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New Release: The Upside of Irrationality

51n2eKkbO9L._SL160_By Dan Ariely
Harper | 352pgs
Release Date: June 1, 2010

Summary:
Duke Professor Dan Ariely further explores behavioral economics, and draws some interesting conclusions on human behavior in The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home, his follow-up to the bestselling Predictably Irrational. This time the focus is on the positive, and sometimes negative effects, that irrationality has on our personal and professional lives. Using his own creative experiments, he studies behavior influenced by the IKEA effect – the act of building something instills a sense of ownership that causes us to overvalue the object, and analyzes why huge monetary bonuses can actually be detrimental to job performance. (Hmm, maybe this book should be required reading on Wall Street?) Ariely uses the data from these experiments and his own experience recovering from a painful accident in his youth, to suggest solutions in overcoming negative behavior as individuals, and as a society. Yes, we may be irrational. But, that’s not all bad.

Dan Ariely holds Ph.Ds in cognitive psychology as well as business administration and is currently the James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University. The professor has also published articles in numerous publications including Scientific American and The Wall Street Journal. Early critical reviews have been positive for Ariely’s second chapter in behavioral economics. Kyla Dunn of The New York Times concludes, “…Ariely sometimes indulges too extensively in the minutiae of his autobiography. But deciding how to apply his insights is a pleasure that lingers long after the book is finished.”

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