The dismal science of economics is not as firmly grounded in actual behavior as was once supposed. In "Predictably Irrational," Dan Ariely told us why.

Why you should listen

Dan Ariely is a professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University and a founding member of the Center for Advanced Hindsight. He is the author of the bestsellers Predictably IrrationalThe Upside of Irrationality, and The Honest Truth About Dishonesty -- as well as the TED Book Payoff: The Hidden Logic that Shapes Our Motivations.

Through his research and his (often amusing and unorthodox) experiments, he questions the forces that influence human behavior and the irrational ways in which we often all behave.

What others say

“If you want to know why you always buy a bigger television than you intended, or why you think it's perfectly fine to spend a few dollars on a cup of coffee at Starbucks, or why people feel better after taking a 50-cent aspirin but continue to complain of a throbbing skull when they're told the pill they took just cost one penny, Ariely has the answer.” — Daniel Gross, Newsweek

More news and ideas from Dan Ariely

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April 26, 2017

How can we better understand the world within and around us? In the thought-provoking fifth session of TED2017, hosted by TED’s Editorial Director, Helen Walters, talks about neuroscience, philosophy, cognitive science — and a special experiment in behavioral science — explored issues like filter bubbles, Alzheimer’s and the very essence of existence. Below, recaps of […]

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In Brief

How small lies turn into big lies, what everyday objects tell us about inequality, and robots that lend a helping hand during disasters

November 4, 2016

Just a few of the intriguing headlines involving members of the TED community this week: The cascading effect of small lies. Tali Sharot is the senior author on a paper published in Nature Neuroscience that sheds light on the possible slippery-slope effect of telling small, self-serving lies. Using an fMRI scanning device to monitor the […]

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