Dan Ariely in 2010
April 29, 1967 |
New York City, New York, U.S.
Dan Ariely (Hebrew: דן אריאלי; born April 29, 1967) is the James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics. He teaches at Duke University and is the founder of The Center for Advanced Hindsight and also the co-founder of BEworks. Ariely's talks on TED have been watched over 7.8 million times. He is the author of Predictably Irrational and The Upside of Irrationality, both of which became New York Times best sellers, as well as The Honest Truth about Dishonesty.
Early life and family
Dan Ariely was born in New York City while his father was studying for an MBA degree at Columbia University. The family returned to Israel when he was three. He grew up in Ramat Hasharon. In his senior year of high school, he was active in Hanoar Haoved Vehalomed, an Israeli youth movement. While preparing a ktovet esh (fire inscription) for a traditional nighttime ceremony, the flammable materials he was mixing exploded, causing third-degree burns over 70 percent of his body. In his writings Ariely describes how that experience led to his research on "how to better deliver painful and unavoidable treatments to patients."
Ariely is married to Sumi, with whom he has two children, a son and a daughter.
Education and academic career
Ariely was a physics and mathematics major at Tel Aviv University, but transferred to philosophy and psychology. However, in his last year he dropped philosophy and concentrated solely on psychology, in which he received his B.A. in 1991. He also holds an M.A. (1994) and a Ph.D. (1996) in cognitive psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He completed a second doctorate in business administration at Duke University in 1998 at the urging of Nobel economic sciences laureate Daniel Kahneman.
After obtaining his PhD degree, he taught at MIT between 1998 and 2008, before returning to Duke University as James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics. He was formerly the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Behavioral Economics at MIT Sloan School of Management.
Computer Business Activities
Ariely was a founding member of an Internet tool, Simpli. Simpli was sold in 2000 to NetZero. Another company that leveraged the Simpli WordNet technology was purchased by Google and they continue to use the technology for search and advertising under the brand Google AdSense.
In 2001, there was a buyout of the company and it was merged with another company called Search123. Most of the original members joined the new company. The company was later sold in 2004 to ValueClick, which continues to use the technology and search engine to this day. In 2015 his start-up company, timeful, was sold to Google.
In October 2015, Ariely was named chief behavioral economist for the mobile app Qapital. Ariely, who has also invested in the company, uses his access to the app's platform and database to assist him in independent research into consumer saving and spending behavior. In turn, Qapital can access Ariely's research to test technologies and ideas for use in the app. Entrepreneur magazine observed that, "It's a synergistic relationship that points at the emergence of a new trend: the collaboration between startups and social scientists."
In 2016, he started to work for a startup called Lemonade.
Ariely is the author of the books Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions, The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home and The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone – Especially Ourselves. He explains the impetus for his first book,
"I have a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology, and I have a Ph.D. in business administration. But what I do lies between psychology and economics. I ask questions that economists would ask, but instead of assuming straightaway that people behave rationally, I just observe how people behave. In "Predictably Irrational", I talk about how people think, mostly about financial decisions. The things that we buy. One chapter asks the question, "How do we decide how much something is worth?" Economic theory has a very simple assumption about this. But I ask the question, "How do we really do it?"" 
When asked whether reading Predictably Irrational and understanding one's irrational behaviors could make a person's life worse (such as by defeating the benefits of a placebo), Ariely responded that there could be a short-term cost, but that there would also likely be long-term benefits, and that reading his book would not make a person worse off. Asked to describe "The Upside of Irrationality", Ariely says,
"The first half is about motivation in the workplace. It asks questions like, "What is the real effect of bonuses? What happens when we give high bonuses?" It turns out it motivates people, but it doesn't always bring higher performance. It often actually brings lower performance. Because money can stress people...The second part of "The Upside of Irrationality" is about the personal life. It's about the question, how do we find happiness? And how do we adapt to good and bad things that happen to us? And it's a little bit about emotion." 
Michael S. Roth writes of "The Honest Truth About Dishonesty", "Ariely raises the bar for everyone. In the increasingly crowded field of popular cognitive science and behavioral economics, he writes with an unusual combination of verve and sagacity. He asks us to remember our fallibility and irrationality, so that we might protect ourselves against our tendency to fool ourselves." 
In 2008 Ariely, along with his co-authors, Rebecca Waber, Ziv Carmon and Baba Shiv, was awarded an Ig Nobel Prize in medicine for their research demonstrating that "high-priced fake medicine is more effective than low-priced fake medicine."
Center for Advanced Hindsight
Ariely's laboratory, the Center for Advanced Hindsight at Duke University, pursues research in subjects like the psychology of money, decision making by physicians and patients, cheating, and social justice.
Ariely is the co-founder of BEworks Inc, a firm that applies behavioral economics to business and policy challenges.
Arming the Donkeys
Arming The Donkeys is a podcast of Ariely's interviews with researchers in the fields of social and natural sciences.
- Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions. Second edition in 2012., HarperCollins, 2008, p. 304, ISBN 978-0-06-135323-9, OCLC 182521026
- The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home, HarperCollins, 2010, p. 352, ISBN 978-0-06-199503-3, OCLC 464593990
- The Honest Truth about Dishonesty, HarperCollins, 2012, p. 255, ISBN 978-0-06-218359-0, OCLC 757484553
- Irrationally Yours, HarperCollins, 2015, p. 219, ISBN 978-0-06-237999-3, OCLC 891610204
- Ariely, Dan; Zauberman, Gal (2000), "On the making of an experience: The effects of breaking and combining experiences on their overall evaluation" (PDF), Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 13 (2): 219–232, doi:10.1002/(SICI)1099-0771(200004/06)13:2<219::AID-BDM331>3.0.CO;2-P
- Ariely, Dan (1998), "Combining experiences over time: the effects of duration, intensity changes and on-line measurements on retrospective pain evaluations", Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 11 (1): 19–45, doi:10.1002/(sici)1099-0771(199803)11:1<19::aid-bdm277>3.0.co;2-b
- Ariely, Dan; Loewenstein, George; Prelec, Drazen (2003), "Coherent Arbitrariness: Stable demand curves without stable preferences", The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 118 (1): 73–106, doi:10.1162/00335530360535153
- Ariely, Dan; Carmon, Ziv (2000), "Gestalt Characteristics of Experiences: The Defining Features of Summarized Events" (PDF), Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 13: 191–201, doi:10.1002/(sici)1099-0771(200004/06)13:2<191::aid-bdm330>3.0.co;2-a
- Ariely, Dan (2000), "Controlling information flow: Effects on consumers' decision making and preference", Journal of Consumer Research, 27 (2): 233–248, doi:10.1086/314322
- Ariely, Dan; Wertenbroch, Klaus (2002), "Procrastination, Deadlines, and Performance: Self-Control by Precommitment" (PDF), Psychological Science, 13 (3): 219–224, doi:10.1111/1467-9280.00441, PMID 12009041
- Heyman, James; Ariely, Dan (2004), "Effort for Payment: A Tale of Two markets" (PDF), Psychological Science, 15 (11): 787–793(7), doi:10.1111/j.0956-7976.2004.00757.x, PMID 15482452
- Ariely, Dan; Loewenstein, George; Prelec, Drazen (2006), "Tom Sawyer and the Construction of Value" (PDF), Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 60: 1–10, doi:10.1016/j.jebo.2004.10.003
- Carmon, Ziv; Ariely, Dan (2000), "Focusing on the Forgone: Why Value can Appear so Different to Buyers and Sellers" (PDF), Journal of Consumer Research, 27: 360–370, doi:10.1086/317590
- Shiv, Baba; Carmon, Ziv; Ariely, Dan (2005), "Placebo Effects of Marketing Actions: Consumers May Get What They Pay For" (PDF), Journal of Marketing Research, XXII: 383–393
- Mazar, Nina; Ariely, Dan (2006), "Dishonesty in Everyday Life and Its Policy Implications" (PDF), Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 25 (1)
- Lee, Leonard; Frederick, Shane; Ariely, Dan (2006), "Try it, you'll like it: The influence of expectation, consumption, and revelation on preferences for beer" (PDF), Psychological Science, 17 (12): 1054–1058, doi:10.1111/j.1467-9280.2006.01829.x
- Ariely, Dan; Michael Norton (January 2008). "How Actions Create-Not Just Reveal-Preferences" (PDF). Trends in Cognitive Sciences. 12.
- Ariely, Dan; On Amir; Ziv Carmon (November–December 2008). "The Dissociation Between Monetary Assessment and Predicted Utility" (PDF). Marketing Science. 6. 27: 1055–1064. doi:10.1287/mksc.1080.0364.
- Ariely, Dan; Marco Bertini; Elie Ofek (June 2009). "The Impact of Add-on Features on Consumer Product Evaluations" (PDF). Journal of Consumer Research. 1. 36: 17–28. doi:10.1086/596717.
- Ariely, Dan; Gregory S. Berns (3 March 2010). "Neuromarketing: the hope and hype of neuroimaging in business" (PDF). Nature Reviews Neuroscience. 11: 284–292. doi:10.1038/nrn2795.
- Ariely, Dan; Michael I. Norton; Daniel Mochon (July 2012). "The IKEA effect: When labor leads to love" (PDF). Journal of Consumer Psychology. 3. 22: 453–460.
Audio and video appearances
- How equal do we want the world to be? You'd be surprised (TED2015)
- Are we in control of our own decisions? (EG 2008)
- Our buggy moral code (TED2009)
- Beware conflicts of interest (TED2011)
- What makes us feel good about our work? (TEDxRiodelaPlata 2012)
- Learning First Alliance interview with Ariely
- Jewish World News Interview with Dan Ariely
- Skepticality Podcast, 2-22-11, Dan Ariely, The Upside of Irrationality
- Scientific American Podcast, 12-29-12, Dan Ariely, Creativity and Dishonesty
- The Amazing Meeting July 2013, Dan Ariely, The Honest Truth About Dishonesty
- Documentary about the Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio Dan Ariely is Interviewed
- Self control: The problem and How to get over it
- (Dis)Honesty: The Truth About Lies
- Dan Ariely | Center for Advanced Hindsight
- When Dan Ariely found the key to human nature
- Ariely, Dan. "Painful Lessons" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-05-14.
- "NetZero acquire Simpli for $23.5 Million". ClickZ.
- "Search123 Acquires Simpli.com from United Online". Bloomberg.
- "ValueClick Acquires Search Marketing Company Search123". EContent.
- Anderson, Jenny, "The Savings App Designed by a Behavioral Economist", The Atlantic, 5 November 2015
- Entis, Laura, "How This Famous Behavioral Economist Is Trying to Help People Solve Their Most Common Money Problems", Entrepreneur, 13 October 2015
- "Predictably Irrational Is an Irresistible Look at Our Not-So-Rational Foibles" Derek Tokaz, The Commentator, Feb. 28, 2008 New York University School of Law
- "Winners of the Ig® Nobel Prize". Improbable Research. Retrieved 2013-05-15.