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"Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions" by Dan Ariely.


  • The Truth about Relativity: When comparing options we are biased towards simple comparisons and how the decoy effect (introducing an additional decoy option) can be used to manipulate decisions.
  • The Fallacy of Supply and Demand: It is difficult to determine the value of a good or service and he talks of anchor prices (the first price for that good you are presented).
  • The Cost of Zero Cost: even free offers can come with a downside. How much time will it consume?
  • Being Paid vs. A Friendly Favor: There are things we will do as favors but not when payed for.
  • Emotion in Decision Making: How high-emotional situations (like sexual arousal) often leads to decisions that a "calm" brain would not do.
  • The Problem of Procrastination and Self-control
  • The High Price of Ownership: Owning an object makes us weary of loosing it, rather than thinking of what we might be missing. Interesting in terms of getting rid of old things.
  • The Effect of Expectations: When being told or when you believe something, your sensory experience will be affected. One good reason for blind (and placebo-controlled) studies.
  • The Power of Price: Even price (of prescribed medicine) has a placebo effect.

Wikipedia article