Predictably Irrational: Dan Ariely #114


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Do we behave rationally? You might be surprised how often our decision-making deviates from what is in our best interest. Behavioral economist Dan Ariely studies human behavior and decision-making. His experiments have led him to startling conclusions. “We repeatedly and predictably make the wrong decisions in many aspects of our lives.” We may be rats in a maze for scientific study, but Dan Ariely puts a refreshingly human face on the scientific study of why we do the things we do. Particularly interesting is his explanation of why worldviews prevent Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. from agreeing on FACTS: “When we have an initial belief, reality doesn’t matter as much as we think. We have an illusion that we’re actually observing reality, but it’s filtered dramatically by what we’re experiencing in our brains, and our expectations.” He had this to say about climate change: “If you were starting from scratch, and you said, ‘Let me create a problem that people would not care about,’ it would look very much like global warming.” Listen to this conversation to find out why! This fun and fascinating conversation explores the decoy effect, inter-temporal choice, hedonic treadmill, identifiable victim effect, behavior substitution, the happiness conundrum, keeping up with the Joneses, and even being choosy about who you compare yourself too. It’s a fascinating journey into the human psyche. Learn more at

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