Jennifer (JC-S)'s Reviews > Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions

Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely
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Jul 30, 08

bookshelves: librarybooks
Read in July, 2008

‘Think how hard physics would be if particles could think.’

While it is comforting to know that so many decisions are made on from irrational bases, it is discomforting to be made quite so aware of it. No, I take that back: it is quite reassuring to know that while the principles of logic have their place, people are influenced by other factors.
Professor Ariely explains some of the factors that influence our decisionmaking: from the influence of emotions to the sometimes agonising choice between options; the pitfalls of procrastination and the lure of free offers. And why is it that we are often perfectly willing to do something for nothing, but not if payment is involved? From the discussion of the creation of a market for black pearls through discussion of types of dishonesty, Professor Ariely provides insights into human behaviour, in many cases backed by experiments that have tested his hypotheses.

This book is primarily focussed on behavioural economics, but I would argue that it would be of interest to a far wider group of readers. We are all decisionmakers and our decisions impact on others. I believe that many of us with a specific interest in public policy or management, in marketing, or in human behaviour more generally would find value in reading this book. While many of the concepts are profound, the subject matter is presented in a readable and entertaining way.
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