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The Upside of Irrationality

“Dan Ariely is a genius at understanding human behavior: no economist does a better job of uncovering and explaining the hidden reasons for the weird ways we act.” — James Surowiecki, author of The Wisdom of Crowds
Behavioral economist and New York Times bestselling author of Predictably Irrational Dan Ariely returns to offer a much-needed take on the irrational decisions that influence our dating lives, our workplace experiences, and our temptation to cheat in any and all areas. Fans of Freakonomics, Survival of the Sickest, and Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink and The Tipping Point will find many thought-provoking insights in The Upside of Irrationality.
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a, headaches, and vomiting—warnings that I soon discovered to be perfec
We are usually quick to assume that there is a link between the magnitude of the incentive and the ability to perform better.
Jensen discovered (and many subsequent experiments confirmed) that many animals—including fish, birds, gerbils, rats, mice, monkeys, and chimpanzees—tend to prefer a longer, more indirect route to food than a shorter, more direct one.* That is, as long as fish, birds, gerbils, rats, mice, monkeys, and chimpanzees don’t have to work too hard, they frequently prefer to earn their food. In fact, among all the animals tested so far the only species that prefers the lazy route is—you guessed it—the commendably rational cat.

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