Predictable Irrationality

Another book about psychology and economics, which is all the rage. This book was entertaining, but not that well written: it jumps from pretty sensible conclusions about some experiments to over-generalized statements about public policy. And some of the experiments just seem silly. For example, the author placed cans of Coke in student refrigerators at MIT (I wonder if it was in Burton House?): some of them wound up being drunk. However, when he placed plates with dollar bills on them in refrigerators, the dollars were not taken. From this he concludes that people treat $ different from objects. Which may be true, but in the context of this experiment I'd say that having a plate of dollar bills in your refrigerator is an unusual enough sight that most people would consciously avoid the bills.

Still, some amusing stories. Probably the best one is where he explains the experiments where students fill out some surveys while they are sexually aroused.

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