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Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions

Steven 2 responses General

If you had only the time to read a single book, this one is definitely THE book you need to read!

It will enlighten your thoughts about the way marketers are shaping and shifting your decisions to convince you that you REALLY need what they are trying to sell to you.

  • Why do our headaches persist after taking a 1p aspirin but disappear when we take a 50p aspirin?
  • Why does recalling the Ten Commandments reduce our tendency to lie, even when we couldn’t possibly be caught?
  • Why do we go back for second helpings at the unlimited buffet, even when our stomachs are already full?

When it comes to making decisions in our lives, we think we’re in control. We think we’re making smart, rational choices. But are we?

In a series of illuminating, often surprising experiments, MIT behavioral economist Dan Ariely refutes the common assumption that we behave in fundamentally rational ways. Blending everyday experience with groundbreaking research, Ariely explains how expectations, emotions, social norms, and other invisible, seemingly illogical forces skew our reasoning abilities.

Not only do we make astonishingly simple mistakes every day, but we make the same types of mistakes, Ariely discovers. We consistently overpay, underestimate, and procrastinate. We fail to understand the profound effects of our emotions on what we want, and we overvalue what we already own. Yet these misguided behaviors are neither random nor senseless. They’re systematic and predictable–making us predictably irrational.

From drinking coffee to losing weight, from buying a car to choosing a romantic partner, Ariely explains how to break through these systematic patterns of thought to make better decisions. Predictably Irrational will change the way we interact with the world… One small decision at a time.

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2 Comments

  1. John

    I remember reading a blog post about this book somewhere but I can’t remember where. I totally forgot it.
    Thank you for reminding me, I might finally read it.

    1. It’s definitely a must-read for anyone working in the marketing field!
      I’ll post more great books that every marketer should read.