Agent

Getting in touch with our illogical side

Book Review: 'The Upside of Irrationality'

Book Review Title: "The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home" Author: Dan Ariely Publisher: HarperCollins, 2010; 352 pages; $27.99 If Dan Ariely's previous book, "Predictably Irrational," were written by a self-help guru or a pop culture pundit, the concept that humans are both predictable and irrational might not be the most groundbreaking ever. But coming from a Duke University economist, this was a profound insight.The context for this being surprising is, well, the fundamental doctrine underlying the academic field, which is that humans behave predictably and rationally, to maximize their best interests. Yeah, I know. But the trick is that Ariely is a behavioral economist, so he spends a little more time than a traditional economist would exploring the psychological underpinnings of actual human economic behavior.The other trick to Ariely's novel perspective, with which he introduces his lates...