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4.3 (185 ratings)
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Think Like a Freak by Levitt and Dubner is a practical guide that encourages a new approach to thinking. It teaches readers how to challenge assumptions, be curious, and ask the right questions in order to solve problems and make better decisions.

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    Think Like a Freak
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    Thinking like a freak means violating conventions; it might win you the World Cup but won’t necessarily make you popular.

    When we try to solve problems, most of us are guided by conventional beliefs. However, there’s a problem with conventional beliefs: they’re often wrong.

    Take, for example, the “local food” movement. Most people believe that consuming local food reduces environmental impact.

    However, a recent study found that this movement was actually counterproductive because the small farms it supports consume more energy for production, outweighing any positive effects of reduced transportation.

    This is exactly what thinking like a freak is about: basing one's beliefs and decisions on statistical evidence, rather than conventional wisdom.

    But how can this be of use in everyday life? Well, for one thing, thinking like a freak can help you to solve problems.

    For example, imagine you’re a soccer player about to make a penalty kick which could win your team the World Cup.

    How can you increase your chances of scoring? If you’re right-footed, as most players are, aiming towards the left will result in a stronger, more accurate kick. Goalkeepers are aware of this strategy, so 57 percent of the time they’ll jump to the kicker’s left side, and 41 percent to the right.

    Interestingly, however, keepers remain in the goal’s center only two percent of the time, so a kick “straight up the middle” is seven percent more likely to be successful than a kick to either corner.

    But while thinking like a freak has many advantages, it might also put your popularity at risk.

    For example, only 17 percent of all penalties in professional soccer are aimed towards the center.


    Because it’s such an obvious violation of the conventions. Also, if the goalkeeper remains in the center and catches the ball with zero effort, the penalty-taker might well lose the faith of his fans.

    Or, for example, imagine how popular you’ll be when you tell a “locavore” friend that the local-food movement actually hurts the environment!

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    What is Think Like a Freak about?

    Think Like A Freak is a blueprint for thinking unconventionally and creatively. It demonstrates the benefits of letting go of conventional wisdoms, and teaches you to dig deeper to find out how things really work. By learning to think like a "freak", you’ll gain access to an entirely new way of solving problems and making sense of the world.

    Think Like a Freak Review

    Think Like a Freak (2014) by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner presents a fresh approach to problem-solving and decision-making, urging readers to think differently and challenge conventional wisdom. Here's why this book is worth your time:

    • It offers eye-opening examples and case studies that help readers understand how to think more creatively and critically in various situations.
    • With its entertaining storytelling and engaging writing style, the book manages to make complex concepts accessible and enjoyable to read.
    • By encouraging readers to embrace curiosity and question assumptions, Think Like a Freak provides a practical and thought-provoking guide to solving problems in unconventional ways.

    Best quote from Think Like a Freak

    Sometimes in life, going straight up the middle is the boldest move of all.

    —Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
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    Who should read Think Like a Freak?

    • Anyone who likes to challenge conventional beliefs
    • Anyone interested in how statistics can help solve problems
    • Anyone who wants to learn how to think more creatively and unconventionally

    About the Author

    Steven D. Levitt is a professor at the University of Chicago. He was awarded with the John Bates Clark medal, one of the most prestigious awards in the field of economics, second only to the Nobel Prize.

    Stephen J. Dubner is an award-winning journalist who has worked for the New York Times.

    As a team, Levitt and Dubner have written two bestselling books: Freakonomics and its sequel, SuperFreakonomics.

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    Think Like a Freak FAQs 

    What is the main message of Think Like a Freak?

    Thinking like a freak means challenging conventional wisdom and approaching problems from a fresh perspective.

    How long does it take to read Think Like a Freak?

    The reading time for Think Like a Freak varies, but the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Think Like a Freak a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Think Like a Freak is a worthwhile read for those interested in unconventional thinking. It offers valuable insights and practical strategies.

    Who is the author of Think Like a Freak?

    The authors of Think Like a Freak are Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner.

    What to read after Think Like a Freak?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Think Like a Freak, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • When to Rob a Bank by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
    • Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
    • Stealing Fire by Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal
    • The Optimist's Telescope by Bina Venkataraman
    • Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman
    • Stillness Is the Key by Ryan Holiday
    • Super Crunchers by Ian Ayres
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