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Predictably Irrational, Revised and Expanded Edition: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions

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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.


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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.

30 review for Predictably Irrational, Revised and Expanded Edition: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions

  1. 5 out of 5

    Petra X

    “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 generally brilliant if you ignore the misogyny. It is a book written by a man about a man's world for men. The "Our' in the title does not include half the world. The misogny, the putting down of fat women, ugly ones, old ones in this often otherwise insightful and percipient book is making me groan. The a “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 generally brilliant if you ignore the misogyny. It is a book written by a man about a man's world for men. The "Our' in the title does not include half the world. The misogny, the putting down of fat women, ugly ones, old ones in this often otherwise insightful and percipient book is making me groan. The author is trying to prove something we all know, that we (he uses 'we' and 'our' to sound inclusive, but he only means men really) do not make good decisions when sexually aroused. To that end he sets up an experiment where the men, MIT students, will have to answer a set of questions 'sober' and while they are wanking to pictures of buxom young women flashed on their computers. The questions include, Would you want to have sex with a really fat woman? An ugly one? A woman over 50? All the undesirable women. All these women are put down as sexual objects these really clever guys wouldn't want to have sex with unless they were so aroused by any stimuli they didn't care. That their general powers of discernment and decision-making ie. we don't screw fat,ugly or old women, would go by the board because at that stage they'd screw anything. Also, that in such an aroused state, those clever MIT men, future leaders of technology and business, perhaps even footballers) those men might deliberately get a woman drunk and/or persist in pushy or downright aggressive sexual advances even after she had said 'no' and they wouldn't give a monkeys about using a condom either. (Part of me wonders how those men felt who had girlfriends who didn't look like supermodels). Personally I think he wrote up the experiment so as he could begin with describing the visual of a cling-film (saran wrap to Americans) wrapped computer (to protect it from splashes of semen) flashing porn and questions and a man 'furiously wanking with his left hand' while propped up on the bed. Ok, so I'm predictably irrational about books that slag off my half the human race. You know that I will pick up the misogyny and be compelled to write about it.

  2. 3 out of 5

    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 to me – and the only one I couldn’t finish was “My Cousin, My Gastroenterologist: A novel” by Mark Leyler – but he did recommend, “The Tetherballs of Bougainville” also by Leyler and that is still one of the most remarkable books I’ve ever read. I haven't written a review of that book, but where th 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 to me – and the only one I couldn’t finish was “My Cousin, My Gastroenterologist: A novel” by Mark Leyler – but he did recommend, “The Tetherballs of Bougainville” also by Leyler and that is still one of the most remarkable books I’ve ever read. I haven't written a review of that book, but where the hell would I start? When I’m reading books I often think – you know, I would like to re-write this. I would cut out a lot of the fluff and perhaps change the voice a bit, add some cellos, perhaps even a bassoon (there is nothing that can’t be improved with some cellos and a bassoon). But not this book. I really, really liked this book. This is a companion to Freakonomics – except I liked this one even more. Which reminds me that I must look how many stars I gave that one so that I can give this one more… If I am going to be irrational I might as well work at being consistently irrational. Which is the point of this book. Economic Rationalism – otherwise known as the nonsense that got us into this mess – holds that the world is full of rational economic units and you are just one of those units. We always know what is good for us, we are free to choose what we need and we invariably make the choices that reflect our best interests. The absurdity of this view is being played out as I type with the world financial markets in meltdown and with the new Prime Minister of Japan saying today – “Honestly, this for us is beyond our imagination. We have huge fears going ahead," Which I believe is Japanese for, “The fundamentals are all in place. We have nothing to worry about.” Like Freakonomics this presents a series of experiments to show how we behave under various circumstances in ways that are both less than rational and yet perfectly predictable. I’m going to have to spoil bits of this book, but just to show you how wonderful it is and why you need to run to your local purvayour of tantalising texts to obtain your copy of this fine book. I guess one could group a lot of the experiments in this book under the general title of Placebo Effect. This makes two books in a row in which the Placebo Effect has been given a starring role and I’m, quite frankly, in seventh heaven. One of the questions this book seeks to answer is whether social stereotypes have an impact on a person’s performance. THIS IS THE SPOILER – SO LOOK AWAY IF YOU MUST. What do we know? Well, we definitely know that all Asians are brilliant at mathematics. This is as true as the fact that anyone with an English accent is a mass murderer – or at least, that is definitely true in that strange world that is American movies and IRA propaganda. The other thing you know about mathematics is that all women are hopelessly, pathetically, mathematically inept. What is it about that Y chromosome? You might have noticed that the particular Venn Diagram I am describing here has a rather interesting intersection – that is, woman who have a preference for thinking of themselves as Asian. Let’s see if we can’t mess around with the minds of this particular sub-set of humanity. We are going to give them a bit of a maths test in a minute – but before we do, let’s ‘prime’ them. Let’s ask half of them some questions related to them being Asian (not too obvious, let’s just ask questions like how many languages do you speak, what is your migrant experience – you know, vague enough so we aren’t directly saying “THINK ASIAN, THINK ASIAN” at them, but actually, when you think about it a little bit, that is exactly what we are doing). The other half we will ask questions that make them think about themselves being female – when was the last time you bought Cosmo or ‘Are those really your nails?’ Anyway, then you give them the maths test. And guess what? The Asians who have been primed to think of themselves as women did worse on the test than the women who were primed to think of themselves as Asians. When I hear things like that a shiver runs down my spine. I know I have learnt something incredibly important and something I’m going to have to think about for days and days and weeks. And this book is over-flowing with exactly that kind of idea. The sort of thing that makes you go – shit, who’d have thought? I mean, which other book have you read lately that asks a MIT student if he would be willing to have sex with a sheep while he is masturbating to images of naked women displayed on a Mac laptop covered in Glad Wrap? Actually, don’t answer that. The stuff in this book about stealing and its relationship to money is so interesting I can only just stop myself not telling you about it. We used to have a President of the Liberal Party (don’t be confused by the name, the Liberals here are as far right as the Republicans in the US) called John Elliot who basically stole – never tested in court (but then, he was rich and politically well connected) $66 million and was released on a technicality. Yet another of our Corporate Magnates, Richard Pratt, recently was able to steal $300 million from the Australian people and only had to repay $36 million. This time his crime was tested in court, but he is still seen as some sort of corporate hero here, rather than the thief that he is. How is this possible? Well, this book will help you understand and perhaps even help you see what we can do about these abominations. I loved this book. It is a romp and the guy telling the stories is just the nicest person to be around while he chats away to you. Okay, sometimes I got a little annoyed with the “You’ll never guess what happened” – style – but this was such a minor criticism I feel petty bringing it up. A large part of what I do in life involves negotiating stuff – actually, that is also true of you too, it is just that the negotiations I’m involved in are more up front than the ones you probably do day by day. As much as I don’t like to admit this, this book taught me things about negotiating that I ought to have known before. Not since Getting to Yes have I read a book quite as worthwhile or one that made me re-think stuff I do in quite the same way. I hope to be able to say in six months time that I’m still considering the implications of some of the ideas in this book – if I’m not, then more is the pity for me. You’ve been told. What the hell are you waiting for? Oh, except you Tina – you are the only person in the world I wouldn’t recommend buy this book. When was your birthday again?

  3. 4 out of 5

    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 around us. While I am getting more and more inured to this way of analysis of behavioral economics and physchology, these kinds of books are still hard to resist - that is because they do, no matter if they have now become an industry doling out similiar books by the dozens, still stretch our perspecti 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 around us. While I am getting more and more inured to this way of analysis of behavioral economics and physchology, these kinds of books are still hard to resist - that is because they do, no matter if they have now become an industry doling out similiar books by the dozens, still stretch our perspectives about the things we normally take for granted or think unworthy of a second thought. In that sense then, this book was "unputdownable" and "highly instructive". One of my favorite passages from the book is as follows - "I suspect that one answer lies in the realm of social norms. As we learned in our experiments, cash will take you only so far—social norms are the forces that can make a difference in the long run. Instead of focusing the attention of the teachers, parents, and kids on test scores, salaries, and competitions, it might be better to instill in all of us a sense of purpose, mission, and pride in education. To do this we certainly can't take the path of market norms. The Beatles proclaimed some time ago that you "Can't Buy Me Love" and this also applies to the love of learning—you can't buy it; and if you try, you might chase it away. So how can we improve the educational system? We should probably first rethink school curricula, and link them in more obvious ways to social goals (elimination of poverty and crime, elevation of human rights, etc.), technological goals (boosting energy conservation, space exploration, nanotechnology, etc.), and medical goals (cures for cancer, diabetes, obesity, etc.) that we care about as a society. This way the students, teachers, and parents might see the larger point in education and become more enthusiastic and motivated about it. We should also work hard on making education a goal in itself, and stop confusing the number of hours students spend in school with the quality of the education they get. Kids can get excited about many things (baseball, for example), and it is our challenge as a society to make them want to know as much about Nobel laureates as they now know about baseball players. I am not suggesting that igniting a social passion for education is simple; but if we succeed in doing so, the value could be immense." This is in the same wavelength as some of my thoughts on education - The point is not to have a vocation oriented educational system, but rather to have a Goal-Oriented one... I think that the abstractness in what the students want to achieve is a problem arising directly from an abstract education. A system which promotes and encourages students to fix goals in life early and then helps them in moving towards it and rewards them for moving towards it is my vision of Utopia in Education :) - There will not be specific courses and subjects being taught in schools and universities but there will be Goal-oriented teams formed with advisors for them and they work together to learn, understand and develop themselves in any field or knowledge that is required to fulfill their stated goals... I am hoping to convert this idea on education into a short story or incorporate it into my ongoing novel. So the book helped me crystallize that thought. Sorry for the tangent. Getting back to the book, one more caveat - the author loses the plot a bit in the middle chapters. The beginning chapters about relativity and the power of zero were amusing and fun and the last two chapters on honesty is amazing, but the chapters in between was a bit of a drag. Despite my mocking tone and slightly negative review, I will hurry to say that it is a very good purchase for anyone who enjoyed Gladwell's books or others of that genre, and also for marketeers and businessmen and maybe even for policy makers. Despite sugar coating the book with the requirements of this genre/industry, Dan does raise some poignant questions about human nature and consumer behavior that is worth pondering over. In the final analysis then, I enjoyed the book and will read it again, and hence, four stars.

  4. 3 out of 5

    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 anecdotal. Here's an example on p. 215: "Iran is another example of a nation stricken by distrust. An Iranian student at MIT told me that business there lacks a platform of trust. Because of this, no one pays in advance, no one offers credit, and no one is willing to take risks. People must hire with 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 anecdotal. Here's an example on p. 215: "Iran is another example of a nation stricken by distrust. An Iranian student at MIT told me that business there lacks a platform of trust. Because of this, no one pays in advance, no one offers credit, and no one is willing to take risks. People must hire within their families, where some level of trust exists. Would you like to live in such a world?" Excuse me, but I prefer to base my world view on more than just the impressions of 1 college student, but this is an example of how he doesn't use logic to come to his conclusions. Here's another tidbit on p. 218 "...drug companies cheat by sending doctors and their wives off on posh vacations." Using Ariely's logic, this means that all doctors are male, or the women doctors are all lesbians with wives. His experiments on cheating have flaws. Since the "cheating" group scored more than the "non-cheating" group, the cheating group MUST have cheated; but they were allowed to destroy their answer sheets. There is no proof that this group cheated; they could have just come from a higher level class, or had more coffee. Did you notice how he leads you to the conclusions he wants you to reach? Would an objective researcher characterize one of his subjects as "a clever master's student with a charming Indian accent?" Wouldn't you be more likely to agree with the conclusion than if the participant was a "clever hunchback with an aversion to bathing?" He ascribes all kinds of emotions to his subjects throughout the book. It's not that it isn't worth a read - just realize he's working on your predictability to lead you to his conclusions.

  5. 4 out of 5

    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 books literally rehash it again and again so I probably wouldn't even get anything out of reading it now. That said this one's much better written than most of the other books I've read and so if you haven't read anything else about behavioral economics or that way we make decisions this is a good ch 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 books literally rehash it again and again so I probably wouldn't even get anything out of reading it now. That said this one's much better written than most of the other books I've read and so if you haven't read anything else about behavioral economics or that way we make decisions this is a good choice. If you have read other books on those things though I'd skip this one because it doesn't add anything new.

  6. 5 out of 5

    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 have begun to investigate the irrational side of consumer behavior. This field of investigation, which started with the pioneering work of Tversky and Kahneman, is usually referred to as behavioral economics. Dan Ariely's book, "Predictably Irrational", offers a clear and comprehensive overview of thi 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 have begun to investigate the irrational side of consumer behavior. This field of investigation, which started with the pioneering work of Tversky and Kahneman, is usually referred to as behavioral economics. Dan Ariely's book, "Predictably Irrational", offers a clear and comprehensive overview of this fascinating subject. If you are the kind of person (like me) who can't imagine using the words 'fascinating' and 'economics' in the same sentence, don't worry, the primary focus of the book is human behavior and its peculiarities, rather than economic theory. In particular, the author is concerned with elucidating how and why people continue to engage in behavior patterns that are detrimental in the long term. In thirteen well-written chapters, Ariely considers such topics as: • The effect of our need for a reference point before we can judge the value of something, and how clever marketers can exploit this • How we can become trapped by our own behavior - the importance of first decisions • How the prospect of getting something free can override reason and logic (is it really smart to wait for free-entrance night at the museum?) • The effect of social norms (why you are more likely to agree to help your local charity by working for nothing, than for a quarter of your normal professional rate) • The influence of arousal (we behave irrationally in the throes of passion - what you can do about it) • The problems of procrastination and self-control • Our tendency to place too much value on what we already own • The destructive consequences of people's tendency to want to keep as many options open for as long as possible • How our expectations of something can actually influence our ability to enjoy it • The power of price (response to a $2.50 placebo is better than that to a 10c placebo) • In what situations are people particularly likely to behave dishonestly? How can the triggers for dishonest behavior be disarmed? The book is based primarily on work that Ariely has done with colleagues at M.I.T. and elsewhere. Two features make the book exceptional, in my opinion: The ability of Ariely and colleagues to devise really neat experiments to test their hypotheses. All of the conclusions in the book are convincingly supported by often remarkably clever experiments. Ariely does an extraordinary job of making his material interesting and accessible to a general audience. The book was a joy to read. I highly recommend "Predictably Irrational".

  7. 3 out of 5

    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 simultaneous in the world of social norms and the world of market norms. Social norms are the exchanges and requests we make as part of personal connections. Market norms are the dollar-defined exchanges of dollars, wages, rents, prices. Here's where it gets interesting: "In the lasts few decades, compan 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 simultaneous in the world of social norms and the world of market norms. Social norms are the exchanges and requests we make as part of personal connections. Market norms are the dollar-defined exchanges of dollars, wages, rents, prices. Here's where it gets interesting: "In the lasts few decades, companies have tried to market themselves as social companions--that is, they'd like us to think that they and we are family, or at least are friends that live on the same cul-de-sac. "Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there" is one familiar slogan... Whoever started the movement to treat customers socially had a great idea. If customers and a company are family, then the company gets several benefits. Loyalty is paramount. Minor infractions--screwing up your bill and even imposing a modest hike in your insurance rates--are accommodated. Relationships of course have ups and downs, but overall they're a pretty good thing. But here's what I find strange: although companies have poured billions of dollars into marketing and advertising to create social relationships--or at least an impression of social relationships--they don't seem to understand the nature of the social relationship, and in particular, it's risks. For example, what happens when a customer's check bounces? If the relationship is based on market norms, the bank charges a fee and the customer shakes it off. Business is business... In a social relationship, however, a hefty late fee--rather than a friendly call from the manager or an automatic fee waver--is not only a relationship-killer; it's a stab in the back. Consumers will take personal offense. They'll leave the bank angry and spend hours complaining to their friends about this awful bank. After all, this was a relationship framed as a social exchange." No parallels to Goodreads here. Say you have a site that framed itself in social terms. Then when you start applying business decisions to the social sphere, you get surprised that those docile consumers who devoted hours and years to database building (for social rewards) get pissed off and leave to a new site. No parallels at all. Full review and analysis at: http://clsiewert.wordpress.com/2013/1...

  8. 4 out of 5

    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". Furthermore, they seem to brilliantly deduce that the only way to accurately predict how humans actually behave is to test behavior/decision making empirically. Of course, social psychologists have been doing this for over half a century without much public fanfare or guest spots on "MSNBC" or "CNN" every ti 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". Furthermore, they seem to brilliantly deduce that the only way to accurately predict how humans actually behave is to test behavior/decision making empirically. Of course, social psychologists have been doing this for over half a century without much public fanfare or guest spots on "MSNBC" or "CNN" every time people want to know how consumers make decisions. With this clear bias of mine in mind, this isn't a bad book. Ariely at least gives full credit to Tversky and Kahneman's influence on his work (both psychologists), and he describes his experiments in clear, easy-to-understand language for the non-scientist reader. The big "however" with this book is Ariely's tendency to extrapolate beyond the results of his studies with recommendations concerning public policy and personal solutions for individuals. Not that his advice is necessarily wrong, but it should always be made clear where the data stop and the personal advice begins. I would recommend this book to my non-social psychologist friends. My notes and quotes: Ariely is a behavioral economist from Israel. Much of his work is closely related to Tversky and Kanneman’s work, although he has taken it in many new directions, but it is usually related to consumer behavior in some way. *** He describes how money is often the most expensive way to motivate people. Instead, he suggests using social norms to do so. But he also warns the rules are different when you enter social norms into a relationship as opposed to market norms. The same rules that you use in relationships apply rather than the financial assessment of how much certain behaviors are worth. So if a business tries to develop social norms to increase productivity, they can’t all of a sudden introduce market norms without expecting a decrease in loyalty, etc. *** He spends some time talking about the influence of arousal on decision making, or specifically how we believe we will make a particular decision when in cold, rational states than we end up making when we are highly aroused. His specific studies have examined sexual decision making and how people are more than twice as likely to rate their likelihood of engaging in various sexual behaviors as high when they are aroused vs. when they are not. This is highly relevant to things like abstinence training programs and even safe sex programs. The best prevention is to prevent the high level of arousal or the opportunity in the first place, but if arousal does occur to make sure people are trained to have what they need available “just in case”. The same principles apply for the faulty predictions of how we would behave under any emotional or motivational state, such as hunger. Another example is pregnant women not wanting to use pain medication during birth. They make the decision beforehand, but often change their mind once the pain begins because they cannot predict how they will feel during that state. One technique he offers to test this is to have a woman hold her hand into a bucket of ice for two minutes while practicing her breathing. If she is able to handle it without trouble she might be able to handle childbirth more reasonably. *** His next section concerns procrastination and various methods of dealing with it. He divided his class into three sections, one where they got to pick their own deadlines, but once they were chosen they were firm; one where the deadlines were firmly established by the instructor; and one where there were no deadlines, they just had to submit their papers by the end of the quarter. The forced deadlines condition did best, the ones who chose their own deadlines did second, and the no deadlines condition performed the worst on the paper. He suggests the development of more external controls that we can select to prevent us from having to face temptation (to procrastinate, to spend, etc.) in the first place. By setting up our own deadlines/goals that are set in stone, we can head off our self regulation tendencies and just follow the designated structure. *** His next section relates to when and why people cheat. He found that for many tasks where people are unsupervised, they fail to cheat as much as they possibly can, even when no one will find out, but they almost always cheat a little. This is because in small circumstances like that people don’t really consider what they are doing as wrong. In other words, small infractions don’t typically bring to mind codes of conduct we have available for moral decisions. Instead they just sweep the transgression under the rug without thinking about it. But if people were reminded of a moral code (like the 10 commandments) they wouldn’t cheat at all. The key is to make morality accessible so that the decision will be framed in moral terms. He also suggests oaths and guilds might make ethics in business more likely because people would frame their decisions more on the code of conduct of their organization/profession instead of not really thinking about it. *** He continues on with his cheating work, but extends it to the difference between cash and non-cash currencies. When people are playing a game for cash they are much more likely to tell the truth about how much they earned (because the cash is a concrete reminder of how important the decision is) compared to when they play the game for tokens or credit of some kind. The problem is that people think there decisions are always made based on the same moral code regardless of the form of money they use. But in reality, the more concrete and meaningful a currency is, the more likely we are to frame our decisions in terms of market norms, and moral judgment. Some of the examples for non-monetary transactions are wardrobing or returning clothes after wearing them once; expense reports; taxes; insurance overestimations; or stealing anything that isn’t directly related to cash in general. *** He ends his book with a website for his book (www.predictablyirrational.com), and mentions that you can sign up for one of his studies from the site.

  9. 5 out of 5

    `Ashlula` Ayse

    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 us into thinking that we are making logical decision, that we are rational beings. In the meanwhile the other machinery that actually makes and executes the decision is pulling our strings. As stated in the book, we are a true Jeckll and Hyde dilemma. Very funny and the joke is on us. 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 us into thinking that we are making logical decision, that we are rational beings. In the meanwhile the other machinery that actually makes and executes the decision is pulling our strings. As stated in the book, we are a true Jeckll and Hyde dilemma. Very funny and the joke is on us.

  10. 3 out of 5

    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 new to me. The author is described as a behavioural economist.....and I think this book would interest anyone who is interested in psychology. This book is tops. There are enough reviews here singing its praises already. I shall simply end with some notes for my own record(view spoiler)[ Everything is r 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 new to me. The author is described as a behavioural economist.....and I think this book would interest anyone who is interested in psychology. This book is tops. There are enough reviews here singing its praises already. I shall simply end with some notes for my own record(view spoiler)[ Everything is relative: We don't know what we want, unless we see it in context. eg we don't know what sort of racing bike we want until we see a champion cyclist ratcheting gears on a particular model in the Tour de France. We don't even know what we want to do with our lives until we find a friend or relative who is doing what we think we should be doing. Thinking This is difficult, and often unpleasant. It is much easier just to follow our intuition (which can often be based on the silliest things.) The Middle Option (Everything is relative...) Given three options, we usually choose the middle one. eg if an electrical shop wants to sell a certain television set it will put it in the window with a more expensive and less expensive television set on either side. We will make comparisons....and go for the middle option. Envy and one-upmanship These are often big motivating forces in people's lives. Take the example of escalating salaries and perks given to senior executives in US companies. 1976: The average CEO was paid 36 times as much as the average worker 1993: The average CEO was paid 131 times as much as the average worker At this point the Federal securities regulators stepped in. In an effort to stop this ridiculous escalating of executives' salaries, they forced companies to reveal pay and perks given to their top executives. They thought this would deter the greed. Instead, after the legislation about transparency was put into effect, CEOs were paid 369 times as much as the average worker! When CEOs saw how much other CEOs were being paid, they felt envious, and demanded equity - and their salaries and perks crept up and up! How to combat the envy drive Make a conscious decision to try and lead a basic/simple life. The alternative is 'The more you have the more you want,' Don't be a greedy CEO. Be sane. Stay away from social circles where spending and one-upmanship are a part of how they do things. When buying a house, or other major investments - just don't look at products outside your budget. There is no merit in increasing the luxury in our lives. We just get used to more and more expensive things, and saving becomes more and more difficult. Realise that the price of many products is arbitrary Usually a product's price is affected by the initial price at which it was sold. This then become the accepted price for that product. (My example) If people go to an art gallery and pay £1.00 for a beautiful pebble they will think this is a fair price for future pebbles they buy. If people pay £10.00 for that first beautiful pebble - they will regard this as the norm. We reinforce our own behaviour If we like something once, we will do it again, and this builds up into a self-affirming belief of 'liking' something. Each time we do something we initially liked, we increase the degree we decide we like it. Sometimes we need to step back and see how much this is still true. *How did this habit begin? *How much pleasure will |I really be getting from it? *Would I be better off spending the time/money elsewhere. We get seduced by glamour and the appearance of sophistication This is why Starbucks succeeded over Dunkin'Donuts. We do what is expected of us The author read some poetry to his students. He then asked half if they would pay $2.00 to hear them again. They agreed. He asked the other half if they would listen to them again if he paid them $2.00. Again they agreed. The lure of the free offer The author argues that the attractiveness of two for the price of one (ie one free) is hugely more powerful than just offering a single product more cheaply. He cites other examples as well. We love things that are free, and are inevitably seduced by offers of things for free. This is why Coca Cola have a cola product called Zero. Zero calories. Zero = free. Free from calories! Free, free, free! Market exchanges versus social exchanges We live in two worlds, one governed by market exchanges, and the other governed by social exchanges. Market exchanges are business...sharp-edged, prices, rates, interest, cost and benefits. Social exchanges are friendly...warm and fuzzy. People are happy to do things for free, eg give their time to charities, but you can't taint this by mixing in market exchanges with what is basically a social exchange. eg lawyers were asked if they would help poor elderly clients for £30.00 an hour. They refused. Then another group were asked to do the same thing again for free, and they all accepted. eg A yoga master taught his students for free in his home town. One day they said they loved his classes and would be happy to make a financial contribution towards the class. He replied "If I charged you for this class you could not afford me." Again - they were transgressing the market exchange/social exchange divide. A lot of businesses nowadays try and introduce the warmth of social exchanges into their work practices. They want the work environment to be more friendly and cosy. But when you have practices like zero hour contracts, or sending employees work-related emails outside working hours, a cloak of chummy friendliness wears a bit thin. It's the same with relations between businesses. Friendliness is good for business. But then one business pays its bill late and gets charged an extra fee for delayed payment. This again puts a strain on the chumminess. Today many companies try and market themselves as social companions, but this makes it hard for them when they have to contravene social norms and become businesslike. Don't make decisions when you are emotionally aroused The author and his colleagues did computer experiments with students who were sexually aroused, and their decision-making abilities went haywire. The author feels that this is the same for other emotional states. eg It is not good to make decisions when you are angry, hungry, fearful or in pain. It is far better to walk away and calm down, and yes, don't send that email.... It is better to avoid provocative situations than to try and walk away from them Rates of saving in different countries America - people spend more than they earn Europe - 20% Japan - 25% China 50% Reasons for American rates of spending. * Consumerism * An explosion in consumer credit. The average American family has six credit cards. Why have we got such little self control Immediate gratification versus long term goals. The best way to curtail our urge for immediate gratification.... *Set ourselves deadlines *Start a blog discussing our efforts to keep to our goals. We value what we own hugely more than other people value it The author did an amazing test re basketball game tickets at Duke University, which has a small stadium. Students had camped in a line to buy tickets for several days, for a special game. Not only did they camp, but they had to report regularly to the ticket office, or they were sent to the back of the queue. Afterwards the author did a test... The average price people who managed to get the tickets were prepared to sell them for...$2,400. The average price those who didn't get tickets were prepared to buy them for $170. (And no, that is not a typo) Because we love what we possess, we over-value it. We also exaggerate to ourselves the sense of loss we would have if we lost one of our possessions. We expect other people to value our possessions as much as we do - but they don't. This is why 'trial' promotions are so successful. After people have something on trial for a couple of weeks they want to keep it. Emotionally it has become one of their possessions. Ownership doesn't only apply to material things, it also applies to points of view Once we take ownership of an idea we value it more than we should. Frequently we can't let go of it because we can't bear the thought of its loss. What are we left with? An ideology that is rigid and unyielding. (Me - Re the above....I couldn't relate to this concept at all!) Downgrading anything is experienced as a loss eg moving to a smaller house. The challenge of making choices In today's world we have far too many options. It is important to try and prioritize - if necessary just choose any particular options, rather than having too much on our plate and finding life stressful as a result. We have to commit ourselves to just a few paths, interests, courses in our lives. Human nature wants to keep all options open (the author has done copious experiments to prove this), but this is bad. We must simplify. Another downside of following too many things in your life, is that the important things get overlooked, or don't get enough attention. Placebos in medicine Expensive aspirin and paracetamol is more effective than cheap aspirin and paracetamol. Several operations have been proved to be pure placebos. Patients given fake operations have recovered just as well as those given genuine operations (needless to say this only applies to certain operations!) The author conducted various experiments - eg giving gym goers a stimulant tonic which said it would "improve performance". When told it was more expensive, the gym goers performed better and said it was more effective. When told it was cheaper - the gym goers found it less effective. The good news about our weakness for 'expensive' pills and tonics.... Once we are told that the cheaper options is exactly the same as the more expensive one - we get equal help from both products. Dishonesty Most of us are prone to being a little bit dishonest. The author cites several experiments to show this. But most of us have a cut off point re dishonesty. We might nick a pencil from work, or cheat a bit on expenses, but we wouldn't take money from a colleague's purse. The author argues at some length in the book for the importance of honesty in creating a safe and trustworthy society. He talks about the dishonesty of major institutions, as well as individual dishonesty. He talks about the fact that a lot of lawyers now complain that their profession has become unethical, and he feels that doctors, bankers and other professional are equally affected. He feels this can be blamed on a movement in the 1960s to deregulate the professions. The author feel passionately that good ethics and honesty are an important and valuable asset to society, and they need to be encouraged and protected as much as possible. (hide spoiler)] , and links to some more of Ariely's work (the TED talks are fantastic!) ----------------------------- Dan Ariely's website. (Letters to him from the public and his responses.... He seems to be a sort of agony aunt for The Wall Street Journal.) http://danariely.com/ Dan Ariely's TED talks... Are we in control of our decisions? https://www.ted.com/talks/dan_ariely_... What makes us feel good about our work? https://www.ted.com/talks/dan_ariely_... Our buggy moral code https://www.ted.com/talks/dan_ariely_... Beware Conflicts of interest https://www.ted.com/talks/dan_ariely_... How equal do we want the world to be? You'd be surprised... https://www.ted.com/talks/dan_ariely_... Predictably Irrational: Basic human motivations https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfcro... A great interview with Dan for Valentine's Day 2015, about dating & relationships. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RS8R2... A series of interviews/podcasts done by Dan Ariely for Duke University, under the umbrella title "Arming the Donkeys" http://danariely.com/tag/arming-the-d...

  11. 4 out of 5

    Verycleanteeth

    Ch1: Explores the ability of a decoy option to determine outcomes. (The economist subscription, travel to rome or france w/free breakfast) Ch2: Our first experience becomes our anchor point that future instances are pegged to and rebound towards like a rubber band. Anchor points are hard to change, but new anchor points can be created wholecloth by giving people a new experience (starbucks vs. dunkin donuts) Ch3: The power of FREE! to disguise the actual cost we pay. The difference between 0 and 1 is Ch1: Explores the ability of a decoy option to determine outcomes. (The economist subscription, travel to rome or france w/free breakfast) Ch2: Our first experience becomes our anchor point that future instances are pegged to and rebound towards like a rubber band. Anchor points are hard to change, but new anchor points can be created wholecloth by giving people a new experience (starbucks vs. dunkin donuts) Ch3: The power of FREE! to disguise the actual cost we pay. The difference between 0 and 1 is just as large as the gap between 9 and 10, but it feels much more significant. We might drive out of our way to get a $15 meal for free, but we won't make that same drive to save $15 on a $500 coat. Ch4: Social norms vs. Market norms. People will do a good job for free, or for a good salary, but not for a lousy salary. Living a life based on social norms can be more fulfilling. Ch5: The influence of arousal. When we are calm and rational we fail to be capable of predicting how we will act when we are instead hot and emotional. Dr. Jekyll may imagine when the time comes he will be able to control his Mr. Hyde, but perhaps it would be better to plan ahead for the irrational emotional state (having a condom on hand for instance). Ch6: Procrastination & Self Control. Use the power of precommitment to reign in your future self. In a classroom setting students do better when given explicit due dates for their assignments (or even when they choose them themselves) than if they can put it all off to the end of the semester. Ch7: The high price of ownership. We value things more once we own them than before. This is related to our intrinsic loss aversion. ex: Final Four ticket holders valued their tickets in the thousands, while potential buyers only considered paying $100-$200, even though they were pulled fromt the same original pull. This idea of ownership and loss aversion also applies to ideas. Once we learn a particular "fact" about economics, for example, we are not prone to let go of it even if it is shown to be wrong. Ch8: Keeping Doors Open If we have too many options available, we may delay or be inactive which can lead to greater losses than if we had just chosen the "weaker" of our options. The differences between our choices are often negligible and we don't take into account the cost of not deciding. It is vital to begin shutting doors when we are overwhelmed with choice. Ch9: The effect of expectations So much of what we like or dislike is based on preconceived notions. If we want something mundane to taste exciting, throw an "exotic" ingredient into the description. Our expectations based on previous life experience color pretty much everything we come into contact with. (Beer with vinegar in it: If you're told ahead of time, it was not liked at all. If told after, it was enjoyed much more. Asian women do better on math tests if they are primed with questions about their race than if primed with questions about their gender ) Ch10: The Power of Price Higher priced pain medication works better than cheap pain medication. The effect goes beyond pain medication as well. Also, more things should be placebo tested. CH11: The Context of our Character pt1 People will cheat a little when given the chance. The amount they cheat will not necessarily increase as the chance of getting caught decreases. If people are reminded of the idea of honesty through and ethics code or something before a test they do not cheat. CH12: The Context of our Character pt2 We adhere to a certain level of honesty when it comes to cash. But nonmonetary abstractions can make us dishonest cheats. We may not take $1 sitting on top of someone's desk, but many will take one of their cokes from the breakroom fridge with few qualms. We just view money differently. This has huge implications when you think of how business' use nonmonetary abstractions (think frequent flyer miles and the crazy fiscal abstractions on wall street) CH13: Beer and Free lunches behavioral economics takes into account human irrationality while standard economics assumes humans maximize assumes people are rational actors maximizing their happiness and costs in accordance with their preferences. The irrationalities illustrated in this book don't mean we are stupid or weak minded. It's like a visual puzzle. You may KNOW that image A is the same size as image B, but you can't deny image B LOOKS bigger. We should take irrationalities into account and PLAN for them.

  12. 3 out of 5

    Amir Tesla

    توي يه مبحث از يه جايي به بعد محتواي كتابا تقريبا تكراري مي شن. با اين حال خوش مزه بود. ريويو هم اگه زمان اجازه بده به زودي.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Darin

    Ariely is a good writer whose book catches onto the _Freakonomics_ craze by taking a look at times when people make different decisions that typical "laissez faire" economic theories would expect. His book is a fairly easy read and does include some surprising results through social-science experimentation. However, the text is not without its flaws. For instance, some of the breathlessly-reported "surprising" results aren't all that surprising or even controversial. For instance, the effect of Ariely is a good writer whose book catches onto the _Freakonomics_ craze by taking a look at times when people make different decisions that typical "laissez faire" economic theories would expect. His book is a fairly easy read and does include some surprising results through social-science experimentation. However, the text is not without its flaws. For instance, some of the breathlessly-reported "surprising" results aren't all that surprising or even controversial. For instance, the effect of a "free" item on consumer decision-making is vastly overstated as irrational. This idea is old-hat to most and doesn't make much of a point. More troubling, however, is the unstated difference between this brand of social science and pure economics, and the author states such at the end of the text: the ultimate goal of such discovery is to alter and market certain things that are "beneficial" to most people into "free lunches" which are irresistable to the average Joe. Here is where pure economics gets it right: there is no such thing as a "free lunch", no matter what social economics claims. The buck always stops somewhere. If people are going to make "better" decisions about things, someone somewhere is going to decide what "better" is. And if someone else is deciding the terms of this "better", it no longer falls on the individual to do so. It is true that human beings cannot always be protected from themselves. If this is true, then this is tenfold true for random human beings (usually via government nannyism) who force "better" upon all people, rational or otherwise. Ariely never tries to face this dilemna, and it weakens the conclusion of the book considerably. This is an entertaining read, and worth your time as a second or third go at _Freakonomics_-like thought, but it doesn't hold a candle to the original.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Davari

    همه ی ما به طرز پیش بینی پذیری نابخردانه عمل می کنیم. این کتاب به موضوعات جالبی پرداخته است. موضوعات روزمره و دم دستی که عموم ما آدم ها در آن دچار اشتباه می شویم. خواندنش را به شدت توصیه می کنم.

  15. 3 out of 5

    Kathrynn

    If I had to describe Predictably Irrational using two words they would be "thought provoking." The author is a professor who was injured in an explosion in Israel. He suffered severe burns and 5 years of therapy. He used this "down time" to ponder the why's and how come's of life. Using many experiments he (and others) tested the moral aptitude and other aspects of human behavior. Each chapter has several experiments that pertain to a topic. Chapter 1: The Truth about Relativity: Why Everything If I had to describe Predictably Irrational using two words they would be "thought provoking." The author is a professor who was injured in an explosion in Israel. He suffered severe burns and 5 years of therapy. He used this "down time" to ponder the why's and how come's of life. Using many experiments he (and others) tested the moral aptitude and other aspects of human behavior. Each chapter has several experiments that pertain to a topic. Chapter 1: The Truth about Relativity: Why Everything is Relative--Even When It Shouldn't Be The author uses an example of shopping for a house in another part of the United States. He says, people accustomed to their own housing market set a mental "anchor" and expect to pay a similar price for a home elsewhere. Relativity. However, if a person were to rent a home in their new location, they--eventually--adapt to the higher prices and will not be so sticker shocked. Chapter 2: The Fallacy of Supply and Demand: Why the Price of Pearls--and Everything Else--Is Up in the Air Interesting, but true. The author uses black pearls as an example. When black pearls first came out businesses couldn't sell them. Had to market them by placing them in fine jewelry stores surrounded by diamonds and emeralds, place a high price on them, then people wanted them. He calls this "arbitrary coherence." Talked about how initial prices are arbitrary and can be influenced. So true! I thought it was interesting the way the author talked about stores who want to sell a certain, say t.v. It may not be the best that they have, but that is their target sell. They use three t.v.s, one very expensive, one middle of the road and one fairly inexpensive to test our mettle. Most will choose the middle of the road and that was the overall goal of the store. Chapter 3: The Cost of Zero Cost: Why We Often Pay Too Much When We Pay Nothing Interesting. We all tend to have an idea of how much we should earn or how much a particular service should cost. The author calls this an "anchor." There was a master martial art instructor that gave free lessons. When the students asked to pay him, he told them he did it for free because they could not afford him if he charged. Another example was AARP asked a group of lawyers if they would be willing to provide legal services to some of their elderly members for $30 p/hour in lieu of their usual rate of $200 p/hour. The lawyers said, no. But when they were asked if they would do this service for free, they said yes. Why? Because they had it set in their minds what they were worth. Anchor. Chapter 4: The Cost of Social Norms: Why We Are Happy to Do Things, but Not When We are Paid to Do Them This chapter dealt with social norms and market norms and what happens when they collide. An example was a large family Thanksgiving dinner and a guest decided to pay the hostess $300 for the meal, she was offended. Why? Because he used a market norm ($) to pay for a social norm. When a bottle of wine would have been considered very gracious. Another example was if you ask a friend to help you move. They do it for free. But if you have the friend help you alongside a moving company that you are paying. That's a no-no. Chapter 5: The Influence of Arousal: Why Hot Is Much Hotter Than We Realize Well, I'm going to sum this up by saying that men (they didn't use women because men could become aroused faster) that were masturbating were more likely to accept or do things (sexually) that they wouldn't consider in a calm(er) state of mind. Examples were: wearing condom, three somes, rape, etc. Little note that the author made a good point about the abstinence vs protection debate. Teens and people WILL not think clearly in a heightened state and thus do things they would not have done otherwise. Chapter 6: The Problem of Procrastination and Self-Control He taught classes and each class he told the students they had to submit 4 papers. One class got to decided their own due dates. They could select the last day of class, because that's when he would start grading them. They selected incremental dates. Another class he told to turn in 4 papers by the last day of class. They did the worst. Obvious they waited until the end to pull off those papers. Showed that we need to set limits to achieve goals. Whether dieting, saving, etc. Chapter 7: The High Price of Ownership: Why We Overvalue What We Have Self-Explanatory Chapter 8: Keeping Doors Open: Why Options Distract Us from Our Main Objective Yikes! People hanging on to old loves, just in case, but dating new people. Several experiments that showed how we like to keep our options open in all aspects of our lives. Chapter 9: The Effect of Expectations: Why the Mind Gets What It Expects Talks about how previously held impressions can cloud our point of view. Did not care for the football analogy! We will pay more for the same coffee if served in a nice atmosphere. Interesting that he mentions how advertising a product can build a reputation for the product; thus, we are expected to like it better. I disagree. Books come to mind first. Movies second. Many times, movies the critics ripped apart, I enjoyed. Chapter 10: The Power of Price: Why a 50-Cent Aspirin Can Do What a Penny Aspirin Can't We expect the name brand product to work better than generic or store brand. Chapter 11: The Context of Our Character: Why We Are Dishonest, and What We Can Do About It Oaths of office from white collar professions and how they have degraded and why. Congress, lobbying, doctors accepting "incentives" to prescribe drugs. Interesting. Chapter 12: The Context of Our Character (part 2): Why Dealing with Cash Makes Us More Honest We tend to be willing to steal a pen from our place of employment, but not money from the petty cash to go buy a pen. Talked about the recent "police blotter" newspapers with business scandals. Chapter 13: Beer and Free Lunches: What Is Behavioral Economics, and Where Are the Free Lunches? Overall, I enjoyed this book. Felt the author spent too much time explaining in too much detail his experiments, though. Could have been summed up faster. He tended the ramble. Sorry. However, the ideas presented were interesting. Did not agree with the author's idea to help us curb our spending habits, though. He suggests we agree to spend x amount on certain things p/month and when the debit/credit card shows that x amount is exceeded there would be consequences. No wonder the bank never called him back. Liked his idea to help with our health care. He felt doctors should provide incentives to health prevention. For instance, have a patient submit a $100 or $200 deposit for a cholesterol screening that they get back when they make the appointment. Interesting because prevention can be a major key in cutting health costs.

  16. 3 out of 5

    Nika

    Не дуже багато нового, але цікаво і дещо наочніше, ніж я це знала. В цілому підсумок наступний - ми ірраціональні, системно і передбачувано. З цим потрібно змиритися, але варто спробувати це налагодити, постійно рефлексуючи та відслідковуючи свої рішення. Тобто - постійна пильність, як казав А. Муді🤭

  17. 5 out of 5

    Greg

    Here are just a few tidbit's I've learned: -If you're ever going to a bar, trying to score a little bit of lovin', bring a friend who looks very similar to you - only a little uglier. That way you'll look like the ideal candidate, not just compared to your friend but to everyone else there. -People are more likely to steal things once removed from cash than cash - ie. the Enron crew who stole millions of dollars from the retirement pensions of little old ladies, but would they ever have snatched 1 Here are just a few tidbit's I've learned: -If you're ever going to a bar, trying to score a little bit of lovin', bring a friend who looks very similar to you - only a little uglier. That way you'll look like the ideal candidate, not just compared to your friend but to everyone else there. -People are more likely to steal things once removed from cash than cash - ie. the Enron crew who stole millions of dollars from the retirement pensions of little old ladies, but would they ever have snatched 10 bucks from the purses of little old ladies? -The 800 dollar bottle of wine is on the menu not because the restaurant ever expects to sell it, but because now you're going to buy the 799 dollar bottle of wine. -Out of the goodness of my heart I will help you move into your new aptm for free. Tell me you're going to pay me to do the same thing, say 5 bucks, and I'm suddenly going to be busy that day. -When given the slightest opportunity we will all cheat! On test I mean, not necessarily on people. -A Tylenol pill that costs a penny is not as effective as a Tylenol pill that costs 50 cents, ceteris paribus. -All rules, bets, and lessons learned are off when I have a hard on. Also animals and rape may look attractive to me. BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE! Only you'll have to go to your local library to pick it up.

  18. 5 out of 5

    LATOYA JOVENA

    Predictably Irrational is an entertaining and enlightening read. The most important lesson I learned from Ariely is the high cost of free. The biggest example is "free shipping." Companies only offer you free shipping to convince you to spend at least the minimum amount to get it. Something to think about the next time I shop online. Many of Ariely's lessons on psychology were already explained to me in previous books, but that isn't a strike against him. It just shows that maybe humans aren't as Predictably Irrational is an entertaining and enlightening read. The most important lesson I learned from Ariely is the high cost of free. The biggest example is "free shipping." Companies only offer you free shipping to convince you to spend at least the minimum amount to get it. Something to think about the next time I shop online. Many of Ariely's lessons on psychology were already explained to me in previous books, but that isn't a strike against him. It just shows that maybe humans aren't as difficult to figure out as we would like to think.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

    It's only about the middle of the year, but I think Dan Ariely's Predictably Irrational is a shoe-in for my favorite non-fiction book of 2008. When I was studying psychology one of my favorite topics was judgment and decision-making, which dealt in large part with the kinks in the human mind that could lead us to irrational behavior and decisions. Why are you likely to pay more for something if you are shown a large number completely unrelated to the price? Why do people who read words like "eld It's only about the middle of the year, but I think Dan Ariely's Predictably Irrational is a shoe-in for my favorite non-fiction book of 2008. When I was studying psychology one of my favorite topics was judgment and decision-making, which dealt in large part with the kinks in the human mind that could lead us to irrational behavior and decisions. Why are you likely to pay more for something if you are shown a large number completely unrelated to the price? Why do people who read words like "elderly," "decrepit," or "senior" tend to walk more slowly when they get up and leave the room? Why does losing a dollar cause us more pain than gaining a dollar gives us pleasure? Why are we more likely to buy a product we're not even shopping for or don't even need if we're given a free sample? And, perhaps most importantly, how do people in the know --people like advertisers, politicians, and psychology graduate students-- use these ideosycracities to subtly manipulate us? These are the kinds of questions that Ariely, a professor at MIT, discusses under the rubric of "behavioral economics." Each chapter is dedicated to a particular concept, like the anchoring effect, priming, social norms, supply and demand, procrastination, loss avoidance, the effects of price on perception, and the like. Ariely usually chats you up a bit about the concept, then walks you through a scenario or hypothetical situation that invites you to make predictions about human behavior, then comes at you with some findings from scientific research (often experiments that he's done himself) that turns your assumptions on their little figurative ears. Ariely's style is great --conversational, to the point, made relevant to some part of your life, and easy to follow despite navigating some tricky twists of the human psyche. And it's not just dry recitations of clinical psychology experiments --everything talked about here is ensconced in everyday life. For example, this book should win some award for describing some fascinating research on the effects of sexual arousal on decision making. Let's just say that it involved naughty pictures, experimenter issued laptops covered in protective Seran Wrap, and answering some very odd questions while in the throes of ...well, you know. I'm now more disappointed than ever that all of my extra credit in college psychology classes was never earned from anything so interesting. I just had to look at ink blots and fill out the MMPI over and over again. Really, anyone with even an ounce of curiosity about how the human mind works --or fails to work-- within the context of every day life should find a lot of fascinating material in this book. You should definitely pick it up. And then, preferably, read it.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sadra Aliabadi

    یه ریویو نسبتا طولانی : چرا ما از آنچه که به نظر میرسد احمق تریم؟ https://sadraa.me/%d9%86%d8%a7%d8%a8%...

  21. 3 out of 5

    Ksenya

    Захоплива мандрівка у світ поведінкової економіки. Маю підозру, що ті, хто "в темі", аж так багато нового з книжки не дізнаються. Проте, як для мене, людини далекої від економіки, дуже було цікаво. Ця книжка починається із особистої історії автора, яка й надихнула його провести десятки (чи сотні?) експериментів. Ден Аріелі займається тим, що досліджує ірраціональні дії людей. Його головна думка - навіть ірраціональне можна вивчити і зробити його передбачуваним. А тим самим - уникнути багатьох ір Захоплива мандрівка у світ поведінкової економіки. Маю підозру, що ті, хто "в темі", аж так багато нового з книжки не дізнаються. Проте, як для мене, людини далекої від економіки, дуже було цікаво. Ця книжка починається із особистої історії автора, яка й надихнула його провести десятки (чи сотні?) експериментів. Ден Аріелі займається тим, що досліджує ірраціональні дії людей. Його головна думка - навіть ірраціональне можна вивчити і зробити його передбачуваним. А тим самим - уникнути багатьох ірраціональних і шкідливих для нас самих рішень. Це книжка про те, як ми обираємо - товари в магазині та пиво у барі, чи впливає на нас вибір друзів, шалені знижки та акційні пропозиції, збудження, наша тотальна прокрастинація і тд. У тому числі - чи потрібен нам тотальний контроль для дедлайнів, чи ми здатні самі себе контолювати. Книжку весело і легко читати завдяки гумору Аріелі. Пригодиться, як на мене, усім, хто працює у сфері маркетингу, та прагне жити раціонально, попри те, що більшість наших виборів потрапляють у потік ірраціональності.

  22. 3 out of 5

    Alison

    reads like an extended, slightly dumbed down USA today article.

  23. 3 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    Predictably irrational : the hidden forces that shape our decisions, 2009, Dan Ariely عنوان: نابخردیهای پیشبینیپذیر: نیروهای پنهانی که به تصمیمات ما شکل میدهند؛ نویسنده: دن آرییلی؛ مترجم: رامین رامبد؛ تهران، مازیار، 1393؛ در 343 ص؛ شابک: 9786006043111؛ موضوع: جنبه های روانشناسی اقتصاد - اندیشه - رفتار مصرف کننده - قرن 20 م Predictably irrational : the hidden forces that shape our decisions, 2009, Dan Ariely عنوان: نابخردی‌های پیش‌بینی‌پذیر: نیروهای پنهانی که به تصمیمات ما شکل می‌دهند؛ نویسنده: دن آرییلی؛ مترجم: رامین رامبد؛ تهران، مازیار، 1393؛ در 343 ص؛ شابک: 9786006043111؛ موضوع: جنبه های روانشناسی اقتصاد - اندیشه - رفتار مصرف کننده - قرن 20 م

  24. 4 out of 5

    María Paz Greene F

    Un libro de sicología/sociología que destaca sobre la gran mayoría, porque el autor HACE EXPERIMENTOS para comprobar sus teorías. Son experimentos fáciles, cotidianos y bastante divertidos, sobre todo cuando uno ve lo irracional que podemos ser las personas y cómo nos da por pisar el palito, jajaja. No leía este tipo de estudios desde la universidad. Me trajo buenos recuerdos. Una cita divertida: " Suponga que está usted en un bar, disfrutando de la conversación con unos amigos. Si pide una marca de Un libro de sicología/sociología que destaca sobre la gran mayoría, porque el autor HACE EXPERIMENTOS para comprobar sus teorías. Son experimentos fáciles, cotidianos y bastante divertidos, sobre todo cuando uno ve lo irracional que podemos ser las personas y cómo nos da por pisar el palito, jajaja. No leía este tipo de estudios desde la universidad. Me trajo buenos recuerdos. Una cita divertida: " Suponga que está usted en un bar, disfrutando de la conversación con unos amigos. Si pide una marca de cerveza, le darán cerveza sin calorías, mientras que si pide otra se la darán de tres calorías. ¿Qué marca le hará sentir que está bebiendo una cerveza auténticamente light? Aunque la diferencia entre ambas resulta despreciable, seguramente será la de cero calorías la que le hará sentir del modo más saludable. Incluso podría sentirse tan bien que decidiera lanzarse y pedir unas papas fritas. "

  25. 4 out of 5

    Mohammad

    علم اقتصاد انسان رو موجودی آگاه می دونه که عقلانی رفتار می کنه و به دنبال حداکثر بهره در موقعیت های مختلف می گرده. اما این کتاب نشون می ده که آدمیزاد در خیلی از موارد بی منطق رفتار می کنه. اما این بی منطق بودن تا حد زیادی قابل پیش بینیه و می شه برای جلوگیری از وقوع و یا کم کردن تاثیر این غیرعقلانی رفتار کردن تدابیری در نظر گرفت. همچینین می شه ازش برای کسب سود بیشتر در کسب و کار بهره برد. مثلا: ما برای ارزیابی ارزش گزینه های مختلف نمی تونیم به صورت مطلق نظر بدیم. اینجاست که برای این کار ارزش هر گزی علم اقتصاد انسان رو موجودی آگاه می دونه که عقلانی رفتار می کنه و به دنبال حداکثر بهره در موقعیت های مختلف می گرده. اما این کتاب نشون می ده که آدمیزاد در خیلی از موارد بی منطق رفتار می کنه. اما این بی منطق بودن تا حد زیادی قابل پیش بینیه و می شه برای جلوگیری از وقوع و یا کم کردن تاثیر این غیرعقلانی رفتار کردن تدابیری در نظر گرفت. همچینین می شه ازش برای کسب سود بیشتر در کسب و کار بهره برد. مثلا: ما برای ارزیابی ارزش گزینه های مختلف نمی تونیم به صورت مطلق نظر بدیم. اینجاست که برای این کار ارزش هر گزینه رو به نسبت گزینه های دیگه محاسبه می کنیم. در نتیجه اگه ارزش گزینه استاندارد یا اولیه، دلبخواه و بدون معیار خاصی تعیین شده باشه، اهمیتی نداره و برای ما مبنا قرار می گیره. و گزینه های دیگه رو بر اساس همین معیار ارزیابی می کنیم. قیمت اشتراک آنلاین یک مجله رو 59 دلار در نظر گرفتن و قیمت اشتراک فیزیکی مجله رو 125 دلار. بین این دو گزینه فرد بر مبنای کاربری و راحتی و قیمت گزینه مورد نظرش رو انتخاب می کنه. اما دپارتمان بازاریابی یک گزینه دیگه اضافه کرده که اشتراک فیزیکی و آنلاین رو با هم به قیمت 125 دلار در کنار اینها قرار داده. الان قضیه فرق می کنه و گزینه اشتراک فیزیکی تنها جذابیت خودش رو از دست می ده و بی فایده به نظر می رسه. اگه قرار باشه 125 دلار بدیم، چرا فقط گزینه فیزیکی رو انتخاب کنیم در حالی که می تونیم هر دو نوع اشتراک رو به دست بیاریم؟ اما آیا حذف کردن این گزینه بیخود مفیده؟ این موضوع ظاهرا نباید توی درصد افرادی که تنها گزینه اینترنتی رو انتخاب کردن تاثیری داشته باشه. درسته؟ طبق آزمایش انجام شده خیر. با اضافه کردن گزینه جدید، تعداد افرادی که گزینه هر دو نوع اشتراک رو انتخاب کردن تا حد زیادی افزایش پیدا کرده. ما اینجا به نوع کاربری خودمون نگاه نمی کنیم، بلکه به مقایسه بین گزینه ها توجه می کنیم. و یا مثلا: اگه قیمت یک جنس صفر تومن باشه(رایگان)، خیلی از محاسبات منطقی ما به هم می ریزه. اگه به افراد پیشنهاد کنین که بین یک کارت تخفیف ده دلاری رایگان و یا یک کارت تخفیف 20 دلاری به قیمت هفت دلار انتخاب کنن، خیلی ها گزینه اول رو انتخاب می کنن. با اینکه گزینه اول تنها ده دلار برای فرد سود داره اما گزینه دوم سیزده دلار. افراد به دلیل رایگان بودن گزینه اول و پولی بودن گزینه دوم، محاسبه رو نادیده می گیرن. و یک مورد دیگه اینکه: اگه شرایطی فراهم باشه که امکان لو رفتن فرد پایین باشه، احتمال اینکه دزدی کنه تا حد خیلی زیادی افزایش پیدا می کنه. اگه موضوع دزدی پول نباشه، این احتمال خیلی بیشتر و حجم دزدی هم خیلی بالاتر می ره. مثلا حجم دزدی های یقه سفید(اختلاس) خیلی بیشتر از حجم دزدی های معمولیه. و موارد دیگه جالب دیگه ای در مورد انتظارات ما، هیجانات، عرضه و تقاضا، نگه داشتن همه گزینه روی میز! و ... که پیشنهاد می کنم کتاب رو بخونین.

  26. 3 out of 5

    Salil Kanitkar

    Whether you are into behavioral economics or not, whether there are better books than "Predictably Irrational" out there or not, it is still a must read I feel. For one, it is less economics and more behavioral psychology (this would be considered good or bad depending on your expectations though). Two, about 50% of the experiments that the Author carries out and talks about at length in the book are fascinating and eye-opening. The rest of them, not so much. Three, the book makes you realize ho Whether you are into behavioral economics or not, whether there are better books than "Predictably Irrational" out there or not, it is still a must read I feel. For one, it is less economics and more behavioral psychology (this would be considered good or bad depending on your expectations though). Two, about 50% of the experiments that the Author carries out and talks about at length in the book are fascinating and eye-opening. The rest of them, not so much. Three, the book makes you realize how complex human beings are, how the behavioral and emotional complexity makes us both more and less reasonable, both more and less predictable and hence effectively vulnerable as compared to the 'rational thinking human being' that was envisioned in classical economics. The good : - Chapter about why and how we repeatedly choose middle path given several options. - Clever decoys in marketing pertaining to "free stuff" - Social norms vs market norms and how deceptively it affects us all ! The bad: - Over-generalized, far-reaching conclusions based on small sample sizes. This was actually my pet-peeve with Freakonomics as well. I understand that it is very difficult for Behavioral Economists to run experiments on people from different cultures, different ethnicities and different countries. But "behavior" I believe, is tied somewhat closely to one's culture, upbringing, where they currently reside & work etc. What is "normal/rational" for an American consumer might be very different than what is normal for an Indian consumer - even though both have equal buying power. Overall, I would say Predictably Irrational is an insightful read. Not quite great, but good nonetheless. 4/5 from me.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Nikki

    If the brain is predictably irrational, then the books which warn us we aren’t the rational creatures we hope are also predictable. I don’t think there was a single circumstance in Ariely’s book I wasn’t already aware of from one experiment or another, one summary or another. That said, Predictably Irrational is well written and easy to digest; there’s no technobabble, and everything is presented in a very readable and readily understandable format. It’s not Dan Ariely’s fault that I’ve read all If the brain is predictably irrational, then the books which warn us we aren’t the rational creatures we hope are also predictable. I don’t think there was a single circumstance in Ariely’s book I wasn’t already aware of from one experiment or another, one summary or another. That said, Predictably Irrational is well written and easy to digest; there’s no technobabble, and everything is presented in a very readable and readily understandable format. It’s not Dan Ariely’s fault that I’ve read all this stuff before. If you don’t know much about the topic of the way our brains work, and how counter-intuitive it sometimes is, then this is a good place to start. Unfortunately, that means I don’t have much to say about it — it didn’t hold any surprises for me. Originally posted here.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    There’s a generalization that people make that really gets me. It’s the idea that people naturally prefer or practice competition over collaboration or cooperation. Usually this is said as a way to dismiss addressing inequalities in America and to explain why capitalism is the only choice. Socialism or any hybrid economic system is doomed. Doomed! There are several reasons the acceptance of individual competition over striving for the group’s overall well-being seems to be a social norm rather t There’s a generalization that people make that really gets me. It’s the idea that people naturally prefer or practice competition over collaboration or cooperation. Usually this is said as a way to dismiss addressing inequalities in America and to explain why capitalism is the only choice. Socialism or any hybrid economic system is doomed. Doomed! There are several reasons the acceptance of individual competition over striving for the group’s overall well-being seems to be a social norm rather than an innate human trait. And even if it was an innate human trait, I believe we can rise above it. While working together is a shared value in my family, living in Japan showed me it could be a bigger social norm. There are other reasons I question the all-out assumption that competition trumps collaboration, but let’s go with those two. When I picked up Predictably Irrational, I was worried that the book was going to give me absolute arguments similar to the one I outlined above. It’s the way it is because people practice it that way. Instead, I believe if I brought this observation to Ariely he would say something like: Why do you think that is? How are the innate human traits reinforced by society to make something more commonly practiced? Ariely describes his interest in understanding people's behavior in groups based on a fire accident. Ariely suffered third degree burns from an explosion. The recovery period isolated Ariely. And that isolation brought him a new perception of people. I believe that it can also happen when you live in another country. Living in Japan, I frequently felt separate from those around me. And while my feelings of isolation were not as deep as Ariely, there were many occasions where I felt like I was observing people around me with new eyes. In other words, I take Ariely to be the kind of person who could acknowledge that people are both competitive and collaborative. And he would be equally interested in what social norms brought out one behavior more so than the other. That said – his tests (usually of MIT, Harvard or Stanford students) often left me with more questions. For example when given three choices – with one being a decoy choice – 75% of students took the bait and chose the one researchers wanted them to choose. And I would think – what’s happening with that other 25%. Because in my mind – 25% is still a lot of people. What were they thinking? Another section discusses how people see themselves as mostly honest. When given the opportunity to cheat, they mostly self-regulate even with intentional leeway to cheat more and not get caught. However the further people are from money the more likely they are to cheat. For example, if you take an expense account and have a procedure of receipts and involve another person (an assistant who submits them), these buffers (from the actual cash) lead to a situation where people are more likely to cheat on their expense accounts. In July 2010, my house was flooded. I experienced five feet of water in my basement. FEMA and then later the SBA visited me. And there was a procedure much like Ariely describes. If anything, I underestimated the cost of the damages. This may be because I was warned that if I was found to be lying, I would have to return the money. But at several times I was encouraged to really be sure that I was certain of my reporting because the estimate could go down, but it could never go up. And I should include things that could later be taken out. Perhaps those conversations were a bit like signing an honesty code. However, I do the same thing – underreport my expenses – with my expense account at work. Perhaps that's just me being part of the (figurative) 25%. What I appreciate about Ariely’s presentation of research is that he doesn't box himself into saying this is the way humans behave. Rather – if you consider these conditions – asking people to sign an honor code – you encourage this kind of behavior – greater rates of honesty.

  29. 3 out of 5

    Jackie "the Librarian"

    Another book that looks at human behavior, and how we don't behave logically even when we are sure we do. This follows the same well-worn path of Sway, Freakonomics, and Blink, and after having read those, there wasn't a lot new here. Yes, humans see credit differently than cash. Ariely uses that premise to show how easy it is for companies such as Enron to steal vast sums without feeling the same as a mugger taking money from an old lady's purse, despite the end result being the same. People are Another book that looks at human behavior, and how we don't behave logically even when we are sure we do. This follows the same well-worn path of Sway, Freakonomics, and Blink, and after having read those, there wasn't a lot new here. Yes, humans see credit differently than cash. Ariely uses that premise to show how easy it is for companies such as Enron to steal vast sums without feeling the same as a mugger taking money from an old lady's purse, despite the end result being the same. People are influenced by brand names and logos, and knowing that it is a Coke you are drinking changes the amount of pleasure you get from your beverage than if you are having an anonymous cola. This affects our response to drugs as well. If we think we are taking a pricey pill, we will feel better than if we are told we are taking a cheap aspirin, even if it's the same pill. It's interesting, and certainly is a quick and easy read. But Ariely falls short in trying to come up with solutions to these failings. Instead of giving us tactics to fight off overusing our credit cards, he proposes that credit card companies produce a card with built-in limits. As that would limit the use of the card by consumers, it's unlikely the companies would be interested in such a card. In the meantime, we are left with our irrational impulses to deal with. I guess we have been informed of them, which is something. If you haven't already read a bunch of these books, this is worth a read. Otherwise, it's more of the same, and you can skip it.

  30. 4 out of 5

    huzeyfe

    Yine müthiş bir kitap. Aslında daha önceki kitaplar kadar tam bana hitap etmiyor. Daha çok tüketici ve satıcı iliskileri üzerinde dönen bölümler var ama kitabı da sırf buna indirgemek haksızlık olabilir. En çok etkilendiğim bölüm karar verme mekanizmamızda izafiyet kavramının önemi ve çıpa kavramını açıkladığı yer diyebilirim. Mesela: "Ne kadar çok şeyimiz olursa, o kadar çok şey isteriz. Ve tek çare izafiyet döngüsünü kırmaktır." Bunu çok sevmiştim. Bir de şu bölüm: "Etrafımızdaki dünyaya baktığım Yine müthiş bir kitap. Aslında daha önceki kitaplar kadar tam bana hitap etmiyor. Daha çok tüketici ve satıcı iliskileri üzerinde dönen bölümler var ama kitabı da sırf buna indirgemek haksızlık olabilir. En çok etkilendiğim bölüm karar verme mekanizmamızda izafiyet kavramının önemi ve çıpa kavramını açıkladığı yer diyebilirim. Mesela: "Ne kadar çok şeyimiz olursa, o kadar çok şey isteriz. Ve tek çare izafiyet döngüsünü kırmaktır." Bunu çok sevmiştim. Bir de şu bölüm: "Etrafımızdaki dünyaya baktığımızda, sahtekarlıkların çoğunun nakit paradan bir adım uzak duran sahtekarlıklar içerdiğini görürüz. Hile paradan bir adım uzaksa çok daha kolay yapılır." Bu da kitabın özeti şeklinde bir bölüm: "İnsanın doğasında bulunan üç akıldışı tuhaflık; 1- Halihazırda sahip olduğumuz şeye aşık olmamız. 2- Kazanabileceklerimizden ziyade kaybedeceklerimize odaklanmamız. (müthiş bir tespit bedava verilen şeyler ile ilgili bölümde bunu güzel bir sekilde izah etmişti bu kavramı) 3- Yapılan alışverişe diğer insanların da bizim gözümüzden baktığını zannetmemiz." Bu da kendime not olsun: "Önemli olabilecek şeyler arasında bir ileri bir geri koşuştururken, gerçekten önemli olan şeylere zaman ayırmayı unuturuz."

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