Book Suggestion: Predictably Irrational - The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions


I am quite addicted to books, all sorts of books from design related to simple novels. Lately however, I have been reading some books about human behavior, mostly related to how we make decisions. I think it’s an incredible subject especially for designers like us who are trying to create a good experience for our users through our designs.

One of my favorite books and the one that I want to suggest to you is called Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely.

Predictably Irrational is a book about how human behavior, but the cool thing about it is that it shows through several examples based on real experiments, how irrational our decisions are sometimes.

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. Ariely argues that greater understanding of previously ignored or misunderstood forces (emotions, relativity and social norms) that influence our economic behavior brings a variety of opportunities for reexamining individual motivation and consumer choice, as well as economic and educational policy. Ariely's intelligent, exuberant style and thought-provoking arguments make for a fascinating, eye-opening read. (Feb.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

I highly recommend this book as I mentioned before. It is also worth checking out Ariely videos about the book and his TED talks, they provide incredible and valuable insights.

TED - Dan Ariely asks, Are we in control of our own decisions?

Buy the Book

Click on the image to buy the book on Amazon

Written by

Fabio Sasso

I'm a Brazilian product designer based in Oakland, California currently working for Google as a Staff Designer. I am also the founder of Abduzeedo, an award-winning digital publication about design and a personal project that has become the source of inspiration for millions of designers and enthusiasts.