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Behavioral Economics

We behave a lot more badly than we remember

The Conversation US | Posted 06.13.2016 | Religion
The Conversation US

Guess who topped even Mother Teresa? The people who completed the survey, with a score of 87 percent. Apparently, most of the respondents thought they were better than Mother Teresa in regards to their likelihood of getting into heaven.

Why We're Hardwired to Believe in the American Dream

Helen Zhao | Posted 06.07.2016 | Business
Helen Zhao

Despite the deteriorating health of the American dream, many still feel just as strongly about it. In a Pew Research Center survey, 64 percent of re...

Society's biggest problems need more than a nudge

The Conversation US | Posted 05.16.2016 | Business
The Conversation US

Joe Arvai, University of Michigan So-called "nudge units" are popping up in governments all around the world. The best-known examples include the U....

Business Fails the BOP

Kristen Tyrrell | Posted 04.06.2016 | Business
Kristen Tyrrell

Businesses have made significant strides in the last 40 years, identifying innovations that make serving the world's poorest profitable. Single-use pa...

My New Year's Resolution: Regress to a Better Mean

Brad Stulberg | Posted 12.23.2015 | Healthy Living
Brad Stulberg

Every year around this time of year, people harness something that the behavioral economist Katherine Milkman calls the "Fresh Start Effect." We use t...

Gift-Giving Taboos That Aren't As Bad As You Think

The Conversation US | Posted 12.22.2015 | Business
The Conversation US

There are many social norms that dictate gift-giving, including when, how and what to give as gifts. Interestingly, these norms don't seem to be about making sure that recipients get the gifts they want. What makes for a good or bad gift often differs in the eyes of givers and recipients.

The Disney Marketing Magic That Made Us All Star Wars Fans

Troy Campbell | Posted 12.18.2015 | Business
Troy Campbell

Disney no longer markets movies; instead, they market fandoms. From Marvel to Pixar, and especially Star Wars, they create personal connections and pull hard on heartstrings.

Why Germany needs to rethink what it means to be German

Jon Jachimowicz | Posted 12.02.2015 | Politics
Jon Jachimowicz

Unless Germans begin viewing their hyphenated counterparts as viable future citizens, perspective-taking will be aggravated, fueling a vicious cycle of "othering."

To End AIDS, We Must End Stigma Against HIV First

Kent Messer | Posted 11.30.2015 | Healthy Living
Kent Messer

Breakthroughs in scientific medical research have prompted AIDS activists and politicians to envision "an AIDS-free generation." UNAIDS has begun a countdown to zero: "no new HIV infections, no discrimination, and no new AIDS deaths."

A Loving Defense of Black Friday

Troy Campbell | Posted 11.26.2015 | Business
Troy Campbell

There seems to be a mad rush in the media to analyze Black Friday. Yet, every analysis misses the point that Black Friday, which though on the surface seems like just vile consumerism, is actually, for some, quite a meaningful, ritualistic experience.

6 Lessons for Effective Science-Based Ocean Conservation

Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson | Posted 11.18.2015 | Green
Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson

The ocean is indeed in deep, deep trouble due to overfishing, climate change, pollution, and habitat destruction, and good science is needed to turn that around. This science doesn't need to be fancy, expensive, or complicated. Rather, it needs to be thoughtful, targeted, and inclusive.

Elites Don't Favor Income Equality When It Costs Them Too Much

The Huffington Post | Shane Ferro | Posted 09.25.2015 | Business

A new behavioral economics study shows that elites don't favor a level economic playing field when it's expensive for them to do so, regardless of whe...

The Government Is Learning How To Change Your Behavior -- Supposedly For Your Own Good

The Huffington Post | Alexander Howard | Posted 09.21.2015 | Technology

Not every effort to change how we make choices will go flat like the soda ban that former Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration tried to impose upo...

How To Heal A Broken Heart? A 5-Step Program

Dr. Rebekka Grun | Posted 07.17.2016 | Impact
Dr. Rebekka Grun

"We broke up." "It's over." "No more." It can sound so easy. But the hard work sometimes begins right there. If you are done with listening to Sinead O'Connor and a good dose of mourning, and can suffer some humor again, and maybe a fresh outlook, then this article is for you.

Ulysses and the Hedge Trimmer

Martin Bunzl | Posted 06.19.2016 | Green
Martin Bunzl

Better not to tempt me in the first place. Take the Hummers away. Don't clutter my world with things I should not have. Don't dangle them in front of me, creating desire, only to then try to have me renounce them. Just ban the damn two-cycle hedge trimmer and let me be done with the matter.

In the Long Run, Who Is Ultimately Affected By Climate Change?

Martin Bunzl | Posted 05.28.2016 | Green
Martin Bunzl

I keep reading papers about cognitive theories and climate change that strike me as, by and large, "wildly optimistic." The trouble goes beyond making the salient effects of climate on the "other" real for "us." But the real other affected by climate change are those of future generations.

The Dangers of a Glass Half-Full: Don't Let a Sunny Outlook Threaten Your Finances

Scott Burns | Posted 05.17.2015 | Money
Scott Burns

Looking on the bright side may help improve your social life, health and career. Unfortunately, your optimism may also hide risks to your finances.

Laziness Is More Complex Than You Think: How a More Nuanced Approach Can Help Us Overcome Laziness When Needed

Jon Jachimowicz | Posted 05.05.2015 | Healthy Living
Jon Jachimowicz

We also need to recognize that sometimes, being lazy is far from a sin. After all, isn't getting to take a deserved break why we expend effort in the first place?

How Tinder Is Changing the Dating Game

Kelsey Clark | Posted 04.27.2015 | College
Kelsey Clark

In a dating world in which one-word text messages warrant excitement and a "match" is made with the swipe of a finger, you can't help but wonder... Are we to blame, or is it all Tinder's fault?

America Desperately Needs to Double Its Savings Rate: Here's How to Do it

Scott Burns | Posted 04.04.2015 | Money
Scott Burns

In the past, much of the workforce had a portion of wages seamlessly and automatically reserved for the future in investments managed by employers. Now, most of us need to make an active choice to put money toward distant goals.

Randomized Controlled Trials: Powerful, But Only When Used Right

Jon Jachimowicz | Posted 03.25.2015 | Business
Jon Jachimowicz

RCTs are important. They are an outstanding tool that researchers have to obtain better insights. However, RCTs need to be designed better: we need more intervention arms, better control groups, better definition and measurement of other possibly affected behaviors, and longitudinal designs including follow-ups to evaluate long-term effectiveness.

The Psychology of 2014: Understanding Protests, Ice Buckets, Taylor Swift and More

Troy Campbell | Posted 03.08.2015 | Science
Troy Campbell

It dominated Facebook feeds for weeks -- everyone from your high school girlfriend to your college roommate to your extended family seemed to join in. The trend swept the nation, yet the question remains: why was the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge so successful?

3 Simple Strategies to Keep Your Financial Resolutions

Shahar Ziv | Posted 03.02.2015 | Money
Shahar Ziv

As January kicks off, close to half of Americans will make resolutions on the perennial quest for self-improvement. Predictably, losing weight continues to be the top goal for 2015. Money-related resolutions, however, rank among the favorites.

You Don't Know What It Means to be Successful

Danielle Posa | Posted 02.07.2015 | Healthy Living
Danielle Posa

Don't get caught up in the machine. And if you think you're stuck, or that you don't have any other options because you can't get out of your job, or (insert reason here), just simply start talking about what you want. You might be surprised how quickly people want to be part of it, and who would be willing to help you get there.

The Unfulfilled Potential of Diapers

Michael Feigelson | Posted 01.17.2015 | Impact
Michael Feigelson

There are innovators working to give moms and dads the nudge they need to keep the conversation going even in the inevitable moments of exhaustion and frustration.