DAN ARIELY / The Upside of Irrationality

Monday, June 7, 2010 - 7:30pm



You hear him frequently on public radio – now meet the incomparable Dan Ariely when he introduces his new book The Upside of Irrationality!


The 2008 economic crisis taught us that irrationality is an influential player in financial markets. But it is often the case that irrationality also makes it way into our daily lives and decision-making -- in slightly different and vastly more subtle ways. In this enthralling follow-up to his New York Times bestseller Predictably Irrational, Dan Ariely shows how irrationality is an inherent part of the way we function and think, and how it affects our behavior in all areas of our lives, from our romantic relationships to our experiences in the workplace to our temptations to cheat.

Blending everyday experience with groundbreaking analysis and new research into our how we actually make decisions, Ariely explains how expectations, emotions, social norms, and other invisible, seemingly illogical forces skew our reasoning abilities. Using data from original experiments, he draws invaluable conclusions about how -- and why -- we behave the way we do, and reflects on ways we can make ourselves and our society better.  Dan explores the truth about:

• What we think will make us happy and what really makes us happy;
• How we learn to love the ones we are with;
• Why online dating doesn’t work, and how we can improve on it;
• Why learning more about people makes us like them less;
• Why large bonuses can make CEOs less productive;
• How to really motivate people at work;
• Why bad directions can help us;
• How we fall in love with our ideas;
• How we are motivated by revenge; 
• What motivates us to cheat.

Drawing on the same experimental methods that made Predictably Irrational one of the most talked about bestsellers, Ariely emphasizes the important role that irrationality plays in our day-to-day decision-making -- not just in our financial marketplace, but in the most intimate aspects of our lives.


“A marvelous book that is both thought provoking and highly entertaining, ranging from the power of placebos to the pleasures of Pepsi. Ariely unmasks the subtle but powerful tricks that our minds play on us, and shows us how we can prevent being fooled.”  -- Jerome Groopman, New York Times bestselling author of How Doctors Think


Dan Ariely is the James B. Duke Professor of Behavioral Economics at Duke University, with appointments at the Fuqua School of Business, the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, and the Department of Economics. He has also held a visiting professorship at MIT’s Media Lab. He has appeared on CNN and CNBC, and is a regular commentator on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered and Marketplace. He lives in Durham, NC, with his wife and children.


Our guest introducer this evening is Richard B. Evans, a senior international business advisor and director of companies. He is Executive in Residence and Advisory Board member of McGill University Faculty of Business, and a member of the Advisory Board of the Global Economic Symposium. A graduate of Stanford's School of Business, he divides his time between Montreal and San Francisco.



The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061995033
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: HarperTorch - June 2010

Predictably Irrational, Revised and Expanded Edition Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061353246
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - May 2010