Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Ariely is an entertaining writer and does a good job of explaining, in laymen's terms, the experiments and ideas of behavior economics. This is a trade book and doesn't, for good or for ill, get into the nit and gritty of the science beyond the experiments. I think it is a book worth reading to get a better understanding some of the patterns of thought or circumstances that influence our decisions and actions.
I would say on the negative side, however, that I think Ariely oversells the results of the experiments and tends to straw man traditional economic thinking. The experiments are nonetheless interesting with surprising results-but he tends to draw much broader conclusions from these than is warranted (at least in terms of the explanations in the text). And some of the criticism of the traditional economic explanations hit the mark, but too often his presentations of the traditional ideas are way too broad, simplistic, or caricatured.
Still, there is value in this book, and at worst, the discussion and results of the experiments are interesting.
View all my reviews