The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home 1st Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 349 ratings
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Ariely (Predictably Irrational) expands his research on behavioral economics to offer a more positive and personal take on human irrationality's implications for life, business, and public policy. After a youthful accident left him badly scarred and facing grueling physical therapy, Ariely's treatment required him to accept temporary pain for long-term benefit—a trade-off so antithetical to normal human behavior that it sparked the author's fascination with why we consistently fail to act in our own best interest. The author, professor of behavioral economics at Duke, leads us through experiments that reveals such idiosyncrasies as the IKEA effect (if you build something, pride and sentimental attachment are likely to give you an inflated sense of its quality) and the Baby Jessica effect (why we respond to one person's suffering but not to the suffering of many). He concludes with prescriptions for how to make real personal and societal changes, and what behavioral patterns we must identify to improve how we love, live, work, innovate, manage, and govern. Self-deprecating humor, an enthusiasm for human eccentricities, and an affable and snappy style make this read an enriching and eye-opening pleasure. (June)
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From Booklist

In Predictably Irrational (2008), Ariely explored the reasons why human beings frequently put aside common sense and why bad things often happen when they do. Here, in this equally entertaining and clever follow-up, Ariely shows us the other side of the irrationality coin: the beneficial outcomes and pleasant surprises that often arise from irrational behavior. Although pleasant should be taken as a relative term, since the outcomes are not necessarily pleasant for the person who was behaving irrationally. Take, for example, Thomas Edison’s obsession with DC current, and his irrational hatred of AC: trying to prove how dangerous AC was, he inadvertently—with his development of the electric chair—demonstrated to the world how powerful it could be. Ariely is an engaging and efficient writer, amusing us with stories about irrational behavior while staying away from needless technical terminology and bafflegab. Thought-provoking, entertaining, and smart: a winning combination. --David Pitt

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Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
349 customer ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on June 4, 2013
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Reviewed in the United States on February 23, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on May 27, 2015
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Top international reviews

Nick Michelioudakis
5.0 out of 5 stars A Review - for Educators
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 14, 2016
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Laura Palmer
3.0 out of 5 stars and some of the arguments are pretty well constructed
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 18, 2016
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N. Leal
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 12, 2020
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Reader
1.0 out of 5 stars The 3i book: irrational, irritating and irrelevant
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 17, 2017
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Elisabeth Brookes
5.0 out of 5 stars Down to earth approach to human biases
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 22, 2015
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Jude
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, and easy to read - even for the non-economist
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 9, 2013
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Patrick Nugun Jellason
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 23, 2017
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badams
5.0 out of 5 stars so much good information in this book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 20, 2016
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Wynand Viljoen
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightfull
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 9, 2017
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Aran Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Ariely is one of the must-reads in this field
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 7, 2013
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PG
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read!!!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 21, 2016
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Christiana
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 28, 2015
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Disgruntled Customer, Portsmouth, UK
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 19, 2016
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Lucy B.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 11, 2016
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Scott Davies
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 8, 2016
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