© 2016

The Biased Mind

How Evolution Shaped our Psychology Including Anecdotes and Tips for Making Sound Decisions


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Jérôme Boutang, Michel De Lara
    Pages 1-4
  3. Jérôme Boutang, Michel De Lara
    Pages 5-18
  4. Jérôme Boutang, Michel De Lara
    Pages 19-47
  5. Jérôme Boutang, Michel De Lara
    Pages 49-64
  6. Jérôme Boutang, Michel De Lara
    Pages 65-87
  7. Jérôme Boutang, Michel De Lara
    Pages 89-122
  8. Jérôme Boutang, Michel De Lara
    Pages 123-141
  9. Jérôme Boutang, Michel De Lara
    Pages 143-169
  10. Jérôme Boutang, Michel De Lara
    Pages 171-171
  11. Back Matter
    Pages 173-187

About this book


Using a wealth of anecdotes, data from academic literature, and original research, this very accessible little book highlights how we all struggle to cope with the maelstrom of choices, influences and experiences that come our way. The authors have slogged through piles of dry research papers to provide many wonderful nuggets of information and surprising insights. For example: Why is an upside-down red triangle such a powerful warning sign on the road? What is the best kind of alibi? What makes the number 7 so special? Why is it better to whisper words of love into the left ear? Will that recent marriage last? Why is it that the French eat snails but not slugs? The reader will discover the amazing tools and shortcuts that millennia of evolution have built into our brains. And this knowledge is power! Knowing more about how the human mind connects the dots helps us understand why decision-making is so tricky. With insights from evolutionary psychology, we become better equipped to understand ourselves and others, and to interact and communicate more effectively.


Affect and Self-Help Connect and Relate Daily Choice and Decision Evolutionary Psychology Irrationality of Human-Decision Making Multi Modular Mind Risk Perception Risk Psyschology

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.ParisFrance
  2. 2.ParisFrance

About the authors

Michel De Lara is an internationally renowned scholar in the mathematics of risk and decision for sustainable management. After having graduated from École Polytechnique, in Paris, he developed his career at École des Ponts ParisTech, in France. He has broad interests that encompass ecology, psychology and economics and has published several books with Springer.


Jérôme Boutang is Executive Director of the Center on Atmospheric Pollution and Greenhouse Gases (CITEPA), in Paris, France. With a background in Agronomy and Economics, as well as 25 years of successful international consulting and industry marketing, he has long been confronted with risk perceptions regarding food and environmental issues.

Bibliographic information


“The book provides clear and accessible definitions of complex concepts captured in behavioral theories and models … . This book is a nice read for a wide variety of minds, tastes, and training, with something to offer everyone in terms of entertainment, helping to better understand one’s self and others, and providing a valuable collection of scientific, artistic, and popular resources on the matter of how our minds work.” (Shabnam Mousavi, Journal of Bioeconomics, Vol. 19 (2), January, 2017)

“Jerome Boutang and Michel De Lara explore how evolution shaped our psychology, in an attempt to unravel what makes people 'tick'. … subjects are most interesting, and laymen will find a lot of food for thought to munch on. … . I really enjoyed the pace and the authors’ voices – direct, humorous and very reader friendly. … There also some very fun quizzes and exercises that you can take to test how biased you are, which nicely add to engagement.” (Tibi Puiu,, November, 2015)