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Predictably irrational - Essay Example

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Name: Course: College: Tutor: Date: Predictably Irrational In the analysis of Dan Ariely’s book, “Predictably Irrational”, Venkat effectively summarizes its content by advising readers not to “blindly think that financial rationality persists all the time, instead people should learn to analyze authentic behavior, thus understanding the invisible processes in life and avoid being others’ tool” (n.pag).This is an argument the author presents after acknowledging that indeed, people can make irrational decisions even with the subconscious knowledge that the steps they are taking are wrong…
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Predictably irrational
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Download file to see previous pages As a result of these accounts of conscious perceptions, we often assume that the experiences constitute a single fundamental reality. Based on this broad judgment, Venkat further reaffirms that, “the imperative nature of consciousness is practically beyond logical doubt and rather evident through predictable behavior.” (n.pag). Many make the assumption that, they are actually settling for rational and smart choices, without taking into consideration the possibility that their behavior is actually predictable. After reading Ariely’s book, I came to realize that I am also predictably irrational, especially in my life as a student, as shown by analogies drawn hereunder between the authors’ illustrations and incidents in my life. According to Ariely, it is rather intriguing to note that, human expectations, societal norms and emotions, among other undermined aspects of life, which ordinarily seem illogical, often control our capability to reason. This is a conclusion that the author draws from the fact that people astoundingly make simple mistakes, yet repeat the same types of faults daily. The author’s line of thought begins when he asks “Do our first impressions and decisions become imprinted?” (25). He goes on to elaborate that we usually overpay for certain items when shopping, we also underestimate expenses and keep procrastinating duties we are supposed to carry out eventually. The author is keen to note that these misguided doings are not random, and neither are they senseless. Apparently, these actions are logical and foreseeable, as illustrated by the experiment showing how students’ social security numbers influenced their bids for wine (Ariely 28). This possibility is explicated by Ariely in various chapters of his book, as well as, in Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave”, as discussed in subsequent paragraphs. In chapter six of his book, “Predictably Irrational”, Ariely focuses on the crucial aspects of self-control and procrastination (Ariely 109-119). Through a comprehensive experiment, the author realizes that his students tend to perform better in class assignments, when deadlines for work submission are spaced all through the semester, than when the deadline is set on the final day of the school term. This is an aspect he attributes to the tendency of learners to postpone work, when they think that they have sufficient time to finish writing the assignments, prior to the semester’s end. In the long run, students rush during the last minute only to do unsatisfactory work and, consequently, acquire poor grades. In contrast, spacing out deadlines and imposing potential grade or financial penalties, in addition to simplification of tasks, makes it easy for students to deal with their assignments early enough. This is because such efforts inspire self-control among students and lower incidents of procrastination. The occurrence of procrastination among individuals is also supported by O’Donoghue and Rabin, who suggest that “people may occasionally purchase items with high prices based on the notion that the price is ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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