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

Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely
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's review
Apr 21, 2008

really liked it
Recommended for: fans of Freakonomics (probably)

This book probably would please those who enjoyed Freakonomics (although, I confess I haven't read that one). It deals with a branch of social studies that tries to determine how money influences our actual decision making; this is not the non-empirical logic of Aristotle, but the empiricism of Galileo, applied to much lighter issues.

Example: Which tastes better, Coke or Pepsi? Functional MRIs (MRI movies, not stills, I'm pretty sure) of brains were observed while consuming each beverage, under two conditions - 1) The beverage was NOT disclosed to the taster ahead of time, and 2) The beverage WAS disclosed. Interestingly, the brains would "light up" in different ways under the differing conditions of ignorance v. foreknowledge. Who said science couldn't be fun?

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