I’d like to recommend a book that I am currently reading. Predictably Irrational, by Dan Ariely.
My fifteen-minute bus ride to and from work is my precious and scarce daily reading time, so when it comes to selecting a book, I’m a pretty demanding customer. It has to be a book that will both entertain and educate me, one that backs up it’s claims with data, but not to the point where I feel like I am reading a textbook. It needs to be well-written and, above all, it needs to provide me with a new way of examining some aspect of life.
Predictably Irrational seems to fit the bill so far. Publishers Weekly provide a synopsis below:
Irrational behavior is a part of human nature, but as MIT professor Ariely has discovered in 20 years of researching behavioral economics, people tend to behave irrationally in a predictable fashion. Drawing on psychology and economics, behavioral economics can show us why cautious people make poor decisions about sex when aroused, why patients get greater relief from a more expensive drug over its cheaper counterpart and why honest people may steal office supplies or communal food, but not money. According to Ariely, our understanding of economics, now based on the assumption of a rational subject, should, in fact, be based on our systematic, unsurprising irrationality.
Kind of like The Tipping Point with a bit more data…