The Best TED Talks By B-School Professors

6) Fuqua School of Business’s Dan Ariely: “ARE WE IN CONTROL OF OUR OWN DECISIONS?”


Is this information new? 5

As human beings, we love to remind ourselves that we’re the smartest creatures in the animal kingdom. Ariely’s research humbles us by pointing out the serious flaws in our decision making processes.

Is the presentation engaging? 5

Ariely gets straight to the point: “I’ll tell you a little bit about irrational behavior. Not yours, of course — other peoples’.” This quip simultaneously sets the subject of the talk and pokes fun at our blindness to our own mistakes. The rest of the presentation is just as clever, covering everything from magazine subscriptions to organ donation.

Is this spicier than a class presentation? 5

The behavioral economist claims that writing academic papers is boring. He wrote “Predictably Irrational” because someone told him that he needed to publish a book about his research before getting a chance to publish the cookbook he’d dreamt of: “Dining Without Crumbs: The Art of Eating Over the Sink.” Fortunately for us, he never lost his sense of fun.

Does it leave viewers with practical takeaways? 1

Ariely ends his talk with a vague statement: understanding our mental limitations will make the world a better place. How can the average person help, though? Who knows.

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