Books : reviews

Dan Ariely.
Predictably Irrational: the hidden formces that shape our decisions.
Harper. 2008

• Why do our headaches persist after taking a cheap painkiller but disappear when we take a more expensive one?
• Why does recalling the Ten Commandments reduce our tendency to lie, even when we couldn’t possibly be caught?
• Why do we splurge on an expensive meal but cut out vouchers to save twenty-five pence on a tin of soup?

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? From paying for coffee to losing weight, and buying a car to choosing a romantic partner, Ariely explains how to break through these systematic patterns of thought to make better, more financially sound, decisions. Predictably Irrational is not simply a fascinating read; it has the power to change the way we interact with the world one small decision at a time. In the current economic crisis it is an invaluable tool that no person should be without.