Yulia's Reviews > Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions

Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely
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's review
Apr 06, 08

bookshelves: non-fiction
Read in January, 2008

Besides being a prolific researcher, Ariely is a very lucid writer and he's good at explaining the logic behind his study designs and the broader implications of their results. I just find it amusing that MIT classifies him as a behavioral economist when in any other university he'd be a member of the psychology department (like the other academics whose work he cites).

On a somewhat tangential note, he lists the Ten Commandments in an appendix (after noting a study on how listing as many as you can remember impacts subjects' honesty in a task afterwards). I had no idea that coveting my neighbor's wife and adultery counted as separate commandments, or that coveting my neighbor's property and stealing were also given separate listings. Shouldn't it really be the Eight Commandments? Or if we must have ten, let's include something about being a good parent and respecting Mother Nature, with some thou's thrown in for good form.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Pamela (last edited Apr 09, 2008 05:30PM) (new) - added it

Pamela Great review, Yulia--I've added this book to my "read list"

Also as an aside, I can only remember the 10 Commandments by remembering 5 positives (Thou Shalts) and 5 negatives (Thou Shalt Nots). It's easier to suss them out that way.

I do remember reading(both as child and now as a mother) a New Testament verse that reminds parents not to provoke children to wrath. Now there's an interesting take on being a good parent...Who's going to take care of you in your old age, after all? All through Genesis, we humans are told to take care of the Earth, God's great sculpture/collage project. If we saw all life as precious--animal, plant, planet--I think we'd be better curators.

message 2: by Yulia (last edited Apr 09, 2008 05:51PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Yulia As a general rule, it's good not to provoke wrath in family members, but we never really know how our actions and ways of being will be deciphered by others, do we? After growing up perpetually censoring myself for fear of what others would think of me, I just had to give up living like that for my health. My only guideline now is, as long as my partner Frank understands my motivations, I'm doing all right. I admit my own perfectionism, among other reasons, has scared me away from ever having kids of my own.

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