Updates

Just launched the Irrational Game

October 20, 2015 BY danariely

The day has finally come!

We’ve just launched the Irrational Game Kickstarter campaign, which means you can now get the game and some other rewards here.

The Irrational Game – We hope it will be a thought provoking, engaging and fun way to incorporate social sciences and human behavior into a challenging and strategic game.

It should also give you a way to reflect on your behavior and what you might want to change

If you consider supporting the project, please do it on the first day. A first day boost will give us great momentum for the entire campaign!

Thank you so much for all of your support. We can’t wait to get you the game.

Irrationally yours,

Dan

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Experimenting on humans In creative ways, author Dan Ariely puts rationality to the test

March 20, 2008 BY danariely

Boston Globe

By David MeheganGlobe Staff / March 18, 2008CAMBRIDGE – We love to be told we’re smarter than we thought we were, but a surprise bestseller by an MIT professor has a less happy message: We’re consistently irrational much of the time. While there’s no cure, there’s hope – if we can learn to outsmart ourselves.more stories like thisThe writer is Dan Ariely, a behavioral economist at MIT and author of the new book “Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions.” It jumped onto The New York Times bestseller list at No. 5, where it remains this week. In worrisome times, we’re eager to understand what makes our economic selves tick. (more…)

March 20, 2008 BY danariely

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By DAVID BERREBY
Published: March 16, 2008 

For years, the ideology of free markets bestrode the world, bending politics as well as economics to its core assumption: market forces produce the best solution to any problem. But these days, even Bill Gates says capitalism’s work is “unsatisfactory” for one-third of humanity, and not even Hillary Clinton supports Bill Clinton’s 1990s trade pacts. 

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Porno, Beer, Bible Share MIT Economist's Toolbox: Interview

March 20, 2008 BY danariely

bloombergInterview by Robin D. Schatz 

March 13 (Bloomberg) — Behavioral economists are a fun- loving bunch, to judge from the intriguing new book “Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions.”

One moment author Dan Ariely is observing how sexually aroused male college students answer questions; the next he’s observing how the Ten Commandments affect the propensity to cheat or watching unsuspecting taste testers happily guzzle vinegar-spiked beer.

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Book Review: David Berreby on Dan Ariely's 'Predictably Irrational'

March 20, 2008 BY danariely

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By David Berreby
Published: March 14, 2008

For years, the ideology of free markets bestrode the world, bending politics as well as economics to its core assumption: market forces produce the best solution to any problem. But these days, even Bill Gates says capitalism’s work is “unsatisfactory” for one-third of humanity, and not even Hillary Clinton supports Bill Clinton’s 1990s trade pacts.

(more…)

Not as rational as we think we are

March 17, 2008 BY danariely

USA Today By Russ Juskalian, Special for USA TODAY

Can thinking about an arbitrary number influence how much you’re willing to pay for a computer keyboard, a bottle of wine or a box of chocolates? Apparently so – and the degree of influence may shock you.In Predictably Irrational, Dan Ariely, a professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Laboratory and the Sloan School of Management, put the question to the test in an experiment involving a group of MBA students.

The experiment began with students being asked to write down the last two digits of their Social Security number. When the experiment ended, it revealed a pattern – that students with Social Security numbers ending in the highest-ending digits (80-99) were willing to pay more for items (the wine, the chocolates, etc.) than students with the lowest-ending Social Security numbers (01-20) were willing to pay.
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Irrationality is human

March 17, 2008 BY danariely

Anti-economist Dan Ariely says people act in predictably foolish ways

Joseph Brean, National Post Published: Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Martian scientist who descends to Earth to bring fresh perspective to human foibles is a common conceit in everything from anthropology to philosophy, but few scholars ever get to be one.

Dan Ariely, head of behavioural economics at MIT and a fellow of the Institute for Advanced Research at Princeton, came close.

As a teenager in Israel, the accidental explosion of a magnesium flare, used to illuminate battlefields, left him severely burned over 70% of his body, and doomed him to years of painful convalescence.

“I was taken out of the standard life,” he said in an interview yesterday. “I started looking at everything as strange. Why do we hold glasses like this? Why do we give people compliments? Everything was all of a sudden strange. I felt as if I was like a little alien coming and looking at things in a new perspective, and not understanding.”
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The choice isn’t yours

March 17, 2008 BY danariely

FT.com

Review by Tim Harford
Published: February 23 2008 00:17 | Last updated: February 23 2008 00:17

Not long ago three professors, Daniel Ariely, Elie Ofek and Marco Bertini, set up a stall to hand out free cups of coffee at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). In exchange, they asked patrons to tell them whether they liked the roast.

Ariely and his colleagues set up a table of condiments – milk and sugar, but also obscure offerings such as cloves and orange peel. Nobody ever sampled the unusual options, but they turned out to matter a great deal. Some days, the cloves and orange peel were presented in glass containers on a brushed-metal tray, on other days they were dumped in Styrofoam cups with hand-scrawled labels. The presentation of the “condiments-not-taken” turned out to make a big difference as to how MIT students thought the coffee tasted.
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Time magazine (03/07/2008)

March 10, 2008 BY danariely

Ask people if they’d like a 15-cent Lindt truffle or a one-cent Hershey’s Kiss, and 73% buy the truffle. Drop a penny off the price of each – a 14 cent truffle or a free Hershey’s Kiss – and only 31% choose the Lindt. Is eating the chocolate you don’t really want worth saving a penny? Probably not. But in the economics of life, we often show bad judgment, like allotting too much value to things that are free. In Predictably Irrational, behavioral economist Dan Ariely goes for a fascinating romp through the science of decision-making that unmasks the ways that emotions, social norms, expectations and context lead us astray. Mixing anecdote and social-science experiment, he illustrates common problems, like the tendency to keep our options open, even when one is demonstrably better. Consider the MIT student who has a horrible time committing to one of her two suitors – despite her clear preference for one of them. And relativity gets us time and again: coffee in a nice setting tastes better; a person looks more attractive once a similar but less good-looking person enters the room. Understanding these irrationalities, Ariely writes, is the first step in overcoming them.

Master Of Decision (the Jewish Week 03/05/2008)

March 10, 2008 BY danariely

Dan Ariely is an MIT professor who served beer in a brewery and dressed in a waiter’s outfit as part of his research into decision making. A leading behavioral economist, Ariely has heightened abilities to observe what’s going on around him, from tiny details to the big picture. His uncommon findings and their wider applications are presented in “Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape Our Decisions” (HarperCollins). On Sunday, the book debuts on The New York Times Best-Seller list at No. 5.Ariely has written an engaging book of social science with an eclectic, original approach. His work draws on psychology and economics, and he leads readers through the back stories of his research. His personal back story, which he alludes to in the book’s introduction and elaborates on in an interview, is unforgettable.When he speaks of human irrationality, Ariely means the distance from perfection. He looks at why people are usually tempted by two-for-one specials when only one item is needed, might steal an occasional pencil from the office, have trouble turning down second helpings even when dieting or get stuck trying to eliminate possibilities in order to make decisions. (more…)