their blood, sweat, and tears into writing hundreds of pages only to realize that their story has no sense of urgency, no internal logic, and so is a page one rewrite. 

The prevailing wisdom in the writing community is that there are just two ways around this problem: pantsing (winging it) and plotting (focusing on the external plot). Story coach Lisa Cron…


Book cover of The Art of Logic in an Illogical World

Richard Hoshino Author Of The Math Olympian

From my list on mathematics and life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have devoted my entire career to mathematics, and have a life filled with meaning and purpose through my roles as an educator, researcher, and consultant. I teach at the Vancouver campus of Northeastern University and am the owner and principal of Hoshino Math Services, a boutique math consulting firm. 

Richard's book list on mathematics and life

Richard Hoshino Why did Richard love this book?

The author explains the importance of abstraction in logic, demonstrating its three main components: paths made of long chains of logic, packages made of a collection of concepts structured into a new compound unit, and pivots to build bridges to previously disconnected places.

Eugenia Cheng does an excellent job of abstracting principles of logic to better understand challenging real-world societal issues such as affirmative action and cancer screening. I found it quite compelling to understand how and why she came to her positions on various issues, through her axiom that "avoiding false negatives is more important than avoiding false positives." I appreciated the expertise by which she weaved numerous hard topics, in both mathematics and social justice, into a coherent and compelling narrative.

By Eugenia Cheng,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Art of Logic in an Illogical World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How both logical and emotional reasoning can help us live better in our post-truth world

In a world where fake news stories change election outcomes, has rationality become futile? In The Art of Logic in an Illogical World, Eugenia Cheng throws a lifeline to readers drowning in the illogic of contemporary life. Cheng is a mathematician, so she knows how to make an airtight argument. But even for her, logic sometimes falls prey to emotion, which is why she still fears flying and eats more cookies than she should. If a mathematician can't be logical, what are we to do?…


Book cover of Tetralogue: I'm Right, You're Wrong

Gordon Barnes Author Of How Do You Know? A Dialogue

From my list on philosophy written as engaging dialogues.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am Associate Professor of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Brockport. I have been teaching and writing philosophy for over 20 years. I have published articles in professional journals on a wide range of subjects, from epistemology to philosophy of religion and political philosophy. I think that philosophy, at its best, is a good conversation, in which people give reasons for their views, and listen to others give reasons for theirs. That’s the best way for human beings to think about philosophical questions. That’s why I love philosophical dialogues—they do philosophy in a way that embodies what philosophy is, at its very best.

Gordon's book list on philosophy written as engaging dialogues

Gordon Barnes Why did Gordon love this book?

This book grabs your attention right from the start. Four people are on a train, and one of them believes in witches. That’s crazy, right? (The witches part, not the train part.) But can you prove that he is wrong? One character trusts science, and only science. Another is a relativist, who believes that each person’s opinion is “true for them.” And then there is the annoying young philosopher, who is just as irritating as she is logical. This is a great book about truth, knowledge, fallibility, and tolerance. Timothy Williamson is one of the best philosophers alive today, and yet this book is accessible and engaging for anyone who wants to think about fundamental questions. The characters are compelling, and the writing is witty and fun.

By Timothy Williamson,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Tetralogue as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Four people with radically different outlooks on the world meet on a train and start talking about what they believe. Their conversation varies from cool logical reasoning to heated personal confrontation. Each starts off convinced that he or she is right, but then doubts creep in.

In a tradition going back to Plato, Timothy Williamson uses a fictional conversation to explore questions about truth and falsity, and knowledge and belief. Is truth always relative to a point of view? Is every opinion fallible? Such ideas have been used to combat dogmatism and intolerance, but are they compatible with taking each…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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