Dan's immersive introduction to irrationality took place many years ago while he was overcoming injuries sustained in an explosion. The range of treatments in the burn department, and particularly the daily “bath” made Ariely 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.
Dan became engrossed with the idea that people repeatedly and predictably make the wrong decisions in many aspects of their lives and that research could help change some of these patterns.
A few years later, as he was learning more and more about decision making and behavioral economics, Dan realized that this knowledge is relevant to many aspects of our life, from financial decision making, to health, to better habits, and even to better personal life. Once Ariely realized that understanding decision-making can help him live in a better way, he started working on how to get all of us use the same basic knowledge to improve our daily life.
Irrationally Yours, Predictably Irrational, The Upside of Irrationality, The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty, the movie Dishonesty and the card game Irrational Game are his attempts to take his research findings and describe them in non academic terms, so that more people will learn about this type of research, discover the excitement of behavioral economics, and possibly use some of the insights to enrich their own lives.