Oh Behave! – Hidden Forces that Shape Irrational Behavior

When marketers design a marketing campaign – we typically design them for “rational” buyers. But do buyers ever act rational?

And what about us?

When we make decisions we think we’re in control and making rational choices. But are we?

Dan Ariely a faculty member at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and member of the Media Lab has launched a book called Predictably Irrational and the blog by the same name dedicated the study of behaviors. His work is fascinating and enlightening for all marketers.

Dan is going to be one of the Keynote speakers at MarketingProfs B2B Forum on June 9-10 in Boston (along with David Meerman Scott) which sounds like a fantastic line up to me – I know I will be there as well conducting a panel on: Is Social Media Harder for B2B vs. B2C? So don’t forget to join us for that.

This is a direct link to the event use promo code ESPK08 to save $200 on the $1,295 registration fee (save $350 if you sign up before May 19th).


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About Dan

Dan’s immersive introduction to irrationality took place many years ago while he was overcoming injuries sustained in an explosion (here is a description of his experiences in the hospital). The range of treatments in the burn department, and particularly the daily “bath” made him face a variety of irrational behaviors that were immensely painful and persistent. Upon leaving the hospital, he wanted to understand how to better deliver painful and unavoidable treatments to patients so he began conducting research in this area. After completing this initial research project, he became engrossed with the idea that we repeatedly and predictably make the wrong decisions in many aspects of our lives and that research could help change some of these patterns. A few years later, decision making and behavioral economics dramatically influenced his personal life when he found himself using all of the knowledge he’d accumulated in order to convince Sumi to marry him (a decision that was in his best interest but not necessarily in hers). After managing to convince her, he realized that if understanding decision-making could help him achieve this goal, it could help anyone in their daily life.

Predictably Irrational, is his attempt to take research findings in behavioral economics and describe them in non academic terms so that more people will learn about this type of research, discover the excitement of this field, and possibly use some of the insights to enrich their own lives. In terms of official positions, he is the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Behavioral Economics at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and at the Media Laboratory, a founding member of the Center for Advanced Hindsight, and a visiting professor at Duke University.

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