Predictably Irrational The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions

ISBN-10: 006135323X
ISBN-13: 9780061353239
Edition: 2008
Authors: Dan Ariely
List price: $25.95
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Description: Why do our headaches persist after taking a one-cent aspirin but disappear when we take a 50-cent aspirin? Why does recalling the Ten Commandments reduce our tendency to lie, even when we couldn't possibly be caught? Why do we splurge  More...

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Book details

List price: $25.95
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 2/1/2008
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 304
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.25" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.232
Language: English

Why do our headaches persist after taking a one-cent aspirin but disappear when we take a 50-cent aspirin? Why does recalling the Ten 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 twenty-five 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.

Dan Ariely was born in 1968 in New York, but he grew up in Israel. He was a physics and mathematics major at Tel Aviv University but later switched to philosophy. He holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Ph.D. in business from Duke University. He has taught at numerous universities including MIT Sloan School of Management, MIT's Media Lab, and Duke University. He is considered one of the leading behavioral economists. His work has been featured in several scholarly journals in the areas of psychology, economics, neuroscience, medicine and business. He has also been published in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, and Scientific American. He is a regular commentator on National Public Radio and has appeared on CNN and CNBC. He is the author of Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions, The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home, and The (Honest) Truth about Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone - Especially Ourselves.

Introduction: How an Injury Led Me to Irrationality and to the Research Described Here
The Truth about Relativity: Why Everything Is Relative-Even When It Shouldn't Be
The Fallacy of Supply and Demand: Why the Price of Pearls-and Everything Else-Is Up in the Air
The Cost of Zero Cost: Why We Often Pay Too Much When We Pay Nothing
The Cost of Social Norms: Why We Are Happy to Do Things, but Not When We Are Paid to Do Them
The Influence of Arousal: Why Hot Is Much Hotter Than We Realize
The Problem of Procrastination and Self-Control: Why We Can't Make Ourselves Do What We Want to Do
The High Price of Ownership: Why We Overvalue What We Have
Keeping Doors Open: Why Options Distract Us from Our Main Objective
The Effect of Expectations: Why the Mind Gets What It Expects
The Power of Price: Why a 50-Cent Aspirin Can Do What a Penny Aspirin Can't
The Context of Our Character, Part I: Why We Are Dishonest, and What We Can Do about It
The Context of Our Character, Part II: Why Dealing with Cash Makes Us More Honest
Beer and Free Lunches: What Is Behavioral Economics, and Where Are the Free Lunches?
Thanks
List of Collaborators
Notes
Bibliography and Additional Readings
Index

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