Sunday, October 12


I have read some great books the past few months. One of these is Sway: The Irresistible Pull Of Irrational Behavior by Ori and Rom Brafman.

Having loved The Starfish and the Spider, I was curious as to how SWAY would live up to its touted, will change the way you think about the way you think.

Essentially SWAY is a book that seeks to identify the unseen forces that sway us in our decision making. What was fascinating is how vulnerable we all are to these psychological forces. What I often consider "rational, reasoned, logical thinking" is, admittedly, more often than not, my own "blind spots" influencing the way I think and reason.

For anyone dealing with people, ministry, organizations, church work, etc. this book will be an eye-opener. All of us tend to think of others as irrational in their behavior and thinking. But few of us believe we ourselves are influenced by these same factors. Sway helped me understand some of the deeply-rooted psychological forces at work influencing the choices I make. What often passes as "God's will" or the "right thing" is frequently more the irresistible pull of one of these hidden forces at work upon our thinking and reasoning.

"We're all susceptible to the sway of irrational behaviors. But by better understanding the seductive pull of these forces, we'll be less likely to fall victim to them in the future."

Some of the forces that sway us and are backed with fascinating real life stories and research:

loss aversion: how we overreact to perceived losses...our natural tendency to avoid the pain of loss distorts our thinking

strong resolve to stay the course to the way we have been doing things for years and our inability to react to superior strategies

value attribution:
our tendency to imbue someone or something with certain qualities based on perceived value, rather than on objective data...once we attribute a certain value to a person or thing, it dramatically alters our perceptions of subsequent information

diagnosis bias: our propensity to label people, ideas, or things based on our initial opinions of them and our inability to reconsider those judgments once we've made them

chameleon effect:
when we brand or label people they take on the characteristics of the diagnosis

fairness: and the great lengths to which we'll go to defend it...when it comes to fairness it's the process not the outcome that causes us to react important it is for people to feel they have a voice when it comes to the issue of fairness

group conformity: depends on unanimity for its power...the temptation to align ourselves with everyone else...a lone dissenter is enough to break the spell and "give permission" to break ranks with others in the group

For more on this enlightening book watch the following video...and then go out and get your own copy. You'll be glad you did!


Scott in Vegas said...

great summary - i posted a link to it on to share it with others!

Scott in Las Vegas

GuyMuse said...


Thanks for the link! It was indeed an eye-opening kind of book. Hope you enjoy it. BTW, you have a great site over there at Keep up the good work!