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Dan Ariely


Dan Ariely is the James B. Duke Professor of Behavioral Economics at Duke University, where he holds appointments at the Fuqua School of Business, the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, the School of Medicine, and the department of economics. He is also a founding member of the Center for Advanced Hindsight. In addition, Dan is the author of The New York Times bestseller “Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape Our Decisions” (2008), and “Perfectly Irrational: The Unexpected Ways We Defy Logic at Work and at Home” (to be published in June 2010). He writes a blog, Predictably Irrational.


The Miata scenario, or justifying what we desire

Sometimes making a choice involves a complicated mental gymnastics designed to convince ourselves that the snazzier option is also the rational choice, writes Dan Ariely.


Wait for another marshmallow?

Recent studies have shown that children who learn early self-control are more successful as adults in many ways. So Dan Ariely asks, how do we keep from eating that doughnut RIGHT NOW?


Does the U.S. tax system encourage promiscuous spending?

Dan Ariely explains why the U.S. tax system may be inadvertently encouraging us to spend more money than we really have.


Don’t regret the future: why it’s hard to ‘just say no’

We often find it difficult to say no, writes our favorite irrationality specialist Dan Ariely. The reason may be related to how we approach the future.


The economics of the boring first date

When going on a first date, we try to achieve a delicate balance between expressing ourselves, learning about the other person and not offending anyone, favoring friendly over controversial even at the risk of sounding dull. This approach might be best exemplified by an amusing quote from the film “Best in Show”: “We have so […]


E-mail obsessive disorder, or what I learned about myself from rats

Obsessively checking e-mail or Facebook has become a productivity killer for many of us. Behavioral economist Dan Ariely explains what rats can teach us about these annoying habits.


Why do we care about the Gulf but not the oceans or the Amazon?

Behavioral economist Dan Ariely takes a look at the complexities of human emotion in the face of disaster.

How to commit the perfect crime

Note: Dan Ariely’s new book, “The Upside of Irrationality,” was released this week. See the video below for more from Dan about the book. There is a certain perverse pleasure in contemplating the perfect crime. You can apply your ingenuity to the hypothetical issues of choosing a target, evading surveillance and law enforcement, dealing with […]

A place for optimism in a new, uncertain world

Since the economic bust and resulting recession, people often ask me whether I’m optimistic about our future. When we think about optimism from the perspective of behavioral economics, two important questions come to mind in light of our present circumstances. First, where do we naturally fall on the range from pessimism to optimism? And second, […]