The underlying rationality of your irrationality

Irrationality is big these days. First came Tim Harford's The Logic of life: The rational economics of an irrational world. Next, at the top of Amazon's business bestseller list, comes Predictably irrational: The hidden forces that shape our decisions. Human foibles, apparently, keep a few writers gainfully employed.

Both books helps explain the funny things we do using a field that's been gaining some press lately: behavioral economics. Behavioral economists demonstrate an underlying method of our madness: sure we're irrational, but predictably so. From Harford's chapter on marriage as a "market-based transaction" to Ariely's discussion of why we pay $4.00 for a cup o'Joe, you may be surprised to find out just how logical - and common - your illogical actions can be.