The one-sentence summary

You can make better choices by understanding the cognitive biases to which we all succumb.


· Cognitive biases cause simple errors in most of our day-to-day thinking.

· Understanding these can help when dealing with personal problems, negotiating in business, trying to save or make money.

· There are 99 examples here – too many to summarise – so here are some examples:

Social proof: if lots of other people do something foolish, so do we.

Sunk cost fallacy: investment or ownership warps our estimate of value.

Confirmation bias: we use as evidence what we want to see.

Story bias: a good narrative makes us fall for things.

Illusion of control: you control less than you think.

Paradox of choice: the more choice we have, the less we make a decision.

Coincidence: there is an inevitably about unlikely events.

Gambler’s fallacy: there is no balancing force of the universe.

Winner’s curse: curb your enthusiasm because your ‘luck’ will change.

Loss aversion: bad events strike harder than good ones.

Hedonic treadmill: be careful what you wish for – it’s never that satisfying when you get there.

Affect heuristic: you are a slave to your emotions and always make shortcuts.

Sleeper effect: propaganda works because over time we forget where we heard something.


· This is an excellent synthesis of all matters relating to behavioural economics – arguably all in one place for the first time.

· 99 concepts are covered in bite size chunks of no greater than 1,000 words, so you can get the gist fast.

· They are all cross-referenced, so you can interlink theories and ideas.


· The examples can get a bit repetitive, with a large number drawn from finance.

· As ever, even recognising these things may not allow you to ride against your instincts – something the author freely admits.