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
I recognized my own behavior in many of the stories. As a CPA and financial leader, I am interested in how often people behave completely irrationally.
I particularly enjoyed the analysis of Free and free shipping because I have personally increased purchases on many occasions by falling for this trick. Being more cognizant of this irrational behavior will hopefully save me from overspending in the future.
This book was interesting and well organized. I highly recommend it.
I really enjoyed this book. Several times as Dan Ariely was setting up the test parameters, I would think that he was missing a key piece, but then he would further develop the test and include my concern. I found it to be personally enlightening (and personally frustrating, but that's personal).
I have one complaint. Dan Ariely is obviously a liberal, and also obviously a fan of government run programs, like national healthcare. At one point in the book, Dan has demonstrated, through scientific study that people are irrational. He then, without any scientific information, claims that because we are irrational, we need national healthcare. He took no steps to back the claim that the government is inherently more rational than we mere individuals. This particular issue was very short (like a paragraph, or even a single sentence) but it has forced me, when recommending the book to others, to clarify that he is a liberal and is pushing an agenda outside of his scientific evidence or study.
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.
I felt this book beat me over the head with concepts that were actually rather obvious. Would make an interesting read if perhaps I had never taken any Psych classes at all during the course of my formal education.
If I were still teaching psych, I'd probably adopt is as a textbook. It's about the caliber of Aronson's Social Animal: good as a textbook but not as leisure reading.
It is also not read in a way that is interesting, but is just flat and dry.
I got it because it was reverenced in Dan Pink's Drive, but I'm actually pretty disappointed that I used a credit on this one.
The autor make a lot of contradicctions and assumtions.
The premise of the book, more goverment intervention.
is Ok very clear and good tone for a person of spanish lenguage
The story of the social experiments.
I don't recomend for libertarians.
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.
What a wonderful book! I was amazed by the depth of research and the, sometimes amazing, discoveries. For years I've wondered why we often behave in ways that make no logical sense. Predictably Irrational addresses those behaviors, their triggers, how they become habits, and how they change. I heartily recommend this book.
-- Bryan Entzminger
Great book. Written in very clear language.
Example(paraphrased by me):
In the 80s, the Coke vs Pepsi battle.
Pepsi said it was preferred in BLIND taste tests.
Coke said it was preferred in taste tests.
Niether were fudging the results.
The amazing result is that in BLIND taste tests people preferred Pepsi.
When people SAW THE CANS as the sodas were being poured, they preferred Coke.
Again, well design taste tests in both cases. Since people were not influenced by the testers or the test, it was the Coke Brand that made people prefer the Coke.
The book is full of these crazy, "Wow, I can't believe that's how our brain works" scenarios.
There a number of good points in this book. A lot of the information is not presented in a helpful fashion. The author seems like one of those professors that makes a theory up and then fits everything into that theory. In his classes he probably asks questions (to which he only has the right answer) and then lets a few people guess wrong before imbuing the class with his mystical knowledge.
I found the presentation of information in this book condescending in this fashion and most of it is common sense... but presented in a one-sided theory: people act predictably irrationally.
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
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.
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.
Wow. Very interesting and of practical application too.
This provides real insights into how we behave and why. I found it amusing and will be listening to it again.
"Started strong, but far too long"
Some of the early parts of this book were illuminating (such as how we can use decoys to influence people's choices among alternatives) and interesting (how we are drawn to things that are free). But about a third of the way through, I began to feel that it was becoming over-written and needed drastic pruning. It lacked the pace of, for example, 'Yes: 50 Secrets from the Science of Persuasion' which I had listened to a couple of months before. I found Ariely's last few chapters a real effort to wade through and ultimately unrewarding.
"Interesting book - well worth a listen"
Really interesting insight to how we behave in certain situations and why. Well written and nicely narrated. I did feel it started to get a little repetitive towards the end of the book though. Still a good listen.
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