We think we are rational being in control of our decisions, but in truth we are not.
This is the thesis of Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions, a very interesting book where Dan Ariely helps in understanding how our minds work, also thanks to examples and real experiments made also during his teaching course.
It emerges how our choices are function of indirect information we receive: a cheaper medicine is less effective than an expensive one (even if they are the same, and even if none of them is a medicine at all), the choice among similar objects is function of our ability to compare two alike products (like two apples) than different ones (like an apple and a pear).
Our brains are influenced also by words: recalling the ten commandments make a person more honest than another, reading anger-like words lessens out tolerance level (and finally I have a reference for my book-pathy: I sometimes aware of how my feelings and thoughts are function of the book I’m reading) and so on.
Each chapter is for an irrational trait of the human behaviour, that however is not random, but absolutely predictable: and is also thanks to this knowledge that the marketing activities make us prefer a product respect to another one.
I think Predictably Irrational is a very interesting and nice read, also thanks to the examples that proof the proposed thesis. I suggest to read it also to become consumers more aware about the mechanics of our daily choices.
P.S. To have a hint of the topic here you can find an interesting talk of the author in a TED conference.
* Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely ★★★★★
*I read this book in English