You hear him frequently on public radio -- now meet the incomparable Dan Ariely when he introduces his new book The Upside of Irrationality!
The 2008 economic crisis taught us that irrationality is an influential player in financial markets. But it is often the case that irrationality also makes it way into our daily lives and decision-making -- in slightly different and vastly more subtle ways. In this enthralling follow-up to his New York Times bestseller Predictably Irrational, Dan Ariely shows how irrationality is an inherent part of the way we function and think, and how it affects our behavior in all areas of our lives, from our romantic relationships to our experiences in the workplace to our temptations to cheat.
Blending everyday experience with groundbreaking analysis and new research into our how we actually make decisions, Ariely explains how expectations, emotions, social norms, and other invisible, seemingly illogical forces skew our reasoning abilities. Using data from original experiments, he draws invaluable conclusions about how -- and why -- we behave the way we do, and reflects on ways we can make ourselves and our society better.
Dan Ariely is the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Behavioral Economics at MIT Sloan School of Management. He also holds an appointment at the MIT Media Lab where he is the head of the eRationality research group.
He is considered to be one of the leading behavioral economists. Currently, Ariely is serving as a Visiting Professor at the Duke University, Fuqua School of Business where he is teaching a course based upon his findings in Predictably Irrational.
Ariely was an undergraduate at Tel Aviv University and received a Ph.D. and M.A. in cognitive psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Ph.D. in business from Duke University. His research focuses on discovering and measuring how people make decisions. He models the human decision making process and in particular the irrational decisions that we all make every day.
Ariely is the author of the book Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions, which was published on February 21, 2008 by HarperCollins.
"If you wanted to design a problem that people would not care about, it would basically look like global warming," says The Upside of Irrationality author Dan Ariely. His proposed solution? Manipulate variables people care about to solve problems, like their egos.
@amu Let us know your results. However, a caution to the idea, "In Haifa, at six day care centers, a fine was imposed on parents who were late picking up their children at the end of the day. Parents responded to the fine by doubling the fraction of time they arrived late. When after 12 weeks the fine was revoked, their enhanced tardiness persisted unabated." This illustrates a "negative synergy" between economic incentives and moral behavior. "The fine seems to have undermined the parents' sense of ethical obligation to avoid inconveniencing the teachers and led them to think of lateness as just another commodity they could purchase." - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Bowles_(economist )
These issues have more profound effect on a scaled civilization than most people realize.
The problems related to the boundaries of biological altruism and proximity issues (physical, social, psychological, etc.) suggest that the downside may well exceed any upside without remedial systems, policies and technologies.
Compensation and the Social Network
Personal Democracy: Disruption as an Enlightenment Essential
Ayn Rand & Alan Greenspan: The Altruism Fly in the Objectivist Ointment
How would hunter-gatherers run the world? (pssst... They Do!)
The Problem in Scaling Altruism: Where's the Intelligent Life?
Bankers & Wall Street have been getting away with cheating so long they don't even think it's cheating anymore.
Just look at Goldman Sachs. They were selling Mortgage Securities to their own investors with FAKE S&P Ratings and thought it was perfectly OKAY!
"Fiduciary Duty", what's that???
Dan Ariely's message is essentially what Freud called a Witz, a very paradoxical and successful one, if we consider "successful" as one that gets the point causing us laugh on the very message it is supposed to transmit. Everything people accept to carry on as a task is based in Ego (even if "good Ego")considerations. Prius is an Ego thing, everyone seems to agree. But the Witz, the joke, is that there is some kind of blind predictability there, in narcissism. That is the point where people are predictable. that is statistics, and that seems to be the reason why the word "people" is so frequently used by Ariely. But the laughter is also an opened window to the unpredictable, to the encounter. Does Ariely enjoy his work? Or does he more than all enjoy the laugh? In that case, he doesn't give a damn for the serious part of his own message. he laughs at himself and also at us all. We agree with him here. We are not so predictable, we may contradict, suddenly, Ego-laws. In any moment.
I agree that the Prius is an ego thing. However, I do believe that we all have the power right now to make a difference. If everyone just drove a vehicle with a 4 cylinder engine, not even a hybrid, we could make a significant difference. Even if you love having your big truck or SUV, at least purchase another vehicle with a 4 cylinder (or less) engine and use it for your everyday commutes. This would go a tremendous way in reducing CO2 emission as well as saving million of barrels of oil.
I just got a brilliant stroke of insight listening to this lecture!
I am from India, and if you have traveled or lived in India you will not miss the ubiquity of trash everywhere. People have tried explaining away this mess to our culture etc etc. But it hardly helps. The trash still remains.
Most of the trash is packaging material,used batteries and stuff like that.
To prevent trash accumulating we can charge the customer a little bit extra on the products they buy. They will be reimbursed the extra money once they turn up the empty packaging. Even if a person is too lazy to return his used packaged water-bottle there will be enough people who will do it for the monetary incentive. Hence we would get a clean India!
As a proof of concept, i intend to try it out on a pilot scale. I live in the campus of IIM Bangalore. It has 3 stores selling grocery items.If we label all the grocery items in the shelf with "Clean Campus" Sticker. All items brought from the stores will be charged Rs 2/- extra. If they return the package they will be refunded the amount. Lets see how this works out!
The author is right about global warming. If we are going to create sustainable technology it will be a side effect of status seeking behavior. He uses the term ego instead of stature but essentially they are the same thing.
I predict that electric cars will eclipse the Prius as a status symbol, and electric cars will create an explosion of solar panel installations to deflect criticism that they are charged by coal fired power plants. Unlike attic insulation, solar panels are highly visible and would make very good status symbols.