The Story of Dan Ariely
Dan Ariely is one of the leading names in the list of behavioral economists and the field of decision making without any academic background in the same. His research on these areas was inspired by experiences he underwent while recovering from third-degree burns he suffered from an explosion. Post being discharged from the hospital he wanted to understand “how to better deliver painful and unavoidable treatments to patients” and researched extensively in the field of behavioral economics and decision making which he practiced in his personal and professional life successfully.
Early life and Education
Born on 29th April, 1967; Ariely, an Israeli-Amercian was born in New York City, USA. He spent most of his youth in Ramat Hasharon, Israel after his family shifted there when he was three years old. Dan Ariely was a major in physics and mathematics from the Tel Aviv University but subsequently transferred to physiology and psychology. He also did his Masters (MA) and a PhD in cognitive psychology from University of North Carolina and a second doctorate in business administration from Duke University in 1998.
Ariely started his career in teaching at MIT from 1998 to 2008 and thereafter, as James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University. He was earlier teaching as the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Behavioral Economics at MIT Sloan School of Management.
He also moved on create and launch an internet tool called as Simpli which a search engine that helped to simplify unstructured search words. This tool was purchased by NetZero in 2000 who later sold it to Google. This technology is used till date by Google as an advertising and search engine.
In addition to the above, Ariely is recognized as a known actor and has written many books such as 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.
These are books which talk about how people make financial decisions, understanding one’s irrational behaviors and how we can shield ourselves against our own abilities to mock ourselves. His research experiments depict what affects human behavior and force us to act irrationally.
Ariely along with his other co-authors was awarded an Ig Nobel Prize in Medicine for their research on “high-priced fake medicine is more effective than low-priced fake medicine” in 2008.
Dan Ariely has involved himself in various other works such as:
- Center for Advanced Hindsight = A laboratory where research is done on psychology of money and decision making by doctors and patients;
- BEworks = Firm founded by him that helps to solve policy and business challenges by using behavioral economics; and
- Arming the Donkeys = Podcast of Dan’s interviews with various social sciences researchers.
He also served as a member of the United Nations University International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change from 2012 to 2014 and has published various papers, is a recognized speaker and runs an advice column in the Wall Street Journal called “Ask Ariely”.
Dan Ariely was recognized as one of Top 50 Most Influential Thinkers in 2013 by Bloomberg.