Irrational behavior is a part of human nature, but as MIT professor Ariely has discovered in 20 years of researching behavioral economics, people tend to behave irrationally in a predictable fashion. Drawing on psychology and economics, behavioral economics can show us why cautious people make poor decisions about sex when aroused, why patients get greater relief from a more expensive drug over its cheaper counterpart and why honest people may steal office supplies or communal food, but not money. According to Ariely, our understanding of economics, now based on the assumption of a rational subject, should, in fact, be based on our systematic, unsurprising irrationality. Ariely argues that greater understanding of previously ignored or misunderstood forces (emotions, relativity and social norms) that influence our economic behavior brings a variety of opportunities for reexamining individual motivation and consumer choice, as well as economic and educational policy. Ariely's intelligent, exuberant style and thought-provoking arguments make for a fascinating, eye-opening read.
"Predictably Irrational is wildly original. It shows why--much more often than we usually care to admit--humans make foolish, and sometimes disastrous, mistakes. Ariely not only gives us a great read; he also makes us much wiser."
George Akerlof, 2001 Nobel Laureate in Economics, Koshland Professor of Economics, University of California at Berkeley
"Dan Ariely is a genius at understanding human behavior: no economist does a better job of uncovering and explaining the hidden reasons for the weird ways we act, in the marketplace and out. Predictably Irrational will reshape the way you see the world, and yourself, for good."
James Surowiecki, author of The Wisdom of Crowds
Dan Ariely (born 1968) is an Israeli professor of behavioral economics. He teaches at Duke University and is head of the eRationality research group at the MIT Media Club.
Ariely is the author of the books Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions (2008), and The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home (2010).
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