Books on behavioural economics – your thoughts

Posted by on Aug 18, 2009 in Books | 8 Comments


Chuffed that HERD is cited by my old chum (and IPA topdog) Rory Sutherland on his list of must-read books on the new behavioural sciences, along with Ariely, Thaler and Sunstein, Moran, Cowen, Alerkof, Miller, Lehrer,Litman & Frigo, Kay.

NB not sure that "behavioural economics" is strictly appropriate but what the hell…

Prompted by a question from Dave Cushman, I thought it'd be interesting to find out which other books on the new behavioural/cognitive sciences you think marketing folk should read…

Here's my starters for ten

A great primer on cultural evolution from Richerson and Boyd, Iacoboni's great book on mirror neurons, Ormerod's masterpiece on complexity & this great old scourge of information/message based theories of communication.

Your call?


  1. Adrian Ho
    August 18, 2009

    One of the books that started this trend of examining decision making was Stumbling on happiness by Daniel Gilbert A lot of common themes later developed in Nudge, Predictably Irrational, etc.

  2. Gareth
    August 18, 2009

    A pretty good list. To me, read everything by Ormerod and you’ll have a much better picture of the world. I might add Taleb’s The Black Swan and The Drunkard’s Walk by Mlodinow to get a better sense of the importance of randomness and complexity, and maybe Emergence, Six Degrees or Critical Mass to get a real sense of how stuff spreads (of course once Herd has whet your appetite). Also worth a read are Mind of the Market by Michael Shermer is a pretty good overview of the new economics and Quirkology by Richard Wiseman is one of the better books on the quirks of our behavior.

  3. Cecilia
    August 18, 2009

    Or what about Gut Feelings – the intelligence of the unconscious by Gerd Gigerenzer

  4. Finikiotis
    August 19, 2009

    Great list. Thanks. I agree with Cecilia: Gut Feelings – the intelligence of the unconscious mind

  5. Helge Tennø
    August 21, 2009

    I would agree with Adrian, the Gilbert book is brilliant. Also I’ve found:
    Clotaire Rapaille, The Culture Code
    John Medina, Brain Rules
    Malcolm Gladwell, Blink
    To be very valuable reads.

  6. Una
    August 24, 2009

    Good list, but I would add Basic Instincts by Pete Lunn to it. He’s a neuroscientist-turned-economist and gives a strong account of the direction behavioural economics is likely to take next – borrowing ideas from other behavioural sciences, especially evolutionary psychology.

  7. Pranay
    November 18, 2010

    predictable irrational by dan ariely is a great book on behavioural eco.. u can also watch his videos on or download his predictable irrational podcasts. he does some really interesting research