Book of the week: Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely

As some of you know, I’m obsessed with reading. I’m also addicted to the Carnegie Library and to the Overdrive App for my phone. But those are topics for another day. This is the 62nd book I’ve read this year.

(Shout-out to Claire Diaz-Ortiz for getting be back in the reading habit.)

This week’s book is: “Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions” by Dan Ariely

predictably-irrational

I loved this book- 5 out of 5 stars

Dr. Ariely approaches the topic of rationality in a fresh way, he seems to say, “You think you are rational? Let’s just see what that really means when we test it.” As we walk through example after example in the book we see time and time again the fallacies upon which we base many decisions. Dr. Ariely includes many examples from history and pop culture to support his claims. One of my favorites is the story of how a jewel marketer created the image of sophistication and exclusiveness to sell black pearls that were seen as inferior in their native Tahiti.

Or the huge difference in the mind of the consumer between even a small amount of money and FREE! (I laughed out loud because this one hits home, I love FREE!)

The best parts of the book are when the author walks us through the set up for an experiment he actually conducted, and asks us to predict the results. He then takes us into the lab, or the restaurant, or the sidewalk, and explains how it all went down. After each experiment we see if our prediction was correct and he explains the surprising (or not so surprising) results. Super Fun!

Bottom line, humans are terrible at predicting risk, the Freakonomics guys have been telling us that for years. Dan Ariely’s book is fun to read and adds a lot more proof to back up that claim.

 

 

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