Art And Culture

Book Helps Cope With Social, Personal Problems

Book Helps Cope With  Social, Personal ProblemsBook Helps Cope With  Social, Personal Problems

The self help book ‘’Scarcity: The True Cost of Not Having Enough’’ by Mullainathan Sendhil and Eldar Shafir is now available in Persian.

It is a simplified guide on how to understand and cope with social and personal problems. The book has been translated into Persian by Hossein Alijani Ranani and published by Qoqnoos publication, IRNA reported on its Persian website.

The economist academic Sendhil Mullainathan and psychologist Eldar Shafir argue that the hidden side behind all problems is that they are all about scarcity. Using a scientific language, they explain for example, why obesity is rampant, why people find it difficult to sleep, and why lonely people find it so hard to make friends.

Scarcity is the fundamental economic problem of having unlimited demand in a world of limited resources. It states that society has insufficient productive resources to fulfill all human needs.

The book covers a wide range of academic studies on cultures from the US to India. While the writers focus on the issue of poverty, their research also shows that the mind is preoccupied with other forms of scarcity such as time pressure and loneliness.

The two authors demonstrate that loss of function in human, both in terms of IQ and “executive control” is often as great as that produced by a sleepless night. When the mind loses the ability to cope with a current problem, it not only functions more poorly but also focuses exclusively on the problems at hand and on the present – a state of mind the authors call “the tunnel.”


Sendhil Mullainathan is a Professor of Economics at Harvard, and a recipient of a MacArthur Foundation “genius grant”. He conducts research on development economics, behavioral economics, and corporate finance. He is executive director of Ideas 42, Institute of Quantitative Social Science, Harvard University.

Eldar Shafir is William Stewart Tod Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs at Princeton University. Most of his work focuses on descriptive analyses of inference, judgment, and decision making, and on issues related to behavioral economics.

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