Predictable Irrationality


From the Journal of Marketing Book Review Section: Two Reviews of "Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions" by Dan Ariely

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ANNOUNCEMENT: Two Book Reviews of “Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions, by Dan Ariely.”

I am delighted to report that the first set of book reviews for this year have been posted on the Journal of Marketing website. These reviews analyze the very popular book- “Predictably Irrational.”

The first review is by Prof. Russ Belk of York University. The second review is Prof. Elise “Pookie” Sautter of New Mexico State University. My thanks to both my colleagues for their very thoughtful reviews. I am moving the review paradigm from 1 book: 1 review to 1 book: multiple reviews. This should allow us to view the same material from diverse perspectives. Here are the two reviews-

Prof. Russ Belk’s Review- Predictably Irrational: A More Behavioral Economics


Prof. Elise “Pookie” Sautter’s Review- The Pedagogical Value of a “Predictably Irrational” Approach.


In addition, I asked Prof. Dan Ariely about how his book might affect marketing practice. His response is provided below-

“There are many irrationalities that all the academics in my field are familiar with, but marketing practitioners often aren’t. Among these irrationalities are the endowment effect, the effect of expectations on choice, and the cost of having too many options. As a first step, I am hoping that practitioners will become familiar with these drivers of human behavior, and figure out which of these irrationalities are likely to play a part in their particular domain and setup. However, if practitioners stopped there, it would not be very exciting or informative, so I am hoping that practitioners will take another step and, systematically and rigorously, conduct more experiments to understand the effects of these irrationalities within their particular context.

Beyond the particular details of the research I describe in my book, the two main lessons are that we have many irrationalities and that we have flawed intuitions about these irrationalities. Given these two points it is clear that we need to become more systematic about testing our intuitions, ideas, and products. If I am even slightly successful in getting reactionaries to adopt this perspective I would consider it a success.”

I look forward to serving the marketing community in my role as the Book Review Editor. If you have any suggestions on how we can make this section even better or would like to review a book, do drop me a line.


Sandeep Krishnamurthy, Ph.D.
Journal of Marketing Book Review Editor

Associate Director, Graduate Programs &
Associate Professor of Marketing and E-Commerce
Business Administration Program
University of Washington, Bothell
Phone: (425) 352 5229
Fax: (425) 352 5277