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

Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely
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's review
Jan 22, 2009

really liked it
Read in January, 2009

Excellent book by an MIT professor describing various experiments in the field of behavioral economics. This field attempts to give some practical insights into why classical economics fails to reliably predict marketplace behavior; further, he argues that these irrational tendencies are predictable and measurable parts of human nature with far reaching consequences for interpersonal relations, commercial choices and public policy. Written in a very accessible style which allows the reader to get a good appreciation of the power of empiricism, the difficulties of experimental design and the need to question one's assumptions about how people make decisions. I would think of this book as a slightly less commercial (though a little less fun) version of Freakonomics. While Freakonomics (I think) focuses more on the method in which you generate experiments to give insight into hard questions, this focuses more on the revelations of the experiments themselves. A must read for managers, physicians, lawyers and parents. Hell, anyone interested in making better sense of the patterns of behavior in the world.

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