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

Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely
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Oct 24, 11

bookshelves: current-popular-books, easy-reads, non-fiction
Read in October, 2011

Dan Ariely attacks an interesting aspect of cognition - how we may not be as in control of our own behaviors/tendencies as we tend to believe. Really, this is a book that is riding the wave of "pop psychology" books, first popularized by Malcolm Gladwell and his trio of books (Outliers, The Tipping Point, etc). Ariely is clearly very qualified in writing about cognitive influences - the amount of studies that he participated/co-wrote/spearheaded is astounding. Perhaps because of the sheer amount of knowledge Ariely has on the subject, he bites off more than he can chew. The first few chapters are gripping and truly eye-opening - the impact of "free," our ability to be persuaded, how advertisers harness all of this to their best abilities. But after these chapters, the book becomes a somewhat tedious process during which Ariely tries to cram the multitude of studies he has performed into a small space. Consequentially, some topics are covered so fast that you're left with an abrupt ending, while other studies languish over many chapters for no particular reason. Ariely had a great idea for a book, had a great beginning, and apparently had a fast approaching publishing deadline. I wish that he would have taken more time (and perhaps more pages/another book) to cover topics in a better, more complete manner and that he would not feel the pressure to include every study he has ever participated in!
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