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The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home 1st Edition
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More About the Author
Dan publishes widely in the leading scholarly journals in economics, psychology, and business. His work has been featured in a variety of media including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Business 2.0, Scientific American, Science and CNN. He splits his time between Durham NC and the rest of the world
Top Customer Reviews
I found the book fascinating. At times I thought that he might be going into too much detail or dragging the story out a bit too long. But as I finished reading the book, I found that the lessons were sticking with me. I suspect that his teaching and writing techniques are highly developed and his approach is one that will leave the greatest impact on the student or reader.
There are several important concepts that he explores in this book. One subject I truly enjoyed and learned from what our innate desire for revenge. To illustrate the point, he told about his unfortunate experience with the purchase of an Audi automobile. At one time or another most of us have felt taken advantage of by a large company with rigid rules and procedures. I strongly felt his sense of outrage toward Audi. And while the story is a great example, I also feel sure that he is getting some revenge by telling how horrible their customer service can be. I am certainly not their ideal prospect but based on the story, I would never consider buying an Audi. I do believe that social media has leveled the playing field and given the average consumer a way to lash back. But as he points out in the book, revenge is a hollow victory and when we get consumed in seeking it, we generally lose.Read more ›
In Chapter Eleven, "Lessons from Our Irrationalities," Ariely sums up his thesis succinctly: "Our cognitive biases often lead us astray, particularly when we have to make, big, difficult, [and] painful choices." The author brings his point home in a poignant manner when he discusses what happened after he incurred third degree burns in an accident. In order to reduce his pain and the number of surgeries he would have to undergo, his doctor recommended the amputation of his hand and forearm. Dan says, "I decided to hold on to my poor, limited, eviscerated limb and make the best of things." Now he wonders if he made a mistake: "I was not so rational, and I kept my arm--resulting in more operations, reduced flexibility, and frequent pain.Read more ›
I have global complaints, like the plodding pace of the writing, the confusing way in which some of the experiments are presented, the odd withholding of information (at one point the author declines to explain the difference between two different auction styles, citing the complexity, but they must have been able to explain each style to the participants in order for the experiment to work), and such. Even if the experiments themselves were done well, this would be a major reason to avoid this book, even for someone doing a thorough reading of the lay-literature of Behavioral Economics.
Then there's some nitpickier complaints, like how the author feels compelled to mention the horrible injury, and arduous healing process, that he suffered years before. While i do understand that this was a major life event for him, and in fact got him started in the field, it's unclear what it adds to the book to mention it every chapter. He's also compelled to mention his other book repeatedly, just in case we missed the fact that this is his second book, even though this one doesn't build on the last one directly.
The major failing of this book, though, is the experiments themselves. And, for reasons of sensationalism and piling on the bandwagon of complaining about the 2008 financial crisis, one of the most flawed experiments leads the book.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Dan Ariely is a very engaging and fun writer. What he writes about is outstanding as well. Pick this book up, really.Published 12 days ago by Kevin R.
Behavioral economics is a fascinating field, but can sometimes be a bit depressing realizing no matter how hard you try you are bound to make stupid choices. Read morePublished 1 month ago by CHRISTOPHER C ROBERTSON
A great book to learn about yourself, your family members, friends, and even your co-workers, The experiments were interesting and the conclusions were even more interesting.Published 2 months ago by Im4Jesus2
Excellent book! Good example, how to connect the science (evidence) and a real-life problems. Serious issues written clearly and with humor.Published 2 months ago by Jyrki Suomala
A different (and more realistic) way of thinking about human motivation, than what we are usually taught.Published 3 months ago by littledog
A life lesson book and must read. Professor Ariely is a tremendous communicator and brilliant mind. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Mike Keliher
Interesting, helped me to understand why people make such irrational choices.Including myself!Published 5 months ago by Becky Voss
This is a fascinating book, and that's high praise coming from someone who never reads nonfiction. Ariely's style is engaging, and the topic is so interesting. Read morePublished 6 months ago by lynntriss
I loved Ariely's first book (Predictably Irrational). The Upside of Irrationality is much more personal and less scientific. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Austin Feller