I’ve just finished reading a book recommended to me. You see, I don’t read much. I tend to stick to technical reference documentation and if I do choose to read it is usually something involving challenging thought, social economics or conspiracy theories. My favorite book is probably Freakonomics which challenged my way of thinking, provided some interesting social economic studies and really just was an interesting perspective on various things. I highly recommend you get that book.
My Silverlight compadre Jesse said that if I liked that book I should rush out and get Predictably Irrational. I did. This past weekend I had some downtime while camping (a whole other story I wish not to relive in the near term) with my family and chose to get into this book.
Wow. What a great companion to Freakonomics! Seriously if you’ve read Freakonomics it is a pretty high likelihood that you will like Predictably Irrational as well. Dan Ariely survived a pretty bad accident and during his hospital healing process there were a few things that caused him to think about how humans act, assume and generate habits. He’s a PhD from MIT (the book has various MIT vs. Stanford vs. Harvard jabs in it) and seems to surround himself with other interesting people.
The social experiments conducted during his research are pretty obvious and you can totally expect the results, but the analysis and different ways of thinking about them are intriguing. I was particularly taken back by the study on honesty and how when the opportunity is given to cheat, unless it directly involves cash, it is almost a certainty that even the most honest people will. However, make them write down the 10 commandments before they do the activity and not a single participant cheated. The mere suggestion (note: not everyone even knew them or wrote them all down) of the 10 commandments was enough to get people to think twice even in situations where they would be guaranteed not to be caught.
Anyhow, a great read. A fun read. Get it now.