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Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely

Updated on August 30, 2017
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Math is everywhere and it is everything. Numbers make up everything. I LOVE math and I LOVE pi.

Are we in control of our own decisions?

In his book Predictably Irrational, Dan Ariely seeks an answer to the question, "Are we in control of our own decisions?"

I recently stumbled upon a speech by Dan Ariely in which he discusses this very question with a few fascinating examples, some from his own research. Ten minutes later, I knew I have to read this book. I just finished reading it. How about joining me on this quest for understanding of the irrational mind?

What makes us drive further for cheaper gas? What makes us cut coupons to save on products we would never have bought otherwise, and which cost more then the item we would have bought had their been no coupon? Why do we eat after we are full if the food is free?

Pick up your own copy of the book, and meet back here to discuss - or just watch a bunch of his videos and listen to some podcasts from Dan Ariely in hopes for a few nuggets of wisdom to fall in your lap.

We're All Predictably Irrational - Speech By: Dan Ariely

Dan Ariely gave this speech on December 13, 2008 at The Entertainment Gathering (a conference of great minds, with grand ideas). He presents examples of cognitive illusions that help illustrate why humans make predictably irrational decisions.

He made a lengthier and more complete version of this same speech with more examples for the folks at google.

Predictably Irrational

Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions
Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions

Why do people make the choices they make? Why do honest intelligent people make seemingly irrational decisions? And are those irrational decisions actually predictable? Why do people consistently overpay, underestimate, and procrastinate when there is no payoff in doing so?


Reviews of Predictably Irrational

"In creative ways, author Dan Ariely puts rationality to the test. . . . New experiments and optimistic ideas tumble out of him, like water from a fountain." --Boston Globe

"A fascinating romp through the science of decision-making that unmasks the ways that emotions, social norms, expectations, and context lead us astray." --Time Magazine

"Surprisingly entertaining. . . . Easy to read. . . . Ariely's book makes economics and the strange happenings of the human mind fun." --USA Today

"Ariely's intelligent, exuberant style and thought-provoking arguments make for a fascinating, eye-opening read." --Publishers Weekly

Dan Ariely Interviews Himself About His Research for Predictably Irrational - Predictably Irrational - The Dan Ariely Show

Dan Ariely Explains the Chapters of Predictably Irrational

Dan Ariely summarizes (with examples!) the Predictably Irrational, chapter by chapter.

Are we in control of our own decisions?

Are we in control of our own decisions? Yes or No?

If you are in between, then scroll to the bottom of the page and tell us why in the guestbook (but since that is more complicated, you will inevitably pick one of these choices, or, more likely, leave no comment at all - but we really wish you would).

Are we in control of our own decisions?

Arming the Donkeys

Dan Ariely does a podcast where he briefly and informally interviews other researchers about one of their projects.

The topics vary wildly from music piracy, cabdriver calculations, and HIV Prevention, to fuel efficiency, and how a lap dancer's ovulatory cycle affects her tip earnings. He discusses it all...from a behavioral economist's point of view.

The podcasts can be found on itunes or as an MP3.

Your Opinion of Predictably Irrational

What did you REALLY think of this Predictibly Irrational?

See results

Should We Have Opt-Out Organ Donation System?

I came across Dan Ariely and Predictably Irrational while researching another interest of mine, and opt-out system for organ donation. Ariely used this as an example in his speech at EG.

An Opposing Viewpoint

Behavioral economist, Tim Harford, holds an opposing viewpoint on rational versus irrational thinking. While Dan Ariely thinks people are mostly irrational, Tim Harford thinks they are mostly rational.

The debate between the two of them is well documented here.

Are people mostly irrational or mostly rational?

Do you think people are mostly irrational or mostly rational? and why?

More Speeches by Dan Ariely

Of Similiar Interest

If you are interested in Dan Ariely and his research, you will probably also enjoy one of these great books:


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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Love this guy - haven't yet read his book but I've heard him speak and he's great!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Why not? I must follow my own decision, it works like frame. I Plan my business and play with my plan. Results good. So, I am not in too much wrong with my decision making.

      Thanks for your nice contribution.

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 

      9 years ago from USA

      nice choice!


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