08 Nov

Book Club: Predictably Irrational

Posted by Jenna, Under book club

I’m working my way through Predictably Irrational. Give it a try! I promise you’ll love it. It really revolutionizes how you view your own interactions with the world around you. The chapter on how we place¬†value¬†on what we already own made me realizing buying things with the thought “I can always return it later” is exactly why Nordstrom has the amazing return policy that it does.

If you’ve read it, comment below with your thoughts! I’ll add mine once I finish.

8 Comments


  1. I’ve read it, and Ariely’s next book. I also highly recommend Nudge if you like this type of non-fiction… well, I take that back, I have a whole bookshelf to recommend if you like it. DH is in marketing research and LOOOVES behavioral research and neuromarketing. :)

    Jenna Reply:

    TH says he thought Nudge was a bit long-winded and boring. Did you like Ariely’s next book?

    Sarah Reply:

    I did, but it took me longer to get through. I tend to like more economics books than behavioral, though.

    I thought Nudge was ok. Not the greatest, but that’s why you’re already reading Predictably Irrational, right? ;)

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  2. Haven’t read it in a really long time (3 years?), so the details are a little fuzzy, but I really loved it. Was this the one that talked about the anchoring effect, where people who saw higher numbers ahead of time (entirely at random; based on Social Security Number) were willing to pay more for a product? I found that quite fascinating. And I remember a study involving chocolates and one at UNC involving beer, but oddly don’t remember the actual findings of those studies. And Ariely’s personal story from the introduction was certainly memorable. He seems like a neat guy.

    Sadly, I wanted to become a behavioral economist when I was in college but didn’t know it because they hadn’t quite invented the field yet. Switched from economics to psychology major, but neither quite offered what I was looking for in terms of explaining why people make the choices we make. Then came Freakonomics and Dan Ariely, and voila — a career revelation 15 years too late!

    Eva Reply:

    I like it. I read it long enough ago I don’t remember how I liked it compared to say, Freakonomics, but I liked it.

    Jenna Reply:

    Who wouldn’t want to go into Behavioral Economics after reading books like these? The experiments sound so fascinating.

    The one talking about beer involved balsamic vinegar and budweiser, and how knowing ahead of time affected the reaction that students had to the taste. My favorite part of that chapter was the exploration of whether the way the additives were packaged (like sugar or coffee) changed how much people were willing to pay for coffee (the answer is fancier packaging = people willing to pay more).

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  3. I love your recommendations. I just started reading Nurture Shock, and I’m reading it with my husband so we can discuss after each chapter (we rarely have the same interest in books so this is very exciting) but he’s been very busy and not having as much time to read. Waiting is driving me nuts! I’ve read the first three chapters but I’m waiting for him to catch up. He finished the first chapter last night and I’m so excited to discuss it. I was fascinated by the “why we praise” discussion – because it is like praising ourselves and to soften the blow of the HUGE expectations we have for our kids… fascinating! Anyways, that isn’t what this post is about, but I wanted to comment and thank you for your reviews (I’m also trying to make a conscious effort to click out of reader onto your site more often since you are posting less.)

    Jenna Reply:

    We really enjoyed discussing this book as a couple as well. Sometimes we find that we just need littler spurs to help us get into these really meaningful conversations. Both Nurtureshock and Predictably Irrational have done that for us!

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      I'm a farm-raised almost-crunchy stroller-pushing picture-taking lifestyle-blog-writing gastronomy-obsessed divine-seeking thrift-store-combing cheese-inhaling pavement-pounding laughter-sprinkling lover of individuality and taking chances.
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