Predictably Irrational


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Why do smart people make irrational decisions every day? The answers will surprise you. Predictably Irrational is an intriguing, witty and utterly original look at why we all make illogical decisions. Why can a 50p aspirin do what a 5p aspirin can't? If an item is "free" it must be a bargain, right? Why is everything relative, even when it shouldn't be? How do our expectations influence our actual opinions and decisions? In this astounding book, behavioural economist Dan Ariely cuts to the heart of our strange behaviour, demonstrating how irrationality often supplants rational thought and that the reason for this is embedded in the very structure of our minds. Predicatably Irrational brilliantly blends everyday experiences with a series of illuminating and often surprising experiments, that will change your understanding of human behaviour. And, by recognising these patterns, Ariely shows that we can make better decisions in business, in matters of collective welfare, and in our everyday lives from drinking coffee to losing weight, buying a car to choosing a romantic partner. Key title / Predictably Irrational is an intelligent, lively and thoroughly engaging popular science book that will have the broad appeal of Freakonomics, Blink and The Tipping Point / To be endorsed by Steven Levitt, author of Freakonomics / Extensive publicity coverage expected including interviews, reviews and features in national press and radio plus a strong broadsheet serialisation / Marketing activity will generate word of mouth awareness through bespoke digital marketing and online publicity support / Competition: Freakonomics, Blink, Tipping Point

About the Author

Dan Ariely is the James B. Duke Professor of Behavioral Economics at Duke University and the New York Times bestselling author of Predictably Irrational. Over the years, he has won numerous scientific awards and his work has been featured in leading scholarly journals in psychology, economics, neuroscience, medicine and business and in a variety of popular media outlets, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the New Yorker, the Boston Globe, Scientific American and Science. He has appeared on CNN and CNBC and is a regular commentator on National Public Radio. He currently lives in Durham, North Carolina with his wife and two children.


Why we think that something marked free is a bargain. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

'For anyone interested in marketing - either as a practioner or victim - this is unmissable reading. If only more researchers could write like this, the world would be a better place.' Financial Times 'A marvelous book that is both thought provoking and highly entertaining, ranging from the power of placebos to the pleasures of Pepsi. Ariely unmasks the subtle but powerful tricks that our minds play on us, and shows us how we can prevent being fooled.' Jerome Groopman, New York Times bestselling author of How Doctors Think '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, Nobel Laureate in Economics, 2001 Koshland Professor of Economics, University of California at Berkeley "Predictably Irrational is a charmer -- filled with clever experiments, engaging ideas, and delightful anecdotes. Dan Ariely is a wise and amusing guide to the foibles, errors, and bloopers of everyday decision-making." -- Daniel Gilbert, Professor of Psychology, Harvard University and author of Stumbling on Happiness "Predictably Irrational is going to be the most influential, talked-about book in years. It is so full of dazzling insights -- and so engaging -- that once I started reading I couldn't put it down." -- Daniel McFadden, Nobel Laureate in Economics, 2000 Morris Cox Professor of Economics, University of California at Berkeley "Dan Ariely's ingenious experiments explore deeply how our economic behaviour is influenced by irrational forces and social norms. In a charmingly informal style that makes it accessible to a wide audience, Predictably Irrational provides a standing criticism to the explanatory power of rational egotistic choice." -- Kenneth Arrow, Nobel Laureate in Economics 1972, Professor of Economics Stanford University. "A delightfully brilliant guide to our irrationality -- and how to overcome it - in the marketplace and everyplace." -- Geoffrey Moore, author of Crossing the Chasm and Dealing with Darwin "After reading this book, you will understand the decisions you make in an entirely new way." -- Nicholas Negroponte, founder of MIT's Media Lab and founder and chairman of the One Laptop per Child non-profit association. "This entertaining yet brilliant book helps us recognize the foibles that underlie the decisions we make in our life -- large and small, profound and banal. More than just pointing our mistakes, Ariely helps us understand and appreciate the complex beauty of human nature. It's nothing less than a witty survival manual for the early 21st century." -- David A. Ross Director emeritus, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Director emeritus, Whitney Museum of American Art "Dan Ariely is a genius at understanding human behaviour: 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 "Predictably Irrational is a solidly scientific, eminently readable, and remarkably insightful look into why we do what we do every day ! and why it's so hard to change, even when we 'know better.'" -- Wenda Harris Millard, President, Media, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia "One of the best books this year, or any year. A towering contribution that helps us better understand how much un-thinking we do most of the time, and how to counteract it. Everyone who has to make decisions (and has to deal with decisions of others) must read this book." -- Alan Kay, President of Viewpoints Research, winner of the Turing, Draper, and Kyoto Prizes

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. (Feb.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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