After numerous requests I have finally put together a list of the books that been the most helpful in my quest to learn more about Cognitive Biases and Mental Models.
My bookshelves (and Kindle) are filled with many more but I've only listed the ones that I found truly useful. These are the books I keep going back to over and over again.
Click on any title to read more about the book on Amazon. Please note that these are affiliate links, meaning this site will get a small commission from any purchase (which then goes towards paying for the hosting costs for this site).
Books from Intermountain Books
The two best books I've found on Charlie Munger and Mental Models are both published by Intermountain Books:
- Poor Charlie's Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger by Peter Kaufman
- This is the first book you should read if you want to learn more about a Latticework of Mental Models and Elementary World Wisdom. Kaufman does an excellent job of presenting Charlie's method of rational thinking, including some of the Mental Models he uses and the various processes he has come up with for making rational decisions.
- As a bonus it includes the text of multiple speeches Charlie has given as well as his list of principles on the Psychology of Human Misjudgement (25 biases that he deems critical knowledge).
- Seeking Wisdom: From Darwin to Munger by Peter Bevelin
- A dense collection of models and biases. Pretty much any model you ever wanted to learn is here.
- I think I've taken more notes from this book than any other, ever.
Anything you purchase from Intermountain Books on Amazon will arrive new direct from the publisher so be sure to look for "intermountain_books" as the seller!
Books Covering Multiple Mental Models
- Investing: The Last Liberal Art by Robert Hagstrom
- An overview of some key Mental Models, from physics to literature. Hagstrom does a good job of demonstrating Charlie's theory that models for various disciplines are more powerful in aggregate than they are on their own.
Books Covering Multiple Cognitive Biases
- Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini
- Cialdini's book on persuasion is a must read. It is recommended by Charlie himself and is one of the most famous books on psychology and influence there is. Most serious sales people have read this ... if you haven't read it then you're a patsy (to use a Munger term).
Books on Rational Decision-Making
- The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande
- Here Gawande makes a compelling argument for using simple checklists to reduce errors in complex situations. He cites many examples, including how airplane safety has increased dramatically since the creation of the flight checklist. After having read this, along with some of Charlie's own comments on the importance of checklists, I have placed this Mental Model near the top of my own list.
- The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less by Richard Koch
- A good explanation of the Pareto principle and how to use it in everyday life, with tons of examples. If you read this I guarantee you will walk away just looking for things to order and prioritize.
Leave a Reply