Predictably Irrational – Dan Ariely
Predictably Irrational, Revised and Expanded Edition: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions book best buy here
||Other Dan Ariely books:
Best Buy Here
Dan Ariely’s Predictably Irrational is one of those books that is unputdownable. Get out your highlighter or pencil and underline some of Dan Ariely’s gems. It’s a kind of book that you read with a smile on your face as his style is engaging and chatty. No academese or highfalutin talk, just good accessible information that is absorbing and backed by solid research.
The chapter on “ Why Everything Is Relative-Even Though It Shouldn’t Be “ will pay for itself in saving you money and not being taken in on some of the deals that proliferate the web and elsewhere. Without being able to compare something for relative value, marketers often present us with manufactured relative price comparisons that line their pockets. He shows you how to be aware of these and how to avoid them.
He shows you how to be aware of these and how to avoid them. He also shows a wide applicability of relativity by demonstrating this type of predictable irrationality by using computer images of faces. What I really like about the predictably irrational book is that it offers both some good research demonstrating the irrational behaviour followed by some advice on how to look at things differently and stop yourself from behaving irrationally.
In chapter 3, Ariely covers the cost of the Zero. He explains why we often pay too much when we pay nothing. Having finished the chapter on a Saturday morning I went to our local market and had to laugh out loud as I got sucked in precisely by this irrational offer of zero. Going home with three packets of gourmet biscuits that I didn’t want in the first place made me a little sheepish but at least I was aware of why I behaved irrationally and could be more watchful next time.
As a lecturer and academic, Dan Ariely, faces the usual problem of having you students procrastinate on handing in assignments and runs a couple of studies to show what is most effective way to get them to hand in quality work on time. I swear I’m going to put it into practice… tomorrow.
As someone with kids and the usual round of several sporting, dancing in musical activities his chapter on “Keeping Doors Open – why options distract us from our main objectives” was a real eye opener at the cost of doing this to my kids and to us parents.
I have to agree with him as he says near the end of the predictably irrational book “ if I were to distil one main lesson from the research described in the book, it is that we pawns in a game whose forces be largely fail to comprehend. We usually think of ourselves as sitting in the driver’s seat, with ultimate control of the decisions we make in the direction our life take; but, alas, this perception has more to do with our desires with how we want to view ourselves – than with reality”.
Fortunately on the next page Ariely succinctly sums up the strength of his book “A second main lesson is that although irrationality is commonplace, it does not necessarily mean that we are helpless. Once we understand when and where we make erroneous decisions, we can try to be more vigilant, force ourselves to think differently about these decisions, or use technology to overcome our inherent shortcomings.”
In the revised and expanded edition, he also takes a more global perspective and shares his thoughts about the sub-prime mortgage crisis. Instead of the vilifying bankers and the financial services industry, Dan Ariely poses some thoughtful questions and then demonstrates the hidden forces that shape our decisions. These include consideration of
Why did people take on mortgages that they couldn’t really afford?
What caused bankers to lose sight of the economy?
Did the government not realise that trust is an important economic asset (in planning the bailout)?
Is the psychological fallout from not understanding what the #$% is going on in the markets?
Has global markets increased irrational behaviour?
I believe it was the late Charles E. Jones, who said “five years from now you’ll be the same person you are today except for the books you read and the people you meet.”
For me certainly Dan Ariely’s “Predictably Irrational-the Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions” is one of those books.
” ..Read this only if you are brave enough to contemplate that the world might be a little more complex than we wish it were.” – Drifty (Southwest and Southeast USA)
“An excellent book which provides valuable insights” – Irfan A. Alvi (Towson, MD USA)
“..We love to think that we’re educated, rational and moral. Yet who hasn’t overestimated the upside on a sure-fire investment, bought some clothing that we knew was a mistake even as we bought it, or got our wires crossed between work-rules and social rules? This book is fascinating, entertaining and very, very illuminating” – D. Stuart “Researcher at Kudos” (Auckland NZ)
“.If you enjoyed Freakonomics or any of Malcolm Gladwell’s writings, you will also enjoy Predictably Irrational. The pace is quick, and nearly every page contains some nugget of surprising information that you’ll want to tell your friends…” – C. Bracken (New York, NY USA)