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4.3 out of 5 stars
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4.3 out of 5 stars
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I was intrigued by the publisher's blurb for this book, "why do smart people make irrational decisions every day", and I wasn't disappointed.
In the book Dan Ariely looks at the way expectations, social and emotional forces act on us and he explains how we are conditioned to be unable to resist free offers and why we "buy one get one free" even though we could buy one cheaper elsewhere and we don't need two and end up throwing one away! He demonstrates our irrational behaviour with carefully constructed experiments.
Chapter 4 is particularly interesting in that it examines social and market norms and the way that companies need to be clear which area they operate in. He also looks at education and concludes that the increased testing of children in schools, a market norm, is unlikely to improve education and schools should return to social norms.
Written in an easily readable style, recommended.
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on 20 July 2016
Very interesting read. Would recommend to reluctant sales people.
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
After nearly confusing this book for some sort of self help or (even worse) some sort of business psychology book, i'm glad i took the plunge and started to read it. Thankfully it's neither business or self help orientated but quite an interesting expose of the human condition. The examples are very American, in places it's frustratingly light, but i think a lot of people (myself included) will find this a book that's easy to read, and in places quite enlightening.

I heard Dan talking on Radio 4 yesterday about the last irational decision he made. The story goes that he bought a shirt and when he got it home, he discovered that it needed cufflinks. Having never worn cufflinks before, hs should have taken the shirt back and exchanged it. Instead he went out and spent more money on cufflinks. Why Inteligent people make irational decisions indeed!
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on 19 March 2008
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a fascinating book which shows that we humans are not as rational and logical as we like to think. Dan Ariely looks at issues such as why people will feel better when they take an expensive painkiller rather than a cheaper one even if they contain exactly the same ingredients or why people will steal a can of coke from a communal kitchen, but not money. More importantly he shows why these findings have wider implications for society. This is a thought-provoking book and certainly makes you question your own behaviour (yes, I have stolen a pen from work, but I wouldn't steal money from the petty cash tin and now I know why!). My only criticism of this book is that I wish it were a little longer and more indepth. I also wish the author had looked at some more topics (rather like in 'Freakonomics') as I was interested in finding out more.
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on 8 November 2010
This was a book I was looking forward to digesting. Sadly I found it very self indulgent, the author happily name dropping every few pages and continuously turning what was hoped to be an informative book about human behaviour into his biography and crusade to change the world.

Please don't bother. Stuart Sutherlands "Irrationality" is a far superior read, and which certain areas of "Predictably Irrational" echos poorly.
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Alongside the Freakonomics tome and The Undercover Economist, Dan Ariely attempts to uncover and unravel that peculiarly irrational heart of human decision making : humans themselves. We are notoriously emotional, tricky beats, who often fail to understand ourselves let alone anyone else, so it's a hard slog to the untrained mind. Thankfully, Airley manages to get to the heart of the matter and explains the risk/reward carrot/stick behavioural models, as well as times when our emotions may control us and we don't even know. Taking the direct route to an explanation where many would follow the obscure answer, there is little wasted space in this econocomical and succint text that manages to reveal light on the great unknown that is the human mind. There is still a lot to learn.
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on 7 December 2015
Great book giving new ways to think about the world
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VINE VOICEon 11 May 2008
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Have you gone to the shops for something and come away with something completely different? Do you make decisions that you sit back later and wonder what on earth led you to make them? Dan Ariely is a researcher at MIT who has looked at our decisions in the world, why we make them and also what use is made of the decisions in the marketplace. Reading this has given me a depper understanding of some of the Psychology behind marketing and I think I have actually changed my approach when out shopping. What does the second item cost when you "buy one get one free"?
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VINE VOICEon 22 April 2010
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
On looking at the host of endorsements for this book I felt sceptical and sensed a strongly US feel about the approach. After reading it I was initially impressed and intrigued by the insights but wondered whether the methods would stand up to a rigorous scientific peer-review.
I was left with a concern that I could be so easily manipulated, without my knowledge, by the comercial forces that use this approach to their marketing and advertising.
So I now feel better prepared to understand how I could be manipulated and how to resist it... I hope!
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on 20 April 2015
Fine introduction to Behavioural Economics.
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