The Upside of Irrationality (The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and At Home) By Dan Ariely

People like to procrastinate and this affects their decision making ability.

Chapter 1: Paying more for less (Why big bonuses don’t always work) à excessive stress can demotivate people and excessive monetary compensation can demotivate other certain circumstances.

Chapter 2: The meaning of labor (What legos can teach us about the joy of work) – The work has to be value adding and has to have an audience to be meaningful. Avoid the Sisyphean condition as it kills motivation. Sometimes, it is better to allow the employee to undergo the full process at work.

Chapter 3: The IKEA effect (Why we overvalue what we make) – People like to attribute success to their work. This might be due to the sentimental value of the work. Effort can lead to long term satisfaction. Fall in love with your creations;

Chapter 4: The not-invented-here bias (Why my ideas are better than yours) – People tend to think their own ideas are better than others. Do not simply dismiss other people’s ideas just because they are not yours;

Chapter 5: The Case for Revenge (What Makes Us Seek Justice) – Revenge is very common among people. Do not overuse apologies. Only apologise when you mean it. Revenge can be useful if the other party takes corrective action;

Chapter 6: On Adaptation (Why we get used to things, but not all things and not always) – We get used to material goods easily. The key to prolonging a happiness is to interrupt a happy moment by taking breaks. The key to reducing sadness is not to interrupt a sad moment and let it take its course. Novelty can bring happiness;

Chapter 7: Hot or Not? (Adaptation, assortative mating and the beauty market) – People tend to date people similar to themselves. Sour grapes theory makes attractive people less desirable. Unattractive people and usually aware of how they look.

Chapter 8: When a Market Fails (An example from online dating) – The online dating market fails because people end up doing activities which they don’t like;

Chapter 9: On Empathy and Emotion (Why we respond to one person who needs help but not to many) – We are susceptible to the ‘identifiable victim effect’. Closeness, vividness and drop in the bucket. Learn to recognize the problem;

Chapter 10 – The long term effect of short term emotions (Why we shouldn’t act on our negative feelings): Emotion Cascade. Do not let initial emotions affect long term decision making. Do not make decisions in a bad mood.

Chapter 11: Lessons from our irrationalities (Why we need to test everything) – Question your intuitions. Learn to overcome the limitations of your human mind.



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