Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Dan Ariely writes in a pretty simple and straightforward manner about how ridiculous we act when it comes to economic decisions. It’s full of many examples and experiments (you get the feeling that students at MIT are unwittingly subjected to sociology experiments every single day) on how people will act regarding certain conditions (e.g., giving away something free vs. something cheap, paying for labor from friends vs. giving gifts).
In the short time since I’ve read it, I’ve already thought about many of the habits I do every day — should I really be purchasing this coffee and bagel every day? And why do I do that in the first place.
Anyway, it’s a pretty enlightening read into why we humans make certain decisions and how we can try to change things for the better.
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Last year, I read Walter Isaacson’s fascinating biography on Albert Einstein, titled, “Einstein: His Life and Universe.”
Earlier today, I decided to look for more work by Isaacson and found that he wrote another great biography, this time about Benjamin Franklin. The book was titled, “Benjamin Franklin: An American Life.”
The tagline, “an American life,” struck a chord with me because it sounded so familiar. Where else have I heard that term recently? Ah yes.
Seriously? It’s kind of insulting and sad that these books share the same tagline. Here are a few differences between the subjects of each book.
- One book is about a great person, who had a profound effect on the founding of our country. The other is about someone trying to inadvertantly destroy it.
- One book is about an inventor, intellect, and scientist. The other is about someone who despises those descriptions and the people behind them.
- One book is about is about someone who strived to persevere in all facets of life. The other is about someone who perpetually quits when things get too tough.
- One book is about a great American. The other is not.