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Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions | [Dan Ariely]

Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions

In a series of illuminating, often surprising experiments, MIT behavioral economist Dan Ariely refutes the common assumption that we behave in fundamentally rational ways. Blending everyday experience with groundbreaking research, Ariely explains how expectations, emotions, social norms, and other invisible, seemingly illogical forces skew our reasoning abilities.
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Publisher's Summary

Why do our headaches persist after taking a one-cent aspirin but disappear when we take a 50-cent aspirin? Why does recalling the 10 Commandments reduce our tendency to lie, even when we couldn't possibly be caught? Why do we splurge on a lavish meal but cut coupons to save 25 cents on a can of soup? Why do we go back for second helpings at the unlimited buffet, even when our stomachs are already full? And how did we ever start spending $4.15 on a cup of coffee when, just a few years ago, we used to pay less than a dollar?

When it comes to making decisions in our lives, we think we're in control. We think we're making smart, rational choices. But are we? In a series of illuminating, often surprising experiments, MIT behavioral economist Dan Ariely refutes the common assumption that we behave in fundamentally rational ways. Blending everyday experience with groundbreaking research, Ariely explains how expectations, emotions, social norms, and other invisible, seemingly illogical forces skew our reasoning abilities.

Not only do we make astonishingly simple mistakes every day, but we make the same types of mistakes, Ariely discovers. We consistently overpay, underestimate, and procrastinate. We fail to understand the profound effects of our emotions on what we want, and we overvalue what we already own. Yet these misguided behaviors are neither random nor senseless. They're systematic and predictable - making us predictably irrational.

From drinking coffee to losing weight, from buying a car to choosing a romantic partner, Ariely explains how to break through these systematic patterns of thought to make better decisions. Predictably Irrational will change the way we interact with the world - one small decision at a time.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

©2008 Dan Ariely; (P)2008 HarperCollins Publishers

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  •  
    SIMARA Bayamon, Puerto Rico 01-20-12
    SIMARA Bayamon, Puerto Rico 01-20-12 Member Since 2015

    I love books! Audiobooks take stories to the next level. I'm obsessed with Audible and will try to rate all of my books. Happy Listening! ;)

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    252
    213
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    "A must listen! 👍"

    I recommend this book to everyone. You learn so much about how many of our desicions are actually irrational and how marketing manipulated us so much. This book is full of studies about what influences the desicions we make and it's so interesting. Once you finish listening to this book you will think twice before buying something you feel you desperately need. You'll learn how your brain thinks that something that is expensive is better that something that is cheap. I believe that listening to this book has made me a more responsible consumer an will make save money because now I know that my mind may be playing some tricks on me. Highly recommend this book!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Forrest Venice, CA, USA 02-24-08
    Forrest Venice, CA, USA 02-24-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    38
    ratings
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    5
    3
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    Overall
    "Wow"

    I could only hope everyone would read this book. Perfectly narated and so full of information. I was really spellbound and will most likley have to listen to it again. Thank you Proffessor!

    34 of 47 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marcus Vorwaller Seattle, WA USA 05-05-08
    Marcus Vorwaller Seattle, WA USA 05-05-08 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Entertaining and Educational"

    The book is really funny, insightful and made me think a lot about why I do things I do. Though I found it a great intro to behavioral economics, it's worth reading for entertainment value alone. The narration is top rate and the pace is great.

    I didn't agree with most of the recommendations he makes based on the results of his studies, but the studies in themselves are very educational and he leaves plenty of room to draw your own conclusions. I was also disappointed by chapter 5 which is clearly sensationalism and I found embarrassing to listen to. If you've got kids in the car, you'll definitely want to skip that chapter. Other than those minor qualms, it's a great book.

    8 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KP United States 01-19-13
    KP United States 01-19-13 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Entertaining and Easy to Follow"

    Fascinating information about human behavior -- and how it consistently is "irrational" -- is presented in an easy-to-digest, easy-to-understand manner. The writing is excellent, and the terrific narrator's jaunty accent and manner of speaking enhance it even further. I found parts of it especially interesting to consider from the perspective of someone who markets products, as there is great food for thought about selling/marketing tactics.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeanette Sydney, Australia 11-26-12
    Jeanette Sydney, Australia 11-26-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Useful Information"

    I like to think of myself as a rational person and consumer who makes informed decisions. This book highlighted to me how easily I am swayed by factors I was not even aware of. I've found ways to incorporate the information in this book into both my life and my business. I enjoyed the book and recommend it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Seth Providence, RI, USA 01-21-10
    Seth Providence, RI, USA 01-21-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Very Enjoyable"

    Very enjoyable pop psychology, with special interest to anybody who sets the price of good or services. Narrator is enjoyable to listen to and the studies performed were very intriguing. Would buy again.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Abhishek BANGALOREIndia 10-10-09
    Abhishek BANGALOREIndia 10-10-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    5
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    Overall
    "fresh"

    The book seemed very fresh and made me aware of several irrational behaviour personal and generic level.Nice read.Authors voice is decent but gets little boring towards the end

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve Lexington, SC, USA 08-12-09
    Steve Lexington, SC, USA 08-12-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Peaked just prior to half-way"

    This book fizzled towards the end. The first half was interesting, and the latter half discussed concepts from the first half.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BobbyDigital Seattle, WA 05-11-09
    BobbyDigital Seattle, WA 05-11-09 Listener Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wonderful!"

    Very informative book, which I highly recommend to everyone.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gare Washington, DC, USA 02-08-09
    Gare Washington, DC, USA 02-08-09 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    94
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    "Be careful what you wish for..."

    A commercial phobic's nightmare. We think we know what we want, and don't appreciate being hustled. Unfortunately we are very limited by our perceptions, and our willingness and ability to quantify. One man's rational choice, is the end result of the limits of his rationality, and the skill of the hustler.

    Gare Henderson

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • Kesava
    2/17/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Sheer pleasure!"

    Not read a book recently that gave me a lot to think about and pleasure. Would highly recommend it to anyone.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • J. K. Moon
    UK
    2/7/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not so good"

    There are a lot of books out there on this topic. This is fairly average. Narrator too posh for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • RAUL
    JONKOPING, Sweden
    2/8/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great insights and great research!"

    I enjoyed the book even more the more I listened. There were so many clever ways to test ideas, and so much knowledge of how we are as humans. A really great way to get to know more of ourselves and our nexts.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • hkatsonga
    London, England
    6/28/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I love Dan Ariely. A truly out of the box thinker!"
    Would you listen to Predictably Irrational again? Why?

    Maybe but I have good recall and I doubt the second listen would be as intriguing as the first.


    What other book might you compare Predictably Irrational to, and why?

    Brainfluence?


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Samuel
    United Kingdom
    6/22/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderfully engaging insights into your own mind"
    Would you listen to Predictably Irrational again? Why?

    There were so many bit where I felt i needed to stop and think about how this impacts my daily life that I'm sure reading it again would reveal much that I've forgotten.


    What other book might you compare Predictably Irrational to, and why?

    It has similarities to "Intuition Pumps" by Dan Dennett, but is more fun to listen to.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    The many examples of "the decoy effect"


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Luis
    Kingston, United Kingdom
    9/1/12
    Overall
    "An eye opening account of human irrationality"

    I really enjoyed this book as Arliely not only discusses how people are irrational, but demonstrates that these behaviours can accurately be predicted and exploited by keener minds.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A User
    2/17/12
    Overall
    "predicatably irrational"

    eceptional!
    this book is well written and read and you often find yourself immersed in self reflection and soon gain a desire to undo those irrational traits that we all have. i often find myself listening to this book every 4 or so months

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jim
    London
    9/3/11
    Overall
    "A bit thin"

    Gave up on this after about an hour. Doesn't really cover as much useful material as Cialdini

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Maja
    Chesterfield, United Kingdom
    8/15/11
    Overall
    "Predictably Irrational"

    Excellent book with a fresh approach to business psychology. If you are looking for something different to the usual business books, this one is entertaining and insightful. Worth a read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • John
    londonUnited Kingdom
    11/25/10
    Overall
    "Fantastic"

    This book is truly a 5 star, I couldn't put it down. Every idea put forward is backed up with clear concise experiments. This is not a load of waffle like so many other books I have read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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