Short Review of Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely

Summary of Predictably Irrational

What did I like in the book? Many times a person behaves irrationally and hardly goes for self-analysis. Hence, to behave correctly, one must read the book.

Human being has scarce chances of choosing a thing in life. It is a human tendency to consider the relative advantage of one over another. Human beings always focus on something they may lose further; they do not believe what they may gain. A majority of people hardly can concentrate on what they want in life. This is a relative world where people always look at things in relation to others. Comparison is a strange phenomenon; human beings always like to compare comparable things but would not compare things that cannot be compared with ease. A person having an abundance of everything desires more. This is because of the cycle of relativity. The relevance of a product gets related to the price tag. Any development in the initial stage may not have value, but the price assumes and gets established in the human mind because of arbitrary attitude. So at a later stage, one would be ready to pay for the product. Besides, one would pay for any related product too.

Hence the price of a product works as an anchor. So one gets ready to buy the product or service at the asked price. The author advises a person to avoid following a herd mentality. A practice followed by another person needs to be avoided.

There is also a danger of suffering from self-herding in which the person decides based on his previous behaviour. The author suggests few questions which one may ask themself to bring a change in irrational behaviour. The author wants a person to train themself before doing an action and analyse their behaviour too.

The author quotes Margaret Clark, Judson Mills, and Alan Fiske. They say a person moves in two worlds—one where social norms prevail and the other where market norms prevail make the rule. The author believes people work more for a cause than for cash. Regarding exchanging gifts, the author says that these small gifts bind persons socially and keep them away from market norms. When a collision between social and market norms occurs, the social model has to take a back seat.

While making important decisions in life, one has to understand the emotional state of self and learn to control the emotional state. Hence, for immediate benefit, long-term goals need not be sacrificed.

The author suggests a deadline approach to achieve better results when pursuing a goal or task. The fear of losing may often not be helpful, and the person may make a wrong decision. It is unnecessary that the other person would understand any money transaction from one’s point of view. When a person puts any amount of money, time into a project, they own the project. Sometimes, even without investment, one may feel ownership in mind. To be successful, a straightforward setup and a clearly defined goal are needed.

The author makes an interesting premise that often, people go for cost-benefit analysis about honesty. He opines to think in terms of cost-benefit research concerning dishonesty.

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Dave Peterson

Dave Peterson Passion for adventure and sharing his life long journey with as many others as possible. "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." HENRY S. HASKINS

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