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Predictably Irrational Audiobook
Predictably Irrational
Written by: 
Dan Ariely
Narrated by: 
Simon Jones
Predictably Irrational Audiobook

Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions

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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.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

©2008 Dan Ariely; (P)2008 HarperCollins Publishers

What Members Say

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  •  
    Stephen 05-07-09
    Stephen 05-07-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I am predictably irrational"

    This is one of the best books I have read about things that influence our decision making. Why will we go out of our way to $7 on an item that costs $20 but not go out of our way to save that $7 on something that costs $200? How are influenced into choosing one of two choices by the introduction of a choice that we will not make? These observations and others are fascinating observations and psychological experiments that demonstrate how we think and act. Factors that influence our morality, cheating and decision making are presented in a way that hits home - I found my own behavior presented in almost every chapter. The author is a social psychologist that presents his concepts very clearly and in situations you will recognize. He follows ups his concepts by describing cleverly designed 'experiments' on students (typically from MIT). The experiments clearly demonstrate why choices are made in certain situations. This book is good not only for your own personal understanding of how decisions are made but should also be read by anyone who wishes to infuence how others make decisions. Great concepts for people in sales, marketing and business. If you like this genre, this is one of the best.

    24 of 29 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MLH SF Bay Area, CA 11-21-15
    MLH SF Bay Area, CA 11-21-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Very interesting and clinical approach"

    Fascinating to hear all the examples that support our irrationality. Sometimes a little over done. Would have like an approach to be able to counteract but one can't change what one doesn't acknowledge, so it's a start.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ian C Robertson South Australia, Australia 10-21-15
    Ian C Robertson South Australia, Australia 10-21-15 Member Since 2010

    Eclectic mixer of books of my youth and ones I always meant to read, but didn't.

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    "Interesting Listening"

    I picked this title up on a recommendation from one of the reviewers that I follow. It was a good referral, although it was more about behavioural economics than I had expected. In particular, a lot of the examples (of which there are many in total) concern consumer behaviour. Even though the author attempts to interpolate from the conclusions of that behaviour something that might be applicable to non-consumer decision making, it begins to sound more like a tack-on than the thesis of the text. Of course, the thesis is as applicable to consumer choice as anything else and, one suspects, it's hard to fund research about pure decision making as compared to consumer choice (which every major retailer might fund). So, I guess I shouldn't have been surprised. But I was.
    The thesis is also self fulfilling. We all (or a healthy percentage of us) behave like this. That said, the examples are informative about the extent of our irrationality, if not its existence. Be prepared for a regular (but not overwhelming) opportunity to foreshadow the results, too. These work well, I suspect, except that I always seemed to be in the low percentile. That's not a complaint, but it did mean that I didn't relate to the conclusions in the predicable way. I guess that's rational!
    I enjoyed Simon Jones' reading. His voice, pacing and tone reminds me of one of the media consumer watchdog commentators presently on air in Oz (Paul Barry).

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ted Lancaster, PA, United States 11-29-11
    Ted Lancaster, PA, United States 11-29-11 Member Since 2010

    Don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Trip's cool though. Use Audible to make gym-training sane... And rip my imagination.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Oh... yeah... interesting idea, but, um...."

    There's correlation and there's causation. Not sure that Ariely adequately grasps the distinction or even the direction of what causation might be connected to the correlations he discovers.

    REGARDLESS - this guy's mind is fun. His ideas startle the way a corn kernel's pop does even when you're watching the pot. There's a lot more work to do in his field before we can consider that the package entirely overcomes the value to consumers of whatever's inside.He argues, I think that things other than prince cause us to scurry up or down the demand curve. But economist have always said that the position of the curve... its place in space is determined by things other than price... Consumer tastes among them. By confusing demand with quantity demanded Ariely makes a rather basic mistake... yet he is contributing to our knowledge of shifting shapes and positions of snaky curves.

    Which is why I'm glad I listened and look forward to listening to more... and questioning Dr. Ariely's intriguing conclusions.


    Hey... how often do we get to enjoy good questions, huh?

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cliff J Rochester, MN 03-19-08
    Cliff J Rochester, MN 03-19-08 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "People are Funny"

    "Know thyself", (an inscription on the temple of Apollo). The human mind is incredible biologically but when you begin to study the way we convince ourselves of truth, it becomes mind-boggling. Understanding why we do certain things is a mystery to most of us. This book invites us to examine "the irrationality" of what we consider to be "clear thinking". Situations like the "come on ploys" of advertising to the excuses that we parden our own behavior with, the author examines and tests (statistically) the bad thinking or "not useful thinking" of himself and the people around him. Written with a touch of irony and good humor, this book examines its a humorous as well as the insidious dimensions of our everyday thinking.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mattias Tammet Tallinn, Estonia 01-25-16
    Mattias Tammet Tallinn, Estonia 01-25-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Simplistic"

    While the examples are good, they feel loosely bound and too... pop-sciency? It feels like a collection of examples as opposed to a comprehensive book.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    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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    "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!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Forrest Venice, CA, USA 02-24-08
    Forrest Venice, CA, USA 02-24-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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!

    38 of 53 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Timothy Ardmore, PA, US Minor Outlying Islands 01-23-10
    Timothy Ardmore, PA, US Minor Outlying Islands 01-23-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Predictable Arguments"

    I was surprised to discover that most of the arguments made by the author were obvious (or at least had occurred to me) prior to reading the book. Still I learned a thing or to but thought the arguments were much too drawn out and I found myself advancing through the book

    8 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heather 12-03-15
    Heather 12-03-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting food for thought"

    A good intro for the subject, but perhaps a bit of a re-tread if you're already familiar with it. Some of the sections felt like they dragged a bit, but there were enough new ideas, or new twists on old ideas, to maintain focus. Narration was engaging. Overall, this was definitely worth a listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • Vassilis
    London, United Kingdom
    4/9/10
    Overall
    "Great book. One of the best I've read recently"

    This is really an exceptionally insightful book with many practical examples of how to improve our lives and those of other people by being more rational in our everyday life. A must read to all intelligent creatures on this planet!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Waheed
    6/26/16
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    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent book on how humans act irrationally"

    This books contains some excellent studies/experiments that tell how we act irrationally.

    As an entrepreneur this information was very helpful.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • James Gaskell
    4/25/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Surprising revelations and insight."

    A truly fascinating book, the reader really bringing the humour of the writer to life.

    Great at shining a light on the misunderstandings of our decision making process.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. Donald Teale
    Kuwait
    3/15/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good introduction"

    This book captures and explains several interesting concepts, in what I would describe as, cognitive psychology, although the author is keener to label it Economic Psychology.
    There are other books that try explain more the Why, rather than the what, particularly Think Fast, Think Slow. Therefore, this is a very accessible good introduction to the subject.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • MR NEIL MARTIN
    7/24/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Read this and you will understand why you do stuff"
    Would you listen to Predictably Irrational again? Why?

    Most definitely. This is a book to study not just to listen to once.


    Any additional comments?

    If you want to understand more about human behaviour, listen to (or read) this book

    0 of 0 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

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