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Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions Hardcover – Feb 1 2008

4.6 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Feb 1 2008
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; 1st edition (Jan. 31 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006135323X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061353239
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 2.6 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #380,847 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

From Publishers Weekly

Irrational behavior is a part of human nature, but as MIT professor Ariely has discovered in 20 years of researching behavioral economics, people tend to behave irrationally in a predictable fashion. Drawing on psychology and economics, behavioral economics can show us why cautious people make poor decisions about sex when aroused, why patients get greater relief from a more expensive drug over its cheaper counterpart and why honest people may steal office supplies or communal food, but not money. According to Ariely, our understanding of economics, now based on the assumption of a rational subject, should, in fact, be based on our systematic, unsurprising irrationality. Ariely argues that greater understanding of previously ignored or misunderstood forces (emotions, relativity and social norms) that influence our economic behavior brings a variety of opportunities for reexamining individual motivation and consumer choice, as well as economic and educational policy. Ariely's intelligent, exuberant style and thought-provoking arguments make for a fascinating, eye-opening read. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"Surprisingly entertaining. . . . Easy to read. . . . Ariely's book makes economics and the strange happenings of the human mind fun." (USA Today)

"A marvelous book that is both thought provoking and highly entertaining, ranging from the power of placebos to the pleasures of Pepsi. Ariely unmasks the subtle but powerful tricks that our minds play on us, and shows us how we can prevent being fooled." (Jerome Groopman, New York Times bestselling author of How Doctors Think)

"PREDICTABLY IRRATIONAL is a charmer-filled with clever experiments, engaging ideas, and delightful anecdotes. Dan Ariely is a wise and amusing guide to the foibles, errors, and bloopers of everyday decision-making." (Daniel Gilbert, Professor of Psychology, Harvard University and author of Stumbling on Happiness)

"Dan Ariely's ingenious experiments explore deeply how our economic behavior is influenced by irrational forces and social norms. In a charmingly informal style that makes it accessible to a wide audience, PREDICTABLY IRRATIONAL provides a standing criticism to the explanatory power of rational egotistic choice." (Kenneth Arrow, Nobel Prize in Economics 1972, Professor of Economics Stanford University)

"Inventive. . . . An accessible account. . . . Ariely is a more than capable storyteller . . . If only more researchers could write like this, the world would be a better place." (Financial Times)

"In creative ways, author Dan Ariely puts rationality to the test. . . . New experiments and optimistic ideas tumble out of him, like water from a fountain." (Boston Globe)

"Dan Ariely is a genius at understanding human behavior: no economist does a better job of uncovering and explaining the hidden reasons for the weird ways we act, in the marketplace and out. PREDICTABLY IRRATIONAL will reshape the way you see the world, and yourself, for good." (James Surowiecki, author of The Wisdom of Crowds)

"PREDICTABLY IRRATIONAL is a scientific but imminently readable and decidedly insightful look into why we do what we do every day...and why, even though we 'know better,' we may never change." (Wenda Harris Millard, President, Media, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia)

"A fascinating romp through the science of decision-making that unmasks the ways that emotions, social norms, expectations, and context lead us astray." (Time magazine)

"This is a wonderful, eye-opening book. Deep, readable, and providing refreshing evidence that there are domains and situations in which material incentives work in unexpected ways. We humans are humans, with qualities that can be destroyed by the introduction of economic gains. A must read!" (Nassim Nicholas Taleb, New York Times bestselling author of The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable)

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