I was/am a big fan of Freakonomics - a use of statistical sciences to investigate mysteries of everyday life - basically using applied science to everyday issues.
I expected more of the same with "The Upside of Irrationality" by Dan Ariely. However, I found confirmation of the biases I always held over economics - that is was mainly about money, and very simple, unsupportable models.
Ariely was beyond the very simple models, but what seemed "revolutionary" and "cutting-edge" really felt like first year social science - psychology or sociology. I wasn't surprised to find that there are motivations beyond simple greed driving decisions - the big experiment they find so compelling involves splitting a sum of money - no communication between partners - you get a sum and can give part to your "partner" and they have to either accept the fraction you offer, or refuse, in which case neither of you gets money.
The "revolutionary" part is that people will turn down small sums as punishment for unfairness (e.g. if you get $10 and offer me $1, I'll refuse, and both get nothing). This is only "revolutionary" in the very simplistic economic view that folks will always decide in the most selfishly beneficial way - e.g. always take sums greater than zero. Psychology, history, sociology all know that there are competing motivations including greed, revenge, fairness, self-perception, conscience, etc. all driving in different ways.
Thus, much of the book was lost on me as the "surprise" lost all value, given that I was not convinced of the expectation that was to be had.
All in all, an OK book, much less that what you'd get from Dubner and Levitt or Malcolm Gladwell. I guess I'd expected some "upside" such as enhanced problem solving, or ways to overcome a roadblock in a difficulty issue.