Jonny99's Reviews > The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home

The Upside of Irrationality by Dan Ariely
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's review
Feb 12, 11

Read in February, 2011

A peculiar combo of bio and social science. Dan Ariely reports on recent behavioral economics research much in the vein of ”Freakeconomics”. Some of the studies provide interesting insights including the opening chapter on the motivational power, or rather lack thereof, of large bonuses. From there, however, the surprise factor declines with further topics such as research demonstrating that people respond more to individual needs than to mass tragedies. Ariely incorporates a great deal more biography than his highly successful ”Predictably Irrational”. In particular, Ariely spends many pages talking about horrific burns he suffered when a magnesium flare went off near him while serving compulsory Israely military duty. He tries to tie these horrific personal stories of his suffering to the topics but the connections are silk-thread thin and largely he uses the book for personal catharsis. Overall, fans of psychological research will enjoy the review of literature and push their way through Ariely’s life story.

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