A challenging mate to Freakonomics, Predictably Irrational examines how the world often works according to principles of irrationality in the places where we least expect it.
Do you know why you still have a headache after taking a one-cent aspirin, but why that same headache disappears if the aspirin costs fifty cents? Do you know why recalling the Ten Commandments reduces people s tendency to lie, or why honor codes are actually effective in reducing dishonesty at the workplace? Do you know why, after doing careful and extensive research on which car to buy, a random meeting with someone who had an awful experience with that car changes your decision? Why do we make decisions contrary to our better judgment? What is better judgment?
Predictably Irrational challenges us to ponder these questions (questions we sometimes avoid) and demonstrates how irrationality manifests itself in situations (often very peculiar and hilarious situations) where rational thought is expected. We all succumb to irrationality, it s about time we find out how it affects our daily lives in a significant way. In this astounding new book, groundbreaking in scope and totally original, Dan Ariely cuts to the heart of our strange behaviors and presents outstanding material that will keep every reader transfixed.
Predictably Irrational comes from Dr. Ariely s work as a behavioral economist, but it s not for economists. Well, it is, but mainly to the extent that it can help them the same way it can help anyone. If the behaviors that skew our judgments were random or senseless, we d be hard put to sort them out and make better decisions. But research has shown that our irrationality is, in fact, systematic. People will make the same types of mistakes over and over, in a predictable manner, because the behaviors have structural origins. So recognizing them and understanding them offers us a way to do better. And that s the aim of this book: to leave you with new knowledge of human nature, derived from a wide range of scientific experiments and findings, that will help you make better decisions in your personal life, your business life, and in the choices we all need to make about our collective welfare.
A few years ago, Dan Ariely, an economist at MIT, noted something odd in the subscription rates for the British newsmagazine The Economist. You could take the first option, costing $59, and get a year of full access to their web site. The second, costing $125, would get you a year-long print subscription. And the last, also costing $125, would get you a year of both the print subscription and the online access.