The Upside of Irrationality

The Upside of Irrationality

The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home

eBook - 2010
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How can confusing directions actually help us? Why can large bonuses make CEOs less productive? Why is there such a big difference between what we think will make us happy and what really makes us happy? In his groundbreaking book Predictably Irrational, social scientist Dan Ariely revealed the multiple biases that lead us into making unwise decisions. Now, in The Upside of Irrationality, he exposes the surprising negative and positive effects irrationality can have on our lives. Focusing on our behaviors at work and in relationships, he offers new insights about how one unwise action can become a long-term habit, how we learn to love the ones we're with, and more. From our office attitudes, to our romantic relationships, to our search for purpose in life, Ariely explains how to break through our negative patterns of thought and behavior to make better decisions.--From publisher description.
Publisher: New York : Harper, 2010
ISBN: 9780062008565
0062008560
Branch Call Number: Overdrive eBook
Characteristics: 1 online resource (xi, 334 p.)

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AL_SARAH Mar 06, 2017

I enjoyed the concepts and experiments in this book. The title seemed slightly confusing because it seemed as if a lot of the examples in this book underscored how irrationality is detrimental for humans. However, it is good to see why irrational behavior might occur (one example from the book is... Read More »


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AL_SARAH Mar 06, 2017

I enjoyed the concepts and experiments in this book. The title seemed slightly confusing because it seemed as if a lot of the examples in this book underscored how irrationality is detrimental for humans. However, it is good to see why irrational behavior might occur (one example from the book is why humans will often donate more money to one individual as opposed to a large group of people in a distant country).

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Cecilturtle
Apr 21, 2014

I'm almost always more impressed by the creativity of the experiments invented by researchers than I am by the conclusion, and this book is no exception: the conclusions are fairly mainstream - we are much more irrational in our decision-making than we like to think we are. The value of the book comes from how researchers were able to validate that in a variety of ways and under a myriad of circumstances.
Ariely's use of humour and his honesty about his own decisions and how his past informed them give the book a personal appeal which makes it easy to read and sometimes down-right fun.
This book will probably not change my own decision-making process, but it will make me a bit more aware of the influences around me and how my state of mind is a key player in my decision-making process. An informative and entertaining read.

unbalancedbutfair May 14, 2012

Some important points written in an understandable manner to the layman without watering them down so far that they are useless. Worth reading. I learned several things I didn't know, and the author blends data with humor in a pleasing manner.

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c_anderson
Nov 08, 2010

Some common-sense pop psychology backed by some very interesting experiments. I didn't enjoy the anecdotal experiences of the author - they felt like filler. And there really doesn't seem to be an upside to irrationality - only an upside to recognizing and dealing with irrational human traits.

quagga Sep 27, 2010

Understanding the forces that drive our actions can help us to make better decisions in our lives. Ariely's advice is to "Ask questions. Explore. Turn over rocks. Question your behaviour, that of your company, employees, and other businesses, and that of agencies, politicians and governments." Enquiring minds unite!

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FredC
Sep 23, 2010

The Upside of Irrationality is Ariely's sequel to Predictably Irrational and it continues with the same premise set out in the initial book. Ariely sets up scenarios about our seemingly inane ability to be irrational, devises some experiments to test his hypotheses, then describes the results. With his blend of light and serious messages and some (predictably) rational explanations, he extrapolates the results and tells us why we are very often as irrational as rats (a true animal experiment described in the book, venture a guess for the most rational animal?).
The interesting aspect of both books is the description of the experiments and how we relate to them. There is a particular fascination in guessing how the experiment will conclude and to then find out that it does not, irrationally so.
In it, amongst many of our irrational behaviours, we learn why one would quit an extremely well paying job if it is not fulfilling , why cake mixes failed miserably when first introduced, why we fail to observe change when we are immersed in an environment that gradually changes (and, yes, the frog does indeed boil to death slowly) and why it would be so supremely satisfying for severely penalizing the (primarily US) banks for having caused the recent mess in the global economy. But, is revenge a dish best served cold?
Although the book is not as expansive as the first, it is still an excellent read. Lest your irrationality drown your rationality, read this book for more keen insights into our human foibles.

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