May the Mash-ups Continue

Dan Ariely has opened my eyes to a fascinating area of study called Behavioral Economics (BE). His book, Predictably Irrational, is a great read (or listen, in my case) and it is full of idea-generating studies and discussions. He may not be the only or even the first or best BE out there, but kudos for bringing this topic to the world in such an enjoyable way.

Of the many ideas I could remark on and may add later, here are two:

  • The mash-up of two separate areas of study has brought some really powerful new ideas forward. It makes me wonder what other areas could be brought together and to what result.
  • The obvious conclusion of his book is that we really need to use this area of research to alter how we structure problems, programs, and plans that involve decisions by humans. This is a broad area of impact, to be sure, and it will be interesting to see what happens in coming years. It all does smack of manipulation, though, so we need to beware of unfair uses of this research, too.