Book Review: Predictably Irrational

The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions
author: Dan Ariely
average rating: 3.78
book published: 2008
my rating: 3
read at: 04/08

I really enjoyed this book. This was my first dip into behavioral economics. Despite the boring-sounding subject matter, the author made it interesting and relevant.

The major parts that stood out to me were Relativity, Anchors, Jeckyll & Hyde (Hot & cool states), the true power of expectations, and our tendency to keep doors open despite the loss we get in doing so.

Interesting but not as revelatory were zero cost, social norms, procrastination, and honesty.

I think this book is important for understanding why we act or buy things. Product and service marketing people already understand this stuff and we need to be aware of what is going on. Dan Ariely provides great advice for knowing how to offset our natural irrational behaviors to ensure we make a logical choice instead.

This book has value to leaders. Leadership is about influence. Behavioral economics is about how we react to influence. Leaders can utilize some of the techniques in the book to positively affect the people around them.

I found the author went a bit long in some of the chapters. After I understood the basic concepts and grasped the initial experiments, I did not need the further detail that was provided.

There were hints of the writer’s political views in the book that I felt was a distraction. It wasn’t overbearing but the few times he brought it up, it stuck out like a sore thumb to me.

My review was posted at GoodReads.
 
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