Why do headaches often persist after taking a one-cent aspirin, yet disappear after taking a fifty-cent aspirin?
Dan Ariely, behavioral economist and author of Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape Our Decisions, refutes the common assumption that clinicians and patients behave in fundamentally rational ways. From ethics of least harm in pain management to recommendations for conservative vs aggressive therapies, from paying for 'premium' care services to choosing our providers or patients, we consistently overpay, underestimate, and procrastinate. Yet these misguided behaviors are neither random nor senseless. They're systematic and predictable—making us predictably irrational.