Predictably Irrational Summary

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Book Review- Predictably Irrational
The purpose of this paper is to review the book, Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely and more specifically address a single concept discussed in the book.
First, I’ll offer a brief synopsis of the book. Second, I will discuss the concept of the cost of social and market norms from the book. Lastly, I’ll connect the concepts of social and market norms in relationship to a select few concepts discussed so far in the class, ADM 560.
Synopsis of the Book
Predictably Irrational by Ariely presents a series of concepts, experimental findings, and personal stories related to how people make decisions and the research strategies he used over the years to confirm each concept. A few of the concepts included focus
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Thomas) designed a set of experiments that involved having students sit in front of a computer screen and drag a box as many times as they could into a circle within a period of five minutes (Ariely, 2010). They divided the participants into groups and some received a large payment as they entered the lab, while a second group of participants received different, yet much smaller payments to complete the same task. A third group was asked to complete the task as a simple favor with no compensation (Ariely, 2010). The experiment was designed to identify how much effort each group put into the task and if there was a difference between the group that was asked to do the task as a favor and how much the other participants were paid. The results indicated some of what you might expect, those participants that were paid more worked harder than those that were paid less; however, those that weren’t paid at all actually slightly outperformed the highest paid participants (Ariely, 2010). Ariely goes on to share additional examples of this same affect in other environments such as with lawyers and pro-bono …show more content…
Much of the discussion among the students in the class has focused on concepts explained within Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahnerman. The idea of basic assessments as presented by Kahnerman (2011) is highly relevant in a discussion of the cost of social norms. “For a specific example of a basic assessment, consider the ability to discriminate friend from foe at a glance” (Kahneman, 2011, p. 90). In terms of the cost of social norms, we are using the ability to discriminate and determine if the cost associated with a task is appropriate or not. Coming back to the series of experiments discussed previously, one would assume that individuals are making a basic assessment when they are offered five dollars, fifty cents, or nothing to

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