"Predictably Irrational" with Dan Ariely

Dan Ariely is a professor of behavioral economics at MIT and author of the bestseller, Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions.  He was my guest for Episode 19 of Books and Ideas.

During the interview, he explains how his came to study human behavior.  He uses examples from his book to explore the question, "What makes a good experiment?"  He also discusses how he hope that his findings can help strengthen our society, despite our human tendency to make "irrational" choices.

Excellent Recent Episodes of All in the Mind

Most of you know that I am a fan of the All in the Mind podcast from Australian radio.  I want to recommend the two most recent episodes:

The March 22 episode is actually  hosted by Volkart Wildermuth, from Germany.  He interviews several of the world's leading primate researchers.  You will learn some of the recent discoveries about primate intelligence and culture, and also hear an excellent discussion of what makes humans different.  Go to the website not just to hear the show, but to get a transcript and to see the extensive links.

The March 29 episode is a fascinating interview with Dan Ariely from MIT, who is the author the new bestseller Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions, which describes his experiments in what is called behavioral economics.  His work has shown that people often do not make economic decisions in a logical manner.  He is an extremely likable guest who shares stories from his own life as well as some of the highlights of his work.  The show notes include extensive references.