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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

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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  • V.D.
  • BEAVERCREEK, OH, United States
  • 09-28-15

great book, fun read

great book, fun read, lots of good stuff there, tho I was hoping for more

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  • David
  • San Jose, CA United States
  • 09-28-15

An important area of study

Behavior Economics is an interesting area of study. This book sets out to demonstration that Homo Economicus does not exist and does a good job of demonstrating the irrationality of so much of human economic choices. The book has great humor, is clever, and has clear and convincing demonstrations. It read very well, so is a quick and intensely interesting book. Highly recommend.

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Very interesting book

Great humour, great topics, great book!
There are a couple studies that I don't agree with, thus the 4 star rating, but overall it's a great book to everyone!
I highly recommend.

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Interesting stuff and well explained

Any additional comments?

I really enjoyed this book.<br/>Each chapter describes an experiment that documents "predictably irrational" human behaviour. When each piece of research is described, you can "predict" fairly accurately the findings before you are given the results, but none the less, the results are fascinating.<br/>What I also liked was the authors' attempt to explain the reasoning behind the behaviour and try to give us some tips and tools to avoid behaving "irrationally".<br/>I also enjoyed the narration. A nice posh easy to understand voice that captured the moments of irony and sarcasm perfectly.<br/>

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nothing new here

decades old stuff on marketing repackaged. A very frustrating read, as promised insights give way to freshman intro to marketing and stats. A nice intro, but nothing after that.

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Good food for thought

Overall a decent book with interesting data and some thought provoking questions. However, much of the material is intuitive, we just need the occasional reminder to be conscious of such things. Where the book strays off course is when specific experiments are used to make broad public policy suggestions. The author may be so used to conducting experiments on people that he begins to think of people as nothing more than subjects for further experimentation. This book finds trends in distributions of people, and looses the individuals in the averaging.

Interesting, thought-provoking and a good listen, not earth shattering.

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phenomenal

extremely interesting digest of psychological studies that have meaningful impacts on daily life. easy to read yet rich in content. entertaining as well as informational. can't recommend highly enough

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Highly recommended. Very insightful.

I found this book very enjoyable. I have been fascinated with behavioral science and found this full of insights that will both help me and make me crazy ;o). Plus the charm of a British narrator never hurts. Thank you Dan for this book and your research.

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great

this is a very good very easy read. great narrator and it is insightful to know why we do what we do with out knowing why we do it!! lol its confusingly sensible. enlightening, fun, light and well written. I enjoyed this very much. will read it again.

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A fun and engaging read

Where does Predictably Irrational rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

n/a

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

the studies themselves

Have you listened to any of Simon Jones’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

maybe, not sure. his performance was great. the audio engineers throwing in the silly transition music was 1) randomly pointless, 2) a nuisance because they'd keep it going for another 5-10s after he resumed reading

Any additional comments?

Very enjoyable little read. Behavioral economics and its various experiments/studies are so very fascinating. The material at hand was solid as was the writing itself. The narration was great, but they threw in some random ass techno-y elevator music time and again that was a nuisance to the experience. It wasn't even during regular transitions (chapter to chapter, mid-chapter break, etc.) and would continue for 5-10s after the narrator had begun reading again. Very strange indeed. Otherwise, a recommended (audio) book!