Monday, June 14, 2010

Prius Success Is All About Looks, Says Dan Ariely

2010 Toyota Prius

2010 Toyota Prius

The Toyota Prius is by far the most popular hybrid car because it�"s immediately recognizable as an earth-friendly car. At least, that�"s the explanation offered by Dan Ariely, the behavioral economist who wrote Predictably Irrational. Ariel was in Seattle last week on a tour for his new book, The Upside of Irrationality.

Dan ArielyDan Ariely

Ariely�"s books combine neuroscience, economics, and personal observations to explain how emotions�rather than rational economic logic�drive us to make odd choices in life.

"This is my personal observation," said Ariely, "When I drive and I see people driving Priuses, they look to me like they smile more than others." Ariely explained that Prius drivers want to stand out, to pat themselves on the back as they drive down the road, and to make it crystal clear that they�"re driving a hybrid. (This observation has been made many times before, most notably by the creators of Comedy Central�"s South Park, who portrayed hybrid drives as smug snobs. Very funny stuff.)

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