Discussing Irrationality on the C20 Podcast
National Book Month – Predictably Irrational
🎥📚It’s #NationalBookMonth, and in celebration, @litvideobooks are offering my videobook, Predictably Irrational, for just $5, exclusively on LIT Videobooks. All you have to do is go to www.litvideobooks.com/predictably-irrational and use promo code BOOKMO20 at checkout.🎥📚
Feb 19, 2014: Happy Anniversary
Six years ago, an orange-and-blue book was first set free into the world. It was the beginning of an amazing journey — not only for the book, but also for me. This book traveled to all parts of the world, translated into ~40 different languages, and I traveled with it. To this day, I still find myself in the far regions of the earth, meeting new people, having interesting conversations, and understanding the world in a different way.
As I reflect today on these last six years, what is amazing to me is the degree to which this book was a starting point for the rest of my life. And the journey continues.
Predictably Irrational App for iPad and iPhone
Thanks for downloading the PI app — you’ve brought it up to the #2 spot in iTunes!!
If you’d like to give the app a review in the app store, I’d very much appreciate it.
Ask Ariely: On Chips and Dips, Expectations, and Gossip
Here’s my Q&A column from the WSJ this week — and if you have any questions for me, just email them to AskAriely@wsj.com.
While I’m watching sports, I often find myself with the same problem. I will have too many chips for my dip, but if I open up another can of dip I’ll have too much dip for my chips. I don’t want the extra can of dip to go to waste, but I don’t want to have to eat dry chips. What should I do?
This is indeed an important problem! What you are experiencing is a problem with ending rules. The chips and dip each provide an experience for you that ends at a different time, making it hard to figure out when to stop.
One solution would be to convince the chip and dip manufacturers to bundle packages that complement each other in terms of size. Another approach would involve pacing yourself from the get-go in terms of the chip-to-dip ratio. A third idea would be to invite a friend who only likes chips (or dislikes the dip you have).
More seriously, the problem you are describing is part of a more general issue, as Brian Wansink shows in his wonderful book “Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think.” We don’t stop eating when we have had a sufficient amount of food, but when we’ve finished everything on the plate. The best approach may be to think about how much chips-and-dip you want to consume, transfer that amount to small dishes, and stop making decisions based on the size of the packaging.
In “Predictably Irrational,” you wrote about the “Effect of Expectations,” and you demonstrated that we are prone to perceiving things as being more like what we expect them to be than as what they actually are. As an example, you showed that we would experience a glass of wine as better if we had seen positive reviews of it before tasting it. Well, these findings mostly fit with my own experience; however, what you didn’t mention is the possibility of a negative effect for expectations that are too good. In other words, is the effect the same when something is extremely overhyped?
My own observation is that when I passionately recommend a movie to my friends, sometimes their feedback is: “It wasn’t that good. I thought it would be really amazing.” I suspect that they’re experiencing a negative feeling toward the movie because I over-hyped it. Do you think that overhyped expectations can backfire?
My intuition is basically the same as yours. When I overhype something, I also feel like people end up with very high expectations (that is, assuming they trust my opinion) and that this can decrease their enjoyment of the experience.
Here is how I view the issue: Heightened expectations can change our experience by (let’s say) 20%, which means that as long as the increased expectations are within this range, the expectation can “pull” the experience and influence it. But when expectations are too extreme (let’s say 60% heightened), the gap with reality becomes too wide, and they may backfire and reduce enjoyment.
If you want your friends to experience something as better than it truly is, go for it and exaggerate. But don’t exaggerate by too much. This kind of “fudge zone” also suggests that in areas of life where people are not experts, you can exaggerate a bit more.
I’m at a loss for understanding the popularity of gossip newspapers and magazines? What is the attraction??
I don’t understand it myself, but I suspect that some of the attraction has to do with social coordination.
I have never been in a discussion where people said “I only wish we had more time to talk about the weather / sports / gossip.” But, given the need to find common topics for discussion, these are some of the easiest common denominators to find.
See the original article in the Wall Street Journal here.
The paperback version of PI is out…
As of today the paperback version of PI is out.
I took out the parts about the stock market, and added 2 new chapters: one about the effects of social norms, and one about the cycle distrust in marketers and markets.
Sadly I cannot distribute these digitally, but if you are every in a book store or a library (or if you think that this worth $10) ….
Announcing My New Book!
Predictably Irrational — 2 years
Attention Predictably Irrational Fashionistas!
Help find a name
I recently started working on my next book.
It is generally going to be more stories about my research and the plan is to have 3 parts
Part 1: Personal life, happiness, adaptation, dating, and online dating
Part 2: business life: motivation at work, the role of bonuses, mistrust, and revenge
Part 3: cheating: the effects of observing other people cheat, group based cheating, the effect of one dishonest act on others etc.
The current title is:
Living irrationally: the way we work, date and cheat.
If you have any other suggestions for a title, please email me at dan at predictablyirrational dot com