Analysis Of Predictably Irrational By Dan Ariely

1043 words - 5 pages

In the book Predictably Irrational, Dan Ariely brings forth the idea that all human behavior is done according to certain patterns; however these patterns are not always the patterns you would think of right off the bat. He leads the reader in a compelling journey into the realm of the human mind, and how humans view the world. For every turn of the page there is something new and surprising. However even with this constant change the book follows the same pattern, proving all thought is irrational. Dan’s use of imagery and descriptions along with many studies of how the human mind reacts to certain situations provide a stimulating read for all, regardless of the reader’s beliefs.
Dan’s ability to mix facts with opinion, forcing you to think is incredible. There are many cases where a reader is forced to sit and simply think to understand the implications of what he is saying. The best example of this is when Dan talks about “The cost of Free”. He shows this cost through multiple studies, one example of which is he offers Hershey’s Kisses and Lindt Truffles at different costs, one cent each, making them free, for each Kiss, while the truffles were fifteen cents each. The results were that truffles sold more, a ratio of seventy-three to twenty-seven percent. However when the costs were lowered 1 cent each, kisses won sixty-nine to thirty-one percent. Logically the amount sold should have stayed the same, as each was reduced by the same amount. However the results were far different than the expected result. This illogical solution causes readers to think about why this happened, and also think about previous experiences with free that they may have had. Who hasn’t gone for the 2 for 1 offer even though the larger, albeit slightly more expensive option was the better deal? What is more is that Dan then went on to show that this didn’t apply only to marketing. Indeed the place that was seen as well was in test-taking. His experiment was giving people money for correct answers, but the varying factor was if the teacher saw the tests or not. Those that didn’t need to show the test “got” far better scores than those that had to. Anyone who reads this will have to wonder if they would do the same thing… The answer is, surprisingly, yes. All people suffer from the same idea that any small amount better is okay, regardless of if it is “right” to do so, so long as there is no chance of being caught. Now most people would say right away that “No, I would not do that”, but after reading this book and thinking about this issue, people would say that they would probably cheat on a test for 5 cents, especially if they couldn’t be caught.
Dan also connects with his readers to interest them in further pursuing these topics. He assumes that people reading this book are college level or higher and frequently references college life. These references serve to make the reader think that not only...

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