Synopses & Reviews
- Why do our headaches persist after taking a one-cent aspirin but disappear when we take a 50-cent aspirin?
- Why does recalling the Ten 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 twenty-five 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.
Intelligent, lively, humorous, and thoroughly engaging, "The Predictably Irrational" explains why people often make bad decisions--and what can be done about it. Unabridged. 9 CDs.
"A marvelous book… thought provoking and highly entertaining."
—Jerome Groopman, New York Times
bestselling author of How Doctors Think
"Ariely not only gives us a great read; he also makes us much wiser."
—George Akerlof, 2001 Nobel Laureate in Economics
—New York Times Book Review
Behavioral economist and New York Times bestselling author Dan Ariely offers a much-needed take on the irrational decisions that led to our current economic crisis.
About the Author
Dan Ariely is the James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University, with appointments at the Fuqua School of Business, the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, the Department of Economics, and the School of Medicine. Dan earned one PhD in cognitive psychology and another PhD in business administration. His work has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, Business 2.0, Scientific American, and Science. Dan has appeared on CNN and CNBC, and is a regular commentator on National Public Radio's Marketplace. He lives in Durham, North Carolina, with his wife and two children.