The Upside of Irrationality

People generally believe that we are rational creatures. However, social scientists find that we often make decisions and life choices less like Spock and more like Homer Simpson. We lie to ourselves and others, act on impulse, and often behave in opposition to our interests. We will explore why we do these things as they pertain to relationships, money and work and see how we can use our natural irrationality to our advantage.

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  • Leah H.

    Truly a wonderful, engaging, and intelligent discussion; Thanks for posting the topic. It was great to hear some of the real world application of the topics discussed.

    May 7, 2013

  • Katie

    Thought this article may interest some of you, contains some interesting methods being tested in Ma that are based on concepts in Behavioral Economics (these methods are also outlined in books like Nudge):
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/with-obesity-epidemic-whats-the-best-way-to-get-people-to-eat-healthfully/2013/05/06/516736d4-a076-11e2-be47-b44febada3a8_story.html

    May 7, 2013

  • Jean S.

    Fabulous conversation by a diverse group!

    May 6, 2013

  • Jean S.

    Fabulous conversation! Great topic, Andrea. So many choices, so little time to make decisions. I am blessed in that I seem to make far more good decisions than bad ones. Or, how many decisions are on a life and death basis? Does it really matter in the scheme of things if I eat an 800-calorie burger now and then? Or, a cigarette sure is tastes good at times with a glass of wine. If I had kept the dollar to take care of myself in old age, would it have been better than contributing that dollar to help kids with cancer??? Personal choices are what makes each of us unique. Thanks a bunch, Andrea.

    May 6, 2013

  • Tee C.

    I enjoyed this topic, since I am the type of person who can get stalled on having too many choices, trying to determine which one is the best or most rational.

    May 6, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Look up Barry Schwartz and paradox of decision. Helpful for me.

      May 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Interesting discussion today. On the subject of the health care system, this past Friday's 20/20 included a report on the profitability of medical mistakes and unnecessary procedures. Very interesting report.

    Video here:
    http://abcnews.go.com/2020/video/confessions-doctor-19107320?tab=9482930&section=1206863&playlist=18898995

    May 5, 2013

  • Lee D.

    I have family here who arrived at the last minute. I'm sorry I can't come after all. I was looking forward to it.

    May 4, 2013

  • Sidney

    Thanks for letting me know, but I had already gone ahead and made other plans for Sunday.

    May 4, 2013

  • Sidney

    Thanks for notifying me but I already had gone ahead and made plans for
    Sunday.

    May 4, 2013

  • Jyoti M.

    Sorry I will not be able to make it tomorrow. My loss!

    May 4, 2013

  • Jean S.

    Things are looking good for Sunday - a full house! Rationally, I should stay home and work but - I need a mental health day. I wonder if a mental health day is irrational?

    May 2, 2013

  • Andrea

    Here's a TED talk from Dr Dan Ariely, a behavioral economist, to get us started: http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_ariely_asks_are_we_in_control_of_our_decisions.html

    April 27, 2013

  • Leah H.

    Currently taking Dr. Ariely Irrational behavior class!

    1 · April 29, 2013

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