Predictably Irrational author discusses decision-making


WILLIAMSBURG, VA -- The College of William & Mary's longstanding Honor Code is a truly good measure to reduce cheating --  so long as students are reminded of it right before they may be tempted to cheat, according Dan Ariely, author of Predictably Irrational.

Dan Ariely

During a recent visit, hosted by Synergy, the W&M chapter of the American Marketing Association, and the Finance Academy, Ariely discussed how he came to be interested in studying irrational behavior after having years of experience as a patient in a burn ward.  Since that experience, he has been dedicated to understanding our decision-making processes and why we repeatedly and predictably make the wrong decisions in our everyday lives.

Ariely used the current financial crisis and students' routines to explain his research. Among the night's takeaways were a better understanding of the irrational choices people make in refinancing their mortgages and more insight into the power of honor codes.  Junior Krista Klotter' blogs about the evening on "Everyone Has a Story."

In Predictably Irrational, Ariely's illuminates the subtle tricks that our minds play on us when  we think we're making rational choices, thus giving us a sense of control.

A professor of Behavioral Economics at Duke University, Ariely is the founder of the Center for Advanced Hindsight, and a visiting professor at MIT's Media Lab.  Ariely has received numerous awards for his extensive research and his work has been featured in leading scholarly journals in psychology, economics, neuroscience, medicine, and business as well as in popular publications including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. 

Ariely received a PhD in marketing from Duke University, a PhD and MA in cognitive psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a BA in psychology from Tel Aviv University.