Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions

Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions

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.

Title:Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780061353239
Format Type:

About Dan Ariely

Dan Ariely is the James B. Duke Professor of Behavioral Economics at Duke University. He also holds an appointment at the MIT Media Lab where he is the head of the eRationality research group. He was formerly the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Behavioral Economics at MIT Sloan School of Management.


    Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions Reviews

  • Petra Eggs

    “I asked them why when they persecute men, for religion or colour it was seen by the world as oppression and when they persecute women, it was dismissed as tradition.” Emer Martin This book is gen...

  • Trevor

    It is important that you move this one up your list of books that you have to read. This is a particularly great book. My dear friend Graham recommended I read this book. He has recommended four books...

  • Riku Sayuj

    Written in the tried-and-tested and bestselling tradition of the Malcolm Gladwell books and the Frekonomics clones, Dan Ariely's book too is an entertaining and counter-intuitive look at the world aro...

  • Mary

    This book was somewhat entertaining, but I can't really recommend it. The author does experiments with college students and beer, and extrapolates this into a world view. Most of his applications are ...

  • Pouting Always

    Honestly all the business books that talk about psychological research or behavioral economics talk about the same things. I haven't even read Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman but all these b...

  • David

    All classic economic theories are based on the assumption that consumers behave rationally, despite a considerable body of evidence to the contrary. It is only in the last 25 years that economists hav...

  • Carol.

    Yet another book I'm recommending to Goodreads staff. I will write up a long review when it's done, but I think this is worth chewing on:According to the author of Predictably Irrational, we live simu...

  • Ryan

    As a social psychologist, I have been trained to scoff at all "behavioral economists" because they often claim to have recently discovered that individuals do not always behave "rationally". Furthermo...

  • Ashlula

    What an interesting book. It complemented my last reading ~ Thinking Fast and Slow by Kahneman ~ in some ways. The examples in the book suggests that `The Neo Cortex` is such a funny dude that tricks ...

  • Caroline

    This is a wonderfully interesting and amusing book. Every time I had a few spare minutes, I would leap back into it with gusto. Some of the things I read I had already seen elsewhere - but much was ne...