26 Captivating Dan Ariely Quotes

Dan Ariely is a Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University. As the founder of The Center for Advanced Hindsight and co-founder of BEworks, Ariely has dedicated his life to studying the fields of decision making and behavioral economics. Here is a look at some of the most memorable Dan Ariely quotes to familiarize yourself with.

“A substantial amount of research over the past decade has reinforced the idea that although internal happiness can deviate from its “resting state” in reaction to life events, it usually returns toward its baseline over time.”

“But suppose we are nothing more than the sum of our first, naive, random behaviors. What then?”

“Every year, employees’ theft and fraud at the workplace are estimated at about $600 billion.”

“Giving up on our long-term goals for immediate gratification, my friends, is procrastination.”

“Human beings are inherently social and trusting animals.”

“Humans rarely choose things in absolute terms. We don’t have an internal value meter that tells us how much things are worth. Rather, we focus on the relative advantage of one thing over another, and estimate value accordingly.”


“If you’re a company, my advice is to remember that you can’t have it both ways. You can’t treat your customers like family one moment and then treat them impersonally—or, even worse, as a nuisance or a competitor—a moment later when this becomes more convenient or profitable.”

“In a modern democracy, he said, people are beset not by a lack of opportunity, but by a dizzying abundance of it.”

“Most blogs have very low readership—perhaps only the blogger’s mother or best friend reads them—but even writing for one person, compared to writing for nobody, seems to be enough to compel millions of people to blog.”

“One that we are just beginning to understand- is that trust, once eroded, is very hard to restore.”

“Ownership is not limited to material things. It can also apply to points of view. Once we take ownership of an idea — whether it’s about politics or sports — what do we do? We love it perhaps more than we should. We prize it more than it is worth. And most frequently, we have trouble letting go of it because we can’t stand the idea of its loss. What are we left with then? An ideology — rigid and unyielding.”

“People are sometimes willing to sacrifice the pleasure they get from a particular consumption experience in order to project a certain image to others.”

“People are willing to work free, and they are willing to work for a reasonable wage; but offer them just a small payment and they will walk away.”

“Put simply, the link between creativity and dishonesty seems related to the ability to tell ourselves stories about how we are doing the right thing, even when we are not. The more creative we are, the more we are able to come up with good stories that help us justify our selfish interests.”

“Resisting temptation and instilling self-control are general human goals, and repeatedly failing to achieve them is a source of much of our misery”

“That’s a lesson we can all learn: the more we have, the more we want. And the only cure is to break the cycle of relativity.

“The danger of expecting nothing is that, in the end, it might be all we’ll get.”

“The more cashless our society becomes, the more our moral compass slips.”

“The retail industry has its own headache: it loses $16 billion a year to customers who buy clothes, wear them with the tags tucked in, and return these secondhand clothes for a full refund.”

“There are many examples to show that people will work more for a cause than for cash.”

“This result suggests that cheating is not driven by concerns about standing out. Rather, it shows that our sense of our own morality is connected to the amount of cheating we feel comfortable with. Essentially, we cheat up to the level that allows us to retain our self-image as reasonably honest individuals.”

“We all think that in the future, we are wonderful people. We will be patient, we will not procrastinate, we will exercise, we will eat well… The problem is we never get to live in that future. We always live in the present.”

“We all want explanations for why we behave as we do and for the ways the world around us functions. Even when our feeble explanations have little to do with reality. We’re storytelling creatures by nature, and we tell ourselves story after story until we come up with an explanation that we like and that sounds reasonable enough to believe. And when the story portrays us in a more glowing and positive light, so much the better.”

“We usually think of ourselves as sitting the driver’s seat, with ultimate control over the decisions we made and the direction our life takes; but, alas, this perception has more to do with our desires-with how we want to view ourselves-than with reality.”

“When people think about a placebo such as the royal touch, they usually dismiss it as “just psychology.” But, there is nothing “just” about the power of a placebo, and in reality it represents the amazing way our mind controls our body”

“Without constant suspicion, we can get more out of our exchanges with others while spending less time making sure that others will fulfill their promise to us.”

Dan Ariely appears at this Ted Talk discussing how the world feels about the growing concern to inequality. Whether this refers to the growing wealth gap between social classes, this new research will shock you.