Next time you are choosing your breakfast cereal, take a moment, and pause before you pull it off the shelf. Consider the following: Are you making this selection because you like the color of the box? It is because it is cheaper than the other cereals in the aisle? Is it because there is an incentive on the back for something free? Is it because it is the first cereal you saw when you walked into the grocery store? Or is it because you grew up in a household full of Fruit Loops and would love to mentally return to that spot?
Regardless of your answer, the point remains the same. If we are willing to take the time to break down our decisions--even small ones--into their base components, we start to develop a sense of what motivates us to make the choices that we do. We can use this awareness to better our lives, better ourselves, and to avoid falling victim to the same psychological traps that worm their way into our decision-making processes time and time again.
About the Author
Daniel Ariely is an Israel-American author and professor. He was born in 1967 in New York City, New York. Ariely holds two Ph.Ds--one in cognitive psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1996) and another in marketing from Duke University (1998).
Throughout his career, Ariely founded several companies, most of which focused on applying behavioral science and economics to marketing and strategy problems.
In addition to his extensive entrepreneurial experience, Ariely has taught behavioral economics at both the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his alma mater, Duke University.
Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Decisions That Shape Our Decisions was Ariely’s first book.