COVID-19 Update: We are currently shipping orders daily. However, due to transit disruptions in some geographies, deliveries may be delayed. To provide all customers with timely access to content, we are offering 50% off Science and Technology Print & eBook bundle options. Terms & conditions.
Optimally Irrational - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780128144794

Optimally Irrational

1st Edition

The Good Reasons We Behave the Way We Do

Author: Lionel Page
Paperback ISBN: 9780128144794
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 1st April 2021
Page Count: 432
Sales tax will be calculated at check-out Price includes VAT/GST

Institutional Subscription

Secure Checkout

Personal information is secured with SSL technology.

Free Shipping

Free global shipping
No minimum order.

Table of Contents

I Setting the scene
1. The homo economicus model
2. The psychology of biases in human behaviour
3. The logic of a scientific revolution in economics
4. Evolution and the logic of optimisation

II Individual decisions
5. Heuristics and biases
6. Reference dependent preferences
7. Sensitivity to probability
8. Random utility
9. Time preferences

III Strategic interactions
10. Kindness and reciprocity
11. Emotions and commitment
12. Trust and reputation
13. Selection of delusion


Optimally Irrational: The Hidden Benefits of Bad Instincts provides economists, social scientists and researchers in behavioral economics with a clear view of the frontier of research in economics and other behavioral sciences, including how the different biases unveiled by behavioral economics make sense when we try to optimize problems. The book evaluates the role of bias in human economic behavior, considers the human decision-making processes as the product of natural selection, and explores why we behave the way we do.

Key Features

  • Discusses how we think about, and adopt, apparently irrational behaviors and biases in empirical research
  • Explains how biases may be adaptive solutions to well-posed optimization problems under constraints
  • Unites advances in behavioral economics with those from other behavioral sciences and evolutionary biology


Early career researchers in behavioral economics and beyond who are interested in decision-making, the process of decision-making, and decision making environments


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 2021
1st April 2021
Academic Press
Paperback ISBN:

Ratings and Reviews

About the Author

Lionel Page

Lionel Page is the head of the Queensland Behavioural Economics group at QUT. He received the 2016 Young Economist Award from the Economic Society of Australia as an economist under 40 who has made a significant contribution to economic thought. He is a previous recipient of an Australian Research Council Award and a Queensland Smart Future Fellowship. His research has attracted substantial media attention both in Australia and overseas, including coverage by the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and The Australian. He is associate editor of two international economic journals, Theory and Decision and Behavioral Public Policy.

Affiliations and Expertise

Queensland Behavioural Economics Group, Queensland University of Technology, Australia