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Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces…

Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions (edition 2008)

by Dan Ariely

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3,060983,034 (3.88)12
An evaluation of the sources of illogical decisions explores the reasons why irrational thought often overcomes level-headed practices, offering insight into the structural patterns that cause people to make the same mistakes repeatedly.
Title:Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions
Authors:Dan Ariely
Info:HarperCollins (2008), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 304 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:popsci, mind, eb

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Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely


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Showing 1-5 of 95 (next | show all)
This book is responsible for opening my eyes to behavioral sciences and a great passion for cognitive behavior study. ( )
  MerelyHuman | Nov 26, 2019 |
I'm enjoying it so far. Each chapter can stand on its own. ( )
  charlyk | Nov 15, 2019 |
The title really describes Airely's thesis: the fact that humans are not only irrational (that is, we base our decisions on subjective bases) but *predictably* irrational. In other words, we engage in irrational behavior that is predictable from a scientific point of view.

To demonstrate, Ariely shares several studies conducted on how we perceive value, how we judge ourselves, how we choose what to buy and when. In every chapter we're presented with a simple problem and what seems to be the most logical way of going about it. However, we often do the opposite, which is contrary to our best interests and common sense.

On the larger subject of science communication, this book does a marvelous job of actually providing references, not only to the bibliographical sources, but to the actual studies conducted by Ariely (all published after peer review in academic journals), thus giving the interested reader an opportunity to see the actual results depicted in a more traditional and academic way.

Overall, a solid choice for everyone who has ever bought something on a whim, known about the placebo effect, or just chosen from two sodas. Get it, learng from our irrationality and, hopefully, get better at deciding ( )
  andycyca | Aug 6, 2019 |
again like with most books I read now.. have read a few chapters.. absolutely insightful and unputdownable :) ( )
  Mayank_Jain | Jul 28, 2019 |
I am pretty sure that I read this book when it was first published about 10 years or more. Interesting book with interesting insights and including interesting anecdotes and stories.

Some notes from the book:

“Let me start with a fundamental observation: most people don’t know what they want unless they see it in context. We don’t know what kind of racing bike we want – – until we see a champ in the Tour de France ratcheting the gears on a particular model.’

“We are always looking at the things around us in relation to others. We can’t help it. This holds true not only for physical things but for experiences such as vacations and educational options, and for ephermal things as well: emotions, attitudes, and points of view."

“What if you are single, and hope to appeal to as many attractive potential dating partners as possible… My advice would be to bring a friend who has your basic physical characteristics but is slightly less attractive than you.”

“If you’re a company, my advice is to remember that you can have it both ways. You can’t treat your customers like family one moment and then treat them impersonally – – or even worse, as a nuisance or a competitor – – a moment later when this becomes more convenient or profitable.”

“It should be a reminder to us all that we have doors – – little and big ones – – which we ought to shut. We need to drop out of committees that are a waste of our time and stop sending holiday cards to people who moved on to other lives and friends.’’

“The brilliant satirist Alexander Pope once wrote: “Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.” To me, it seems that Pope’s advice is the best way to live an object of life.”

“The brain cannot start from scratch at every new situation. It must build on what it has seen before. For that reason, stereotypes are not intrinsically malevolent.” ( )
  writemoves | Jun 17, 2019 |
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» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dan Arielyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Galli, ChiccaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jones, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my mentors, colleagues, and students -- who make research exciting
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I have been told by many people that I have an unusual way of looking at the world.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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There is also a revised and expanded edition. Please do not combine.
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Book description
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   [book description from Amazon 9/17/2010]
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