Dan Ariely on ABC:RN’s All In The Mind – That’s the Irrational MIND

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ABC Radio National - All In The MindScience Fiction is great but my iPod is mostly tuned to Science Fact. I only have 4gb and real estate is slim.  Jesse’s chuckles have turned to belly laughs when he “catches” me in the act of listening to “MY” podcasts. “Put it on your BLOG” has been his standard retort when I comment enthusiastically about whatever has caught my fancy. He changed his tune recently and now it’s “POST IT ON SFFAUDIO” so beware… here they come.

My favorite weekly PODCAST is ABC Radio National‘s All In The Mind with host Natasha Mitchell. Natasha is brilliant. She came to journalism by default… with a first class honours degree in engineering and midway to completion of a PhD in materials engineering. She has been the producer of All In The Mind since 2002, and all shows are available on the ABC website for download.

Dan Ariely is the James B. Duke Professor of Behavioral Economics at Duke University as well as the head of eRationality research group at MIT. He has conducted research into the human decision making processes. In this podcast Dan describes experiments which include masturbation, freebies, expectations, placebos and price.

My favorite of Natasha’s comments for this interview was when Dan described some of his experiments, Natasha expressed her amazement at how he managed to get these approved by ethics committees. He responds: “You know I have a lot of experience with them and slowly they trust me more and more. I think that’s one of the benefits.” (Are the ethics committees irrational?)

There is no doubt, after listening to Dan Ariely, that humans are irrational. Can one become more rational when one is aware of one’s irrationality?

Have a listen |MP3|.

Posted by Elaine Willis

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