• Predictably Irrational

  • The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions
  • By: Dan Ariely
  • Narrated by: Simon Jones
  • Length: 7 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Release date: 02-19-08
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: HarperAudio
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.4 (8,510 ratings)

Regular price: $27.37

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Publisher's Summary

Why do our headaches persist after taking a one-cent aspirin but disappear when we take a 50-cent aspirin? Why does recalling the 10 Commandments reduce our tendency to lie, even when we couldn't possibly be caught? Why do we splurge on a lavish meal but cut coupons to save 25 cents on a can of soup? Why do we go back for second helpings at the unlimited buffet, even when our stomachs are already full? And how did we ever start spending $4.15 on a cup of coffee when, just a few years ago, we used to pay less than a dollar? 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.
©2008 Dan Ariely (P)2008 HarperCollins Publishers
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Stephen on 03-18-08

Well researched, well written, & well read

"Behavioral economics" - what this book is about - is the missing link between economic theory and how real consumers behave. More than a fascinating glimpse into our irrational decision-making processes, marketers and entrepreneurs will learn a lot about their customers.

Bonus points go to the author for actually conducting most of the research in the book (along with his MIT colleagues). Readers win because, in addition to well documented findings, we are treated to insightful and often funny stories about the studies themselves. By adding context to the research, the findings are much more memorable than dry statistics and analysis.

The narrator is thoroughly engaging and does a fabulous job telling the numerous stories and preserving the author's wit. My mind didn't wander as much, so I remembered more and rewound less.

Finally, BRAVO to the publisher and Audible for including a downloadable supplement that includes the graphs and illustrations from the print edition. THIS PRACTICE SHOULD BE STANDARD. I've listened to many non-fiction books, only to later see the print edition and discover how much visual content I missed. THANK YOU for truly delivering on the promise of audio non-fiction: spoken word text that preserves the unspoken, visual content of the author's work.

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136 of 140 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Sara on 10-29-14

An Examination of Our Irrational Decisions

What a fascinating book about our choices and the reasons we make the decisions we do. If you have ever wondered why you buy things you hadn't intended on-- this is a book for you. I am hoping that just being aware of the things I do that I can see are irrational will stop because I now have more insight. We will see.

An interesting and entertaining listen.

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41 of 43 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Graham on 07-14-08

enjoyed each time I listened

Book chosen at relative random but loved it regardless. Could relate to some of the findings from this I have changed my buying and decision making processes.

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19 of 19 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Musical Truth on 07-07-14

An interesting and documented perspective.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. It has many resonant and interesting angles on the truth behind decision making. A brave attempt at using 'scientific' methods. Quote marks indicate a hint of scepticism over how conclusive small scale complex experiments can be. Much evidence is subjective and too much is anecdotal padding which must be disregarded. Sad to see Ariely quoted recently in defence of Facebook's secret experiments given the level of consent and transparency his own academic research has required. I don't think he would be best pleased.

What did you like best about this story?

It evidences the way so many important decisions are made by people - namely badly.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Inappropriate question.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Stupid human.

Any additional comments?

One of the best non fiction books currently on audible.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By andy on 01-25-16

Very consumer based

I love his TED talks but I was disappointed by how much economics was in his behavioural economic... Also, when the author is a noted public speaker I would MUCH RATHER hear them narrate.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Anonymous User on 11-28-17

intriguingly facinating

predictably irrational was a great read, not only was it interesting but informative too. well worth the credit. thanks

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