Predictably Irrational, Revised and Expanded Edition: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions

Quick Thoughts
  1. This book begins with the premise (that I agree with) that we are not entirely rational.  Pretty easy thing to say.  Then the writer show us how 'predictable' our irrationality can be.  He's very convincing and cites much of his own research to demonstrate our predictability.
  2. The writing style is not technical and reads well.  Often, the writer draws from personal experiences and analogies to connect the results of his experiments to his larger points.
  3. Some of conclusions are extremely interesting.  A couple of points on cheating stood out to me.  On average, people cheat when given the opportunity.  But, they tend to only cheat a little bit.  Unless you remind them of their honor (Like have them read the ten commandments) right before the opportunity to cheat presents itself.  Then, they tend not to cheat.  Strangely, people tend to cheat less if real (hold it in your hand - tangible) cash is involved but more if the cash is one step removed.
  4. The writer does get on a soapbox about the way thing should be and changes we (government/business) could make that would make society better.  I wasn't sure I agreed with him on these points, but I was happy to read how he wanted the conclusions of his experiments to be used for the greater good.
  5. I'm wondering how his theories apply to groups of people.  If a group has to make a decision, are they 'predictably irrational' as well?  Most of the studies cited related to individual decisions.  So I wonder if teams (corporations) wouldn't correct some of the faults of the individual.

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