Under the Influence: Putting Peer Pressure to Work

Robert H. Frank (Author)
Available

Description

From New York Times bestselling author and economics columnist Robert Frank, bold new ideas for creating environments that promise a brighter future

Psychologists have long understood that social environments profoundly shape our behavior, sometimes for the better, often for the worse. But social influence is a two-way street--our environments are themselves products of our behavior. Under the Influence explains how to unlock the latent power of social context. It reveals how our environments encourage smoking, bullying, tax cheating, sexual predation, problem drinking, and wasteful energy use. We are building bigger houses, driving heavier cars, and engaging in a host of other activities that threaten the planet--mainly because that's what friends and neighbors do.

In the wake of the hottest years on record, only robust measures to curb greenhouse gases promise relief from more frequent and intense storms, droughts, flooding, wildfires, and famines. Robert Frank describes how the strongest predictor of our willingness to support climate-friendly policies, install solar panels, or buy an electric car is the number of people we know who have already done so. In the face of stakes that could not be higher, the book explains how we could redirect trillions of dollars annually in support of carbon-free energy sources, all without requiring painful sacrifices from anyone.

Most of us would agree that we need to take responsibility for our own choices, but with more supportive social environments, each of us is more likely to make choices that benefit everyone. Under the Influence shows how.

Product Details

Price
$27.95  $25.71
Publisher
Princeton University Press
Publish Date
January 28, 2020
Pages
312
Dimensions
6.4 X 1.3 X 9.3 inches | 1.4 pounds
Language
English
Type
Hardcover
EAN/UPC
9780691193083
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Robert H. Frank is the H. J. Louis Professor of Management and Professor of Economics at Cornell University's Johnson Graduate School of Management. He has been an Economic View columnist for the New York Times for more than a decade. His many books include The Winner-Take-All Society, The Economic Naturalist, and Success and Luck (Princeton). He lives in Ithaca, New York. Twitter @econnaturalist

Reviews

This broadly themed book addresses the complexities of our social environments -- for example, how group behavior gives rise to bullying -- but a lot of what it discusses applies to worldwide environmental issues, too. The result is a combination of psychology and economics that illustrates how the human 'herd instinct' can be put to good use to solve the climate crisis and other problems.---John R. Platt, The Revelator
Frank's points . . . raise some big questions. Which reminds us that economics cannot be a merely technocratic discipline.---Chris Dillow, Stumbling & Mumbling
An invaluable new book. . . . If policy-makers have any sense, this book will be as important a manual in the 2020s as Nudge was in the 2010s.---Felix Martin, New Statesman
This is a fascinating look at the way other people unconsciously determine our everyday behaviour and is a useful addition to the many works on how human psychology affects economic decision making.-- "Money Week"