Today’s Kindle Daily Deal: Predictably Irrational

Today’s Kindle Daily Deal: Predictably Irrational

One of today’s Kindle Daily Deals is

Predictably Irrational, Revised and Expanded Edition: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions
by Dan Ariely.

I consider this one of the important books for people to read, if they want to understand their own behavior and that of others. I was impressed when I read it, partially because there were experiments done to back up the ideas.

As the title suggests, the key thing is that people behave in irrational ways…but that the irrationality can be predicted in many cases.

Let’s say you introduce a $100 item which isn’t selling. Introducing a $150 item to the line can help the sales of the $100 item…even though the $100 item hasn’t changed at all. It’s the same value it was before, but now people feel like they are “saving $50”.

Another example was the huge difference it makes when something is free. Suppose something costs three cents, and then you can get an equivalent item for two cents. Why should that affect the sales less (for a single unit) (assuming you can easily afford three cents) than something which is one penny versus something which is free? The first comparison is still one penny cheaper…but we know that “free” will move a lot more units than two pennies, again, even if you can only have one of each.

Will this enable you to behave entirely rationally? Nope, and you probably wouldn’t want to do that anyway. 😉

“Another romantic lunacy. We assume that a personality problem can be liquidated merely through an understanding of it — as though a man could lift a mountain once he admitted it was heavy. No: recognition is not synonymous with solution. I fly toward freedom as a moth toward the candle, and nothing so insubstantial as Reason will turn me aside.
–Dr. Charles “Doc Bedside” Bedecker Chthon
written by Piers Anthony
collected in The Mind Boggles: A Unique Book of Quotations

As usual, check the price before you click that Buy button. For me, in the USA, it’s $2.99 right now, but the price could certainly be different in different countries…and the deal may have stopped if you don’t read this blog on the day it goes out.

This is also a good one to give as a gift…and you can delay that delivery until the proper occasion. If the person already has it, they can get “store credit” instead.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.


2 Responses to “Today’s Kindle Daily Deal: Predictably Irrational”

  1. Ed Foster Says:

    I drove my college roommates nuts with this. Like you I concentrate more effectively if there is noise in the room. Certain kinds of noise are more effective than others. Sports on TV – Excellent… it occupies just enough of my thoughts that I can really get into what I am reading or studying. Sitcoms – not so much…. So a TV on or a stereo or even the door open made a huge difference to me. I finally had to invest in some decent headphones, not to cancel the outside noise, but so that my needed noise didn’t get tied up and thrown out of the room.

    I prefer classical music to music with lyrics when I am studying, again, it seems to be that for me there is a correct amount of stimulation.

    When my classmates were going to the library, I would go to the student union. And, while I don’t have problems, usually, with getting to sleep, I did have the propensity to work on problems while I was sleeping, and I wrote more than one mathematical proof and plenty of computer programs at 2 and 3 in the morning, much to the chagrin of those living in the same room.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Ed!

      I sometimes use headphones at work for the same reason…not so I can hear better, or to shut out anything, but so my noise doesn’t bother other people. I can have sitcoms on in the background…what I’ve found I can do effectively is movies with subtitles and/or silent movies (both of which I enjoy). That requires me to keep too much constant attention on the TV, which can take away from my other work.

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