Predictably Irrational

  • by Dan Ariely
  • Narrated by Simon Jones
  • 7 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Why do our headaches persist after taking a one-cent aspirin but disappear when we take a 50-cent aspirin? Why does recalling the 10 Commandments reduce our tendency to lie, even when we couldn't possibly be caught? Why do we splurge on a lavish meal but cut coupons to save 25 cents on a can of soup? Why do we go back for second helpings at the unlimited buffet, even when our stomachs are already full? And how did we ever start spending $4.15 on a cup of coffee when, just a few years ago, we used to pay less than a dollar? When it comes to making decisions in our lives, we think we're in control. We think we're making smart, rational choices. But are we? In a series of illuminating, often surprising experiments, MIT behavioral economist Dan Ariely refutes the common assumption that we behave in fundamentally rational ways. Blending everyday experience with groundbreaking research, Ariely explains how expectations, emotions, social norms, and other invisible, seemingly illogical forces skew our reasoning abilities.
Not only do we make astonishingly simple mistakes every day, but we make the same types of mistakes, Ariely discovers. We consistently overpay, underestimate, and procrastinate. We fail to understand the profound effects of our emotions on what we want, and we overvalue what we already own. Yet these misguided behaviors are neither random nor senseless. They're systematic and predictable - making us predictably irrational.
From drinking coffee to losing weight, from buying a car to choosing a romantic partner, Ariely explains how to break through these systematic patterns of thought to make better decisions. Predictably Irrational will change the way we interact with the world - one small decision at a time.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

enjoyed each time I listened

Book chosen at relative random but loved it regardless. Could relate to some of the findings from this I have changed my buying and decision making processes.

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- Graham

An interesting and documented perspective.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. It has many resonant and interesting angles on the truth behind decision making. A brave attempt at using 'scientific' methods. Quote marks indicate a hint of scepticism over how conclusive small scale complex experiments can be. Much evidence is subjective and too much is anecdotal padding which must be disregarded. Sad to see Ariely quoted recently in defence of Facebook's secret experiments given the level of consent and transparency his own academic research has required. I don't think he would be best pleased.

What did you like best about this story?

It evidences the way so many important decisions are made by people - namely badly.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Inappropriate question.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Stupid human.

Any additional comments?

One of the best non fiction books currently on audible.

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- Musical Truth

Book Details

  • Release Date: 19-02-2008
  • Publisher: HarperAudio