Sheena Iyengar standing by window

Some books make us feel. Others make us think. The best do both.

Whether I’m writing about the art of choosing or what it means to be authentic, I want people to come away challenged to improve their lives – both for themselves and society.

 

The Art of Choosing

We may think we know our own minds, but the forces that influence our choices are many, varied, and often surprising. Most of those forces affect us without our knowledge, and they do not necessarily operate in our best interests.

How can we minimize the influence of such powerful factors, including bias and culture? Is it possible to re-train our intuition? How do we balance the competing forces of gut and reason to make better decisions?  

The Art of Choosing answers these questions and raises many more.

 

New Authenticity Book (In Progress)

  This image (above) was created using artificial intelligence to replicate Van Gogh's style (top). In a world where marvels like this are possible, we must ask 'What is real? What can we believe in? Who can we trust? And where do we fit in the big picture?'

This image (above) was created using artificial intelligence to replicate Van Gogh's style (top). In a world where marvels like this are possible, we must ask 'What is real? What can we believe in? Who can we trust? And where do we fit in the big picture?'

As someone who has studied choice for over two decades, I have made it my work and my passion to understand the factors that influence human decision-making. Now, I am discovering that questions and concerns about authenticity underlie many of our most important choices today.

Our world is changing rapidly, outpacing our ability to adapt, cognitively and emotionally, to its transformations. We face situations and technologies that were unanticipated, even unimagined, just twenty years ago. So, we ask, what is real? What is human? What can we believe in, and who can we trust? 

Here are some of the questions I am exploring to better understand what authenticity means to us:

  • How do we detect and/or develop what is authentic in ourselves and in others? How does what we find/create affect our choices?

  • How is the increasing use of social media shaping our constructions of reality and identity?

  • How will human genetic modification change our definitions of and approaches to being human?

  • As robots and AI integrate more fully into our lives and economies, how will they alter our conceptions and practices of authenticity?


Press

 

“Human beings, Iyengar suggests, are born to choose. But human beings are also born to create meaning. Choice and meaning are intertwined. We use choice to define our identities, and our choices are determined by the meanings we give them, from advertising-driven associations to personal relationships and philosophical commitments. Some meanings we can articulate, while others remain beyond words."

 
 

“In our world of shifting political and cultural forces, technological revolution, and interconnected commerce, our decisions have far-reaching consequences. Use this book as your companion and guide for the many challenges ahead.”

 
 

“As she tours the science of choice, Ms. Iyengar takes care to be provocative rather than prescriptive. Still, “The Art of Choosing” has an instructive point: It is possible to make better choices just by being more aware of the forces that affect our choices, how the choices we make affect our well-being and how we use choice to express and create our own identities.”

 
 

Testimonials

"Sheena Iyengar’s work on choice and how our minds deal with it has been groundbreaking, repeatedly surprising, and enormously important. She is someone we need to listen to."

-Atul Gawande
Author of "Complications and Better"

 

“An intimate, beautifully written, and deeply compelling book that examines both the art and science of making wise decisions. Choosing to read it should be the easiest choice you ever make.”

-Dan Gilbert
Author of "Stumbling on Happiness"

 

“Iyengar wants us to recognize that our decisions-both the mundane and momentous-are influenced by many factors and that the more we recognize those factors, the more satisfied we will be.”

–MIND Reviews: The Art of Choosing (Scientific American)