Book Review: The Upside of Irrationality

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Ariely, Dan. The upside of irrationality : the unexpected benefits of defying logic at work and at home. Harper, 2010.

Fuqua faculty member Dan Ariely has written a second best-selling book about the biases that influence our behavior and answer the question – Why do we act the way we do?

As in his previous book, Predictably Irrational, Prof. Ariely describes experiments that illustrate basic principles of behavioral economics, such as adaptation and empathy. He discusses biases, such as the IKEA effect — why we overvalue what we make by hand – and the Not-Invented-Here bias – why we overvalue our own ideas. Readers learn how a sincere apology can reduce anger; how employees value meaningful work; and why large bonuses do not improve performance (hear that, Goldman Sachs?). People who are aware of their biases make better decisions.

The Upside of Irrationality is written in a conversational tone, peppered with charming and humorous stories about Ariely’s family and friends. Ariely also draws on his experiences as a burn patient to explain his outlook on life. A personal story and an engrossing read, the book feels like a long discussion over dinner. Upside is one of the best books of the year.

The Upside of Irrationality is also available in Ford Library as an audiobook.

© Reviewer: Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business.
All rights reserved.

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One Response to “Book Review: The Upside of Irrationality”

  1. Norman Says:

    I think a FREE copy of this book should be sent to all the Banking corporations around the world, Billions in bonus payments here in the UK are being paid to people who only last year needed a goverment handout to stay afloat ! We pay our money in to the bank, they mis use it, we give them more money, in the way of taxes, they use our money to make money and we give them abonus for doing their job, not very well ?

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