Extended Audio Sample

Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions (Unabridged), by Dan Ariely
4.25 out of 54.25 out of 54.25 out of 54.25 out of 54.25 out of 5 4.25 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Dan Ariely Narrator: Simon Jones Publisher: HarperAudio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Behavioral economics studies the effects of outside factors on economic decisions. These factors can include social and emotional inputs that may not be conducive for making the best decisions. Our own very personal expectations and emotions hamper our ability to use reason when making decisions about money. Social norms also play a role, even when we think we are making the choice based on what we want.

In short, economic decision making isn't always rational. One of the leaders of the field, Dan Ariely, wrote Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions while working at MIT, based on the experiments he conducted as well as those of his colleagues. The book pairs everyday events with the outcomes of these experiments. The results can be comical, because we can often relate to the irrational ways of those who participate in the experiments.

Ariely sees it as a part of the human condition to continually overpay, underestimate and procrastinate, as illogical as all of these things are to any reasonable person. The irrational decisions aren't random, though. They are very predictable in most people, meaning you can learn to overcome these patterns and make better, more reasonable economic choices.

Ariely is best known as the author of two New York Times bestsellers, Predictably Irrational and The Upside of Irrationality. He also serves as a professor of psychology at Duke University. He is known for his work in behavioral economics, including the founding of the Center for Advanced Hindsight at Duke. There he and his colleagues research the psychology behind money-related decisions, rational decision making and even cheating. His latest book is titled The Honest Truth about Dishonesty. Ariely was born in New York City, but raised in Israel.

Why do our headaches persist after taking a one-cent aspirin but disappear when we take a 50-cent aspirin? Why does recalling the 10 Commandments reduce our tendency to lie, even when we couldn't possibly be caught? Why do we splurge on a lavish meal but cut coupons to save 25 cents on a can of soup? Why do we go back for second helpings at the unlimited buffet, even when our stomachs are already full? And how did we ever start spending $4.15 on a cup of coffee when, just a few years ago, we used to pay less than a dollar?

When it comes to making decisions in our lives, we think we're in control. We think we're making smart, rational choices. But are we? In a series of illuminating, often surprising experiments, MIT behavioral economist Dan Ariely refutes the common assumption that we behave in fundamentally rational ways. Blending everyday experience with groundbreaking research, Ariely explains how expectations, emotions, social norms, and other invisible, seemingly illogical forces skew our reasoning abilities.

Not only do we make astonishingly simple mistakes every day, but we make the same types of mistakes, Ariely discovers. We consistently overpay, underestimate, and procrastinate. We fail to understand the profound effects of our emotions on what we want, and we overvalue what we already own. Yet these misguided behaviors are neither random nor senseless. They're systematic and predictable - making us predictably irrational.

From drinking coffee to losing weight, from buying a car to choosing a romantic partner, Ariely explains how to break through these systematic patterns of thought to make better decisions. Predictably Irrational will change the way we interact with the world - one small decision at a time.

Download the accompanying reference guide. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Reviews

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Review by Andrew | 6/23/2011

    " If you're going to buy a psychology book in an airport, buy this one. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Review by Rich | 6/7/2011

    " Didn't feel like there was much holding this together - just a succession of (interesting) experiments. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Review by Yury | 5/27/2011

    " A revealing look into our psyche and how we make buying decisions which are usually highly irrational. Recounts countless fascinating studies. Highly entertaining. This is a must read. Period. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Review by Eva | 5/24/2011

    " Behavioral economics is fun and this book was no exception to the rule. "

  • > Show All
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About the Author
Author Dan Ariely

Dan Ariely is the James B. Duke professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University, with appointments at the Fuqua School of Business, the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, the Department of Economics, and the School of Medicine. He earned one PhD in cognitive psychology and another in business administration. He is the founder and director of the Center for Advanced Hindsight. His work has been featured in many outlets, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Boston Globe, and others. He lives in Durham, North Carolina, with his wife, Sumi, and their two creative children.

About the Narrator

Simon Jones has appeared in the films The Devil’s Own, Twelve Monkeys, For Love or Money, Green Card, Brazil, Monty Python’s Meaning of Life, and Miracle on 34th Street. His television appearances include a role in The Cosby Mysteries and Murder She Wrote. He has been featured on Broadway in The Real Thing, Benefactors, and Private Lives. He is also a veteran audiobook performer.