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Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions

Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions

Written by Dan Ariely

Narrated by Simon Jones


Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions

Written by Dan Ariely

Narrated by Simon Jones

ratings:
4.5/5 (289 ratings)
Length:
7 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Feb 19, 2008
ISBN:
9780061629532
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

BookSnapshot

Also available as...

BookSnapshot

Description

"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

"Revolutionary."
-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.

Publisher:
Released:
Feb 19, 2008
ISBN:
9780061629532
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

BookSnapshot

About the author

New York Times bestselling author Dan Ariely is the James B. Duke Professor of Behavioral Economics at Duke University, with appointments at the Fuqua School of Business, the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, and the Department of Economics. He has also held a visiting professorship at MIT’s Media Lab. He 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.


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Reviews

What people think about Predictably Irrational

4.6
289 ratings / 40 Reviews
What did you think?
Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Reader reviews

  • (5/5)
    Fun and superbly interesting! It makes sense that we don’t make sense!
  • (5/5)
    i get to understand the irrational choices i make... from choice of menu to choice hpuses. this booknis truly enlightening.
  • (2/5)
    Useful facts, misguiding conclusions. Following advice in this book has potential to create a lot of problems for you.
  • (5/5)
    Adresses rational flaws in our mind for many things that we consider that we know about, but we get used to our irrationality. Including money, spending, trust, social...
  • (4/5)
    Move away from traditional "Shakespearean" economics and recognize that human behavior is susceptible to errors in judgment when taking economic decisions
  • (5/5)
    Probably one of my favorites. I strongly recommend reading/listening to this.
  • (5/5)
    got me thinking. Loads of info i will take a listen again
  • (5/5)
    As a career salesman and somebody who is also easily "sold" I find the first half of the book to be filled with bunches of practical information, and I find the last half to be mentally stimulating and fun.
  • (5/5)
    This may be the most influential book I may ever read.
  • (5/5)
    Very informative. Very interesting. I highly recommend to anyone.
  • (5/5)
    A great listen! Gets you thinking about why we do things. Humans are a funny bunch!
  • (5/5)
    The best part of the book is how relatable it is. I recall all that is described, happening around me
  • (4/5)
    Great Listen. Intriguing. Some chapters felt a bit repetitive, but overall, would recommend.
  • (5/5)
    Great insights! Really gets you thinking about how we act and justify our actions. We like to believe we act rationally but do we really?
  • (5/5)
    The examples he uses are clear and his language conveys his message really well
  • (5/5)
    If u think u r rational enough to make your own decision or your every decision made is based on free will, this book will open your eyes to a new perspective
  • (5/5)
    After completing this book, you will NOT think like you do now.
  • (5/5)
    Awessome, really good book, about how we do things whithout think about
  • (3/5)
    A book that makes some interesting observations about the bad choices people (repeatedly) make. Maybe because much of the material is familiar to me, but I felt like this certainly could have been condensed, although I certainly took away a few interesting tidbits. Recommended to me by a professor.
  • (5/5)
    Enlightening and entertaining.
  • (5/5)
    Fascinating and applicable to your personal life. I totally geeked out on all the findings.
  • (5/5)
    fantastic insights
  • (4/5)
    Great topics and thoughtful content, but got a little boring by the end. Good read though.
  • (3/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    The economic concept of a rational economic man is brought into question through various studies on how we make economic options to buy or sell. I do not doubt that given the complexity of our choices today that always taking the best option is highly unlikely. Yet the market does make choices ie the rise of the I Phone at the expense of Blackberry. The studies on cheating are quite eye opening and larger than expected.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (4/5)
    Any book that seems to predict your behaviour is both intriguing and, let's face it, a bit scary. I started this book with a measure of cynicism - everyone seems to be cashing in on the self-help style book these days. Well, I don't mind eating some humble pie - I was wrong.To start, this isn't a self-help book. It's a study of human nature. But that's not to say it doesn't offer some advice on how we can combat these 'hidden forces'. Each chapter covers an area of our 'predictable irrationality' and Ariely uses straightforward experiments to support his theories. For example, let me tell you one part of the book that applied to me.I used to pick up a coffee on the way to work two or three times a week for about £1.20. It was decent enough coffee and a nice treat. One day I passed by my local Cafe Nero. I bought a cup for £2.15. It's a bigger cup, much nicer coffee. Next time I pass I'm buy it again. Soon I'm buying it five days a week because that's become normal. I don't even think about it - it's as habitual as my three meals a day.Then I read this book and to tell the truth I felt slightly sick when I read the part of the book where Ariely describes exactly this type of scenario. I sat back and thought, "I've gone from spending £2.40 a week to £10.75". I went cold turkey and stopped my daily coffee!It's a bit of a waffly point I know but what I'm trying to highlight is that Ariely's book holds up a mirror. Think you're above irrationality? Think again. I have a friend who has now bought the book and half way through she admits to being as freaked out as me.It's well written, not too wordy, not condescending, funny in parts and I should imagine most people would be able to identify with some parts. The downside? Ariely offers some ways to rise above this 'predictable irrationality' but by the end of the book I almost felt like there was a sort of resigned 'well, we can try but we are who we are' feel. However, let's be fair, Ariely is one man and one man can only do so much.An excellent book and one I would certainly recommend but don't be surprised if it makes you look a little harder at yourself. But you never know - it might save you the £8 a week it's now saving me, so it's got to be worth it!
  • (4/5)
    This was a fascinating book along the lines of Freakonomics and a very easy read. I would highly recommend it--it makes you stop and think about why you do some of the things you do. Who knew that (behavioral) economics could be so interesting?
  • (3/5)
    Book is collection of behavioural experiments by the author. While book is definitely verbose can be easily trimmed to half, it's a easy quick read and shows certain interesting insights to human nature. Chapter on social norm, relative preference, price of zero and dishonesty are particularly good.
  • (4/5)
    Some great research and some amazing findings about how and why we react the way we do.
  • (4/5)
    Very accessible description of various experiments in micro-economics. The outcome is invariably that decisions are heavily influenced by factors that are either un-acknowledged (influence of non-monetary set-up in cheating) or not accurately accounted for (e.g. physical arousal). This is not a comment on the book itself, but these ideas have by now been so widely disseminated in popular science publications that I don't feel I have learned very much from the book that I hadn't already read about elsewhere. Maybe one thing: that much of the thinking that led to this book was triggered by a very traumatic experience, 70% third degree burns from a magnesium flare left Ariely hospitalized for many months at age 18.
  • (3/5)
    Ariely's quintessential argument is that "chicago boys" classical economics fails to consider the irrationality of individual consumers, that said irrationality is actually quite predictable, and that this predictablity has far sweeping economic implications.Without wanting to repeat past reviews, my single biggest qualm with the book was the final point of Ariely's assertion - the implications of these small irrationalities to the broader economic environment. For example, consider his point that things labelled "free" attract a disproportionate reaction from the buyer (that is, a reduction in price from $4 to $0 produces greater behavioural change than a reduction from $20 to $16, even though the marginal benefit is identical). This is a fair point for the individual consumer, but "so what" for the market as a whole? Were the subprime mortgages packaged with other investments overlooked because they were percieved as "free" by buyers? Do people often fall in to deep debt because of "interest free" luxury purchases, reducing the savings rate of individuals and leading to investment bubbles? I can't answer these questions, and Ariely didn't even attempt to. As such, his point - while meaningful for individual consumers and potentially for marketers, fails to abstract to the greater economic realm.If the scope of the book is to inspire consumers to reflect upon their behaviour, the book is a superb success. However, for anyone with an academic interest in macroeconomics, the book fails to make its message relevant.