Predictably Irrational. The hidden forces that shape our decision

from Dan Ariely

HarperCollins Publishers, New York, 2008
ISBN 978-0-06-185454-5


Dan Ariely understands it very well to unmask the irrational thinking of people in this book in a very humorous way. The experiments, which  are being presented, are often very simple in their set-up, but the results are usually stunning. There, where we belive in the rationality of humans in their thinking and action, we are taught better. Our all too human mechanisms are revealed in this book. At the same time, we also receive tips how to avoid some of the pitfalls in thinking.


The questions, which are dealt with, definitely have a practical benefit. For example, one learns why we often pay too much finally, when we are actually getting things for free (warning of for free-offers), the significance of our own expectations or the influence of choice on our behavior.


The fascintation of the author for the topic of human decision and behavior can be felt time and again. Daniel Ariely, who - at young age - needed to stay in hospital for months and needed to undergo painful treatments because of severe skin burn injuries, made a very impressive development. These experiences caused him to deal with the question of how do provide such painful treatments in a better and for patients more bearable way. This was also the basis for his later career as a professor for psychology and behavioral economics.


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