The Upside of Irrationality

The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home

Dan Ariely

Let’s start with a fact. I am not a big fan of online dating. Some of the last chapters of this book, however, activated my irresistible curiosity for experimentations that my dating account goes live again. Don’t misinterpret that Dan endorses the current online dating concept; he indeed proves the fact that a bunch of information and number can hardly represent people. The idea of virtual dating (look at art and discussing, playing a game or talking about a mutual interest topic) to enhance each other’s understanding, instead of traditionally skimming the raw information, is what triggers my interest. I think someone might make a fortune with this idea.

If you are a psychology enthusiast, The Upside of Irrationality should bring you as many aha moments and excitement as its brother book, Predictably Irrationality does. A bit different from its brother, however, are advice on how to acknowledge the limitation of human’s rationality and turn it for good as we are stumbling through the irrationality everyday. Why bonus does not always go hand in hand with one’s achievement, why labour deeply associates with the sense of self, why one is likely to help one other in need but not many others in need are some other questions tackled in the book. Anecdotes and lessons in this book are an excellent source for imagination we can get that might benefit our work, business, and social life.

I would say that this book is even more interesting than its brother as it involves more personal details of the author's life while Predictably Irrational is more on consumer behavior (behavioral economics). Some awkward stories are honestly and humorously told (this is incredibly hard to a well-known author), and I think these raw materials from Dan’s life make the book stand out.

A reasonably exciting book with lessons we can apply immediately.

Autumn 2020

August 5, 2020, 3:00:00 PM


socialscience, non-fiction, psychology


The Upside of Irrationality