Regular price: $27.37

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
OR
In Cart

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

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    4,532
  • 4 Stars
    2,672
  • 3 Stars
    822
  • 2 Stars
    159
  • 1 Stars
    62

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    3,195
  • 4 Stars
    1,511
  • 3 Stars
    394
  • 2 Stars
    66
  • 1 Stars
    26

Story

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    3,039
  • 4 Stars
    1,589
  • 3 Stars
    445
  • 2 Stars
    81
  • 1 Stars
    35
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Shauna
  • Pasadena, CA, United States
  • 09-30-09

Excellent insight but

The author brings forward some excellent insights about behavioral economics. Unfortunately those are interspersed with too many details about field studies -- typical mark of an academic -- validation and re-validation.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Great listening

Fascinating listening. Each example started slowly drawing you into the scenario. This was followed by the quirk in behavior. The principle then is extrapolated to more pertinent issues. Just as the chapter is about to get tedious it stops. The anecdotes are easy to recall and relate to everyday habits I subsequently picked it for book group.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Ned
  • Kempner, TX, United States
  • 08-25-08

Predictably Irrational

Very interesting research based observations of how people make economic decisions. Definately worth the read.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • David
  • Osseo, MN, USA
  • 11-05-08

Sometimes clever, often predictable

While the author hits a few wonderous and clever chords, the book is unfortunately full of mostly obvious observations and often predictable conclusions. The countless experiments the author describes in detail are not impressive, nor are the details of there design at all interesting. I love science, and the study of human nature. If you do to, you might find this worth the time to listen.

10 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • John
  • Eastlake, OH, United States
  • 08-21-08

One Sided

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.

6 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great mixture of research and story telling

Do you believe yourself to be a rational and objective decision maker? If you trust your own judgement then you are in desperate need of this book. Dan Ariely gives his take on how if human beings are predictable at all, it is in the irrational way in which we remember, compare, contrast and decide. His research itself is probably entertaining enough to be a book but the conclusions he draws make real world application seamless. Great read.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

things that make you go hmmmmmm!?!

I found this to be quite an eye opener. Makes you look back at some of your recent purchases and evaluate them with fresh eyes.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Thoroughly enjoyable and accessible for non-econs

Dan Ariely is simply brilliant. However his intellect is accessible in this book that relates everyday events to theories of behavioral economics. Simon Jones doesn't always get it right, however, since his British accent seems juxtaposed to Ariely's Americanisms. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in behavioral economics - far better than the Great Courses book on the subject!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Must read

Fantastic book with a very important concept. This is a must read for anyone who is interested in social sciences and interactions.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Brilliant narration of a brilliant book.

Brilliant narration of a brilliant book. The ideas and concepts in the book are eternally relevant, but the narrator really takes the cake in bringing out the wry humor the author wrote with. Wish every audio book was as good as this one.

Sort by:
  • Overall
  • James
  • 11-02-10

Eye-opening

Wow. Very interesting and of practical application too.

  • Overall
  • Nicholas
  • 06-05-10

Fascinating

This provides real insights into how we behave and why. I found it amusing and will be listening to it again.

  • Overall
  • Vilnis
  • 03-29-10

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.

  • Overall
  • R Hamilton
  • 10-09-09

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.