Freakonomics: A Literary Analysis

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Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt have successfully entertained me with their novel, Freakonomics, which talks about economics in an in-depth and analytical level. The authors attempt to challenge subjective truths at face values, show how data can be rearranged, and how there is always a hidden side to everything. They attack every day aspects of life to shine humanity on figures we regard as untouchable and they are challenging the normal, hackneyed rhetoric about the way the world works. Ultimately, the authors make the world more inquisitive by offering statistics on subjects in order to look at an issue from a different perspective, they use economic approaches to analyze the connection between disciplines, and they offer insight to the deeper causes to major influences in history by appealing to authorities. In the chapter titled “How is the Ku Klux Klan like a group of Real-Estate Agents?”, the …show more content…

Advertising “is a brilliant tool for creating conventional wisdom”(pg.87). The authors use the example of Listerine and how it was originally used as a surgical antiseptic and then, in the 1920s, it was advertised as a solution for “chronic halitosis” (bad breath). “Until that time, bad breath was not conventionally considered such a catastrophe. But Listerine changed that...In just seven years the company 's revenues rose from $115,000 to more than $8 million”(pg.87). The reason people respond greatly to incentives is because humans are exceptionally gifted at manipulation. The Listerine company knew how quickly people would react to an embellished and made-up disease that their product would cure. They successfully put out a fearful advertisement and their sales went up immediately. Whether on purpose or by accident, people know how other people will react, and in turn, make decisions according to that

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