Book Club (Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely): Introduction…

Well, I read the introduction to Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely… which has made me look forward to reading this book, seems like it should be very interesting. This new concept of Behavioral Economics is particularly fascinating, designing economics around ways in which we are predictably irrational as well, where traditional economics might fail. I tend to forget how much of a social science economics is… It is very much based around human behavior, if not exactly what it is based off of…

The thoughts that came up to my mind when reading this introduction is how much of social science isn’t an exact science. After completing a multitude of psychology classes and the like, many studies show what a majority of people might do. But at the same time, the amount of people that didn’t act the same way might be 10% or more, which is a significant amount of people. Makes me worry a bit when we travel down these paths of logic and theory only based off of majorities because it can leave so many people behind or so many things can cross over in such a multitude of ways. Although, when doing something so large as an economic system, you do the best that you can I suppose. Plus, also sometimes you are just trying to change that majorities way of thinking about something important…

But this also speaks to how important individualized therapy and things like that still are. I sometimes think to myself that I do mass therapy… which if studies have shown anything, I am only every really speaking to so many people at a time. It can be really important to get individualized therapy and attention more tailored just to the individual.

Also makes you realize that no guru is probably going to be able to connect with everybody when delivering a particular message. Motivational speakers should keep that in mind when they make claims that their advice can change anyone… can make a person be less credible.  So much of life is finding what works for us as an individual…

Although I do think belief systems can be an outlier to all of this… something at the core and base of a person that can alter their outlook on life. Granted that is only part of what takes up the vast array of space in a person’s complex mind…

I was also thinking that I don’t always feel that lab experiments rule out what people learn by methods of common sense… although perhaps something may have just been wrong with the experiment or it hasn’t been proven by being replicated enough times… For instance, Ariely’s experiment with pain… I feel that is so open to new studies and interpretation, because so many people experience pain in unique ways and like dealing with it in their own way… some people jump right in the pool, others slowly walk in… others pull a band aid right off, others slowly take it off. I felt that the nurses may have developed their own methods over many years based off of feedback and things from patients. Even if a current nurse didn’t know exactly why they did it a particular way, it may have been a way that developed over time using their own experiments and common-sense principles. Perhaps they should just try it one way with a patient one day, then another day try a different method, and then let each individual patient decide.

Anyways… I think this is going to be a really fun book to read, the introduction certainly piqued my interest!

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