BOOK REVIEW: Predictably Irrational – Dan Ariely

Dan Ariely - Predictably Irrational

When we make decisions we think we’re in control, making rational choices. But are we? Entertaining and surprising, Ariely unmasks the subtle but powerful tricks that our minds play on us.

The description could not have fit the book better. The book is about how we make irrational choices – imagining our choices to be perfectly rational. Dan Ariely, professor of behavioral economics at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, builds on his years of research, keen observation and intellect to come out with an absolutely stunning analysis of the human mind and literally dives inside our cerebral cortex to explore how decisions are made. That thin line between impulse and thought, feeling and logic, emotion and rationale is demarcated with a precision which only deep thought can bring about.

I was recommended the book by a colleague (basically my super-boss!) to serve as some sort of a guideline towards helping me make a training proposal for one of our PSU clients. I finished the book in record time (300 pages in less than 24 hours!). One of the benefits of focused, result-oriented reading as opposed to my usual casual, distraction-laden reading habbits!

Coming back to the book – it has some wonderful examples and experiments that have been conducted on students over the years and Areily also shares his own anecdotes and observations he has made along the way. This book is as useful to a marketing manager who wants to gain an insight into customer preferences as it is to a human resource manager who wants to train his people on team-building. Basically, it touches the very sensitive chord of understanding people and that is central to every sphere of human activity.

The book is englightening, clever, smart and funny. Especially chapter 5 (The Influence of Arousal: Why Hot Is Much Hotter Than We Realize). ๐Ÿ˜‰

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9 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: Predictably Irrational – Dan Ariely

  1. Hi,

    I bought this book yesterday and was searching for more info on the author which lead me to this site.

    Enjoyed your blogs and will keep tracking it,.


  2. @ Puresunshine,

    Really.. You should try focused-reading… But you’re an editor, so maybe you, anyway, read quite fast! – That trick might be of much use to you though! ๐Ÿ˜›

    @ Saurabh,

    Thanks a ton mann! It is a good book indeed.
    Welcome to and do keep coming back! ๐Ÿ™‚

    @ Solilo,

    You are not going to regret spending time and money once you read it!

  3. The book is good, undoubtedly but I feel it’s a bit hyped! Dan keeps talking about pretty trite stuff which I feel people in the sub-continent have known for quite some time. Only he adds the MIT touch to it..! Try out the “The Logic of Life” by Tim Hartford sometime…it will make you think otherwise!!

  4. @ Writankar,

    Tim Hartford also wrote the Undercover Economist rite?… But Dan’s book is different from these books which belong to the “popular economics” genre. .. Anyway.. The title of the book sounds interesting, so I guess I’ll take a look at it! ๐Ÿ™‚

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