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Irrationally Yours Summary

4 min read ⌚ 

On Missing Socks, Pickup Lines, and Other Existential Puzzles

When you look in the mirror every morning, how do you feel about yourself?

Do you hate yourself? Do you respect yourself enough? Protection or self-destruction? Respect? Shame?

Who Should Read “Irrationally Yours”? And Why?

This may be just a moment of confrontation with yourself. But what stands behind the mirror, in the hidden spots of the mind?

From what you have it in yourself to be, sprouts all good and evil. “Irrationally Yours” serve as a mirror or even as a mentor that unlike others superficial relationships creates a real value.

As such it’s highly recommended to all, and especially for those who have trust issues.

About Dan Ariely

Dan ArielyDan Ariely is an Israeli-American professor of Behavioral Economics at Duke University. Among other things, he is also the co-founder of Genie, Shapa. When it comes to writing, all of the three books Dan wrote are proven bestsellers – Predictably Irrational, The Upside of Irrationality, and The Honest Truth about Dishonesty.

Dan was born in New York on April 29, 1967.He holds Ph.D. in cognitive psychology and is an expert in behavioral economics.


“The impact of our collective irrational decisions on our lives is very very large.”

“Irrationally Yours Summary”

After being ripped out of teenage life with third-degree burns on 70% on his body, then hospitalized for three years and having to experience daily pain, Ariely developed a unique ability to reflect and observe human behavior.

Driven by curiosity and passion, Dan begun his journey after the horrific accident.

An ability that is thoroughly expressed through his book, Irrationally Yours.

This collection of Q&A’s comprises of some edited and expanded answers from his Wall Street Journal column named „Ask Ariely”. As an added bonus, Irrationally Yours also includes some wonderful and witty cartoons by William Haefeli that, in my opinion, deepen, improve, and illustrate the answers.

The book is written in a conversational way, a less academic one, although Ariely’s answers are solidly backed by scientific research.

What impressed me most while reading this was Ariely’s commitment to developing a better understanding of human nature. This is a man who has dedicated most of his time conducting research and wondering about human habits and the reasons why we act the way we do.

For you to understand how people around you behave, and how you can affect their attitude, you need first to list your intentions. Understanding others starts by comprehending your true-self.

Irrationally Yours Summary

The advice that Ariely offers is extremely practical. Like babysitting friends’ children for an entire week to estimate the costs and benefits of having children or that going out to loud, busy places could actually be a winning strategy when it comes to first dates.

„Why do we sabotage our health over and over? And how can we tame the desire to eat and overeat?”

If thoughts like this ever crossed your mind, Ariely also has tips for this kind of by questions offering powerful insights on the way the human mind works. In truth, one can hardly anticipate any external factors, but favoring them is an awful strategy.

“The impact of our collective irrational decisions on our lives is very very large.”

Let’s think about a common situation: if you did something to upset a close friend, which will be the best option? The best option seems to be to say you’re sorry and say it repeatedly.

Most of us have a hard time admitting that we made a mistake or miscalculate something. Such tendencies are closely related with our mindset. For instance, you are at work, and one of your colleagues publicly criticizes your work, what would be your first reaction?

Would you take a defensive stance, or you would just let that negative energy pass? Some people feel an attacking urge, to get the upper hand, while others are more pleased with a gentle approach.

After many experiments regarding this, Ariely found that apologies and asking for forgiveness work well even when the person knows that you don’t really mean it. This happens because it’s hard to continue being mad at someone when he admits that he was wrong.

Dan Ariely

Another of Ariely’s findings is that we all love being complimented. And we tend to be better disposed towards the people that praise us, liking them even when we know that they are insincere. Also, we are much more likely to help someone if the need they express is specific.

That being said, Irrationally Yours is, without a doubt, a thoroughly entertaining book that doesn’t fail to provide useful and insightful advice to a great range of human problems.

This is guaranteed to entertain anyone who holds any interest in social sciences or human behavior, in general.

Key Lessons from “Irrationally Yours”

1.      Don’t stay in the shadows
2.      Take a deep breath
3.      Strange thing about sadness

Don’t stay in the shadows

To make an impact, you must be fully prepared to fight for your ideas and pursue your goals. People that run out of gas, know the burden of giving up.

Even if your superiors don’t appreciate anything that you did, keep pushing.

Take a deep breath

As humans, we are prone to rash into conclusion. This is not specified for individuals of similar backgrounds, but for almost all humankind.

To improve your decision-making, stop for a second, take a quick break, see your options and then proceed.

Strange thing about sadness

It’s unusual and yet truthful, that sad moments create a special bond among people.

Once we are overwhelmed by some feeling or event, the person who shows compassion is subtly creating a special connection.

Cherish these moments, and don’t run away from such experiences.

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Our Critical Review

If you are looking for a better understanding of your own irrational mind, look no further. Check the book summary and some nuggets (visual quotes from books) from Irrationally Yours by Dan Ariely.

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