How We Misunderstand Economics and Why it Matters: The Psychology of Bias, Distortion and Conspiracy

How We Misunderstand Economics and Why it Matters: The Psychology of Bias, Distortion and Conspiracy

2018 | ISBN-10: 1138938939 | 178 Pages | PDF | 12 MB

This is the first book to explain why people misunderstand economics. From the cognitive shortcuts we use to make sense of complex information, to the metaphors we rely on and their effect on our thinking, this important book lays bare not only the psychological traits that distort our ability to understand such a vital topic, but also what this means for policy makers and civil society more widely.

Accessibly written, the book explores the mismatch between the complexities of economics and the constraints of human cognition that lie at the root of our misconceptions. The authors document and explain the gamut of cognitive strategies laypeople employ as they grapple with such complex topics as inflation, unemployment, economic crises, finance, and money in the modern economy. The book examines sources of misconceptions ranging from the intentionality fallacy, whereby economic phenomena are assumed to have been caused deliberately rather than to have come about by an interplay of many agents and causal factors, to the role of ideology in framing economic thinking.

Exposing the underlying biases and assumptions that undermine financial and economic literacy, and concluding with recommendations for how policies and ideas should be framed to enable a clearer understanding, this will be essential reading not only for students and researchers across psychology and economics, but also anyone interested in progressive public policy.

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