Professor Profiles: Dan Ariely, Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business

Many MBA applicants feel that they are purchasing a brand when they choose a business school. However, the educational experience you will have is what is crucial to your future, and no one will affect your education more than your professors. Today, we focus on Dan Ariely from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business

Dan Ariely’s “Behavioral Economics” class is reportedly a popular one at Fuqua. “It always has the longest waiting list,” remarked one second year we interviewed, and an alumna said of Ariely, “He was wonderful.” When mbaMission asked a first-year student about Ariely’s class, he said jokingly, “I’m pretty sure you have to snag that class within one or two seconds of it becoming available!” The course explores how people actually act in the marketplace, as opposed to how they might act if they were being completely rational. (Note: “Behavioral Economics” is not available during the 2020–2021 academic year, according to the Fuqua course catalog.)

Ariely is also author of the books Dollars and Sense: How We Misthink Money and How to Spend Smarter (Harper, 2017, with Jeff Kreisler), Payoff: The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivations (Simon & Schuster/TED, 2016), The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone—Especially Ourselves (HarperCollins, 2012), The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home (HarperCollins, 2010), and Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions (HarperCollins, 2008).

An alumna told mbaMission, “He got us to think about everyday things in a totally new way,” and a second-year student commented, “Everyone takes his course. Everyone. He’s our rock-star professor.” Another second year agreed, saying, “He is one of the superstar professors here. He explains more complex research in an easy-to-understand way.”

Ariely maintains a blog that can be found at He also writes an advice column for the Wall Street Journal titled “Ask Ariely,” bits of which were published in book form under the title Irrationally Yours: On Missing Socks, Pickup Lines, and Other Existential Puzzles (Harper Perennial, 2015).

For more information about Duke Fuqua and 16 other top-ranked business schools, check out our free mbaMission Insider’s Guides.

onTrack by mbaMission

A first-of-its-kind, on-demand MBA application experience that delivers a personalized curriculum for you and leverages interactive tools to guide you through the entire MBA application process.

Get Started!

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Deadlines

  • Berkeley Haas (Round 1)

Click here to see the complete deadlines

2024–2025 MBA Essay Tips

Click here for the 2023–2024 MBA Essay Tips

MBA Program Updates

Explore onTrack — mbaMission’s newest offering allowing you to learn at your own pace through video. Learn more