Powerful Marketing Tricks With Dan Ariely

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Dan Ariely is the best-selling author of Predictably Irrational – The Powerful Forces That Shape Our Nature. Along with being one of the top Behavioral Economists in the world, his book was just named the #1 best business book of 2008 by Amazon.com.

Here’s a brief description of Predictably Irrational from Publishers Weekly:

"Irrational behavior is a part of human nature, but as MIT professor Ariely has discovered in 20 years of researching behavioral economics, people tend to behave irrationally in a predictable fashion. Drawing on psychology and economics, behavioral economics can show us why cautious people make poor decisions about sex when aroused, why patients get greater relief from a more expensive drug over its cheaper counterpart and why honest people may steal office supplies or communal food, but not money. According to Ariely, our understanding of economics, now based on the assumption of a rational subject, should, in fact, be based on our systematic, unsurprising irrationality. Ariely argues that greater understanding of previously ignored or misunderstood forces (emotions, relativity and social norms) that influence our economic behavior brings a variety of opportunities for reexamining individual motivation and consumer choice, as well as economic and educational policy. Ariely’s intelligent, exuberant style and thought-provoking arguments make for a fascinating, eye-opening read."

And it has many important lessons for Marketers.

Watch Dan in action at Google here: Authors@Google – Dan Ariely.

You can also listen to my conversation with Dan over at Foreword Thinking – The Business And Motivational Book Review Podcast here: FT10 – Understanding Why People Are Predictably Irrational With Dan Ariely.

(Dan is a special friend of Six Pixels of Separation. He is solely responsible for introducing me to my literary agent. The full story is part of the book, Six Pixels of Separation, which will be released in the Fall on Grand Central Publishing. Congrats Dan on being #1 from all of us at Twist Image – where you’ve been #1 since we first met).


  1. If irrational behavior is predictable and people buy based on emotions can we as marketers orchestrate an optimal buying path and message? I believe we can, what do you think?

  2. Fascinating! Thanks Mitch. The “third option” (Rome/Paris, attractiveness, The Economist, etc.) is really useful information to have when strategizing.

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