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Behavioral Economics

Why Modern Consumers Crave Both Freedom and Structure

Troy Campbell | Posted 08.27.2014 | Business
Troy Campbell

Consider even the mundane phenomenon of self-serve frozen yogurt. The reason frozen yogurt has become so popular may not be entirely due to its taste, but to the opportunity for constrained creativity.

Irrational Markets Or Irrational Individuals? Designing 'Smart' Environments Improve Decision-Making and Make Markets More Efficient

Jon Jachimowicz | Posted 08.14.2014 | Business
Jon Jachimowicz

How can markets be made efficient when people aren't? Apparent market failures are often attributed to individuals making apparent 'irrational' decisions. However, I argue that markets can be made more efficient when creating environments for individuals that aid their decision-making.

Have and Have Not: The Widening Gap

Wray Herbert | Posted 08.07.2014 | Science
Wray Herbert

Little is known about people's thoughts about wages and fairness. In general, people favor some threshold of fairness, but what is this threshold -- and how widely is it shared? Two psychological scientists have recently begun exploring these important questions.

Our Oceans Are Dying: Mobilizing an Indifferent Public to Confront This Crisis

Bernard Starr | Posted 08.27.2014 | Green
Bernard Starr

If more environmental studies and more alarming news will not mobilize leaders and the public for an all-out commitment to the preservation of our small vulnerable corner of the universe, what will? Perhaps we need to shift our focus from information to changing human behavior.

If We Want People To Eat Real Food, We Must Make It Easier To Eat Real Food

Brad Stulberg | Posted 08.13.2014 | Healthy Living
Brad Stulberg

When it comes to eating healthy, the deck is rigged against us. If we are going to invest in a broad campaign telling people to "eat real food," we must also invest in a broad campaign to make eating real food an "easier" choice to make.

Why Behavioral Economics Is Cool, and I'm Not

Adam Grant | Posted 08.13.2014 | Business
Adam Grant

Psychology has come a long way since Freud, but the brand hasn't caught up. Ideally, we'll start rebranding psychology as a source of interesting, rigorous ideas.

Unexpected Modern Status Symbols

Emily Guy Birken | Posted 08.03.2014 | Money
Emily Guy Birken

It's hardly surprising to learn that status-seeking individuals choose to buy goods and services based on how impressive the cost is. What is disconcerting is to realize that it's not just that typical high-prestige goods like handbags, luxury cars and the like that can become markers of status.

Why L.A. Locals Are Terrible Tour Guides

Troy Campbell | Posted 07.21.2014 | Los Angeles
Troy Campbell

A few summers ago, I took my girlfriend to my Californian home. I wanted her to love California, so I took to her to the special unknown, off-the-beat...

Health Care Design and the Experience of Running a Marathon

Brad Stulberg | Posted 07.06.2014 | Healthy Living
Brad Stulberg

By evaluating the total marathon experience, we can identify key components that make running an entirely unnatural distance so appealing, and consider how we might apply them to health behavior change.

Behavioral Economics, Social Norms, Excessive Drinking and Why Everyone Wants to Be a 'Face in the Crowd'

Adam Winstock | Posted 06.24.2014 | Healthy Living
Adam Winstock

Many smokers will say, "of course smoking kills -- other people, not me. I've got good genes." Holding this dangerous, usually inaccurate perception means we are less likely to put things in place to reduce our risk of harm.

Why We Need Underdogs in Basketball and Life

Troy Campbell | Posted 05.24.2014 | Sports
Troy Campbell

At the end of the day, so many of us feel like underdogs and we want nothing more than to see another underdog succeed. Luckily for us, we can count on the annual March Madness to provide a few underdogs success stories.

4 Ways to Love Movies As Much As Children Do

Troy Campbell | Posted 05.19.2014 | Entertainment
Troy Campbell

3) Kids are encouraged to be excited about movies. So as an adult you need to find friends that encourage that same excitement.

Master the New Science of Business Psychology in 5 Steps

Troy Campbell | Posted 05.03.2014 | Business
Troy Campbell

Alright, so most likely you don't have time to hire your own private behavioral insights team. So, what can you do? Here's how to become an amateur behavioral scientist.

Genetic Testing Needs a Nudge

Dov Fox | Posted 04.24.2014 | Politics
Dov Fox

This innovative approach to the management of genetic health information better balances the goals of patient health and consumer freedom. Genetic testing is the next frontier of personalized medicine. But it needs a nudge.

The Mistake Locals Make When Advising Tourists

Troy Campbell | Posted 04.22.2014 | Travel
Troy Campbell

Locals cannot always be trusted to be the perfect guides. They may know the best routes through a town and a great secret restaurant, but locals are often out of touch with many tourists' experiences and desires.

How Advertisers Can Use Your Personal Information To Make You Pay Higher Prices

Tarun Wadhwa | Posted 04.02.2014 | Technology
Tarun Wadhwa

What is at stake isn't purely a matter of annoying ads or nosy companies -- it's a deep set of customer protections that have taken decades of hard work to secure.

Are Health Scientists Healthy?

Troy Campbell | Posted 03.26.2014 | Science
Troy Campbell

Behavioral scientists don't just study irrationality; we live with it. Despite our own efforts to live rational lives and all the effort we spend designing environments that help people behave more rationally, we scientists find ourselves choosing irrationally.

A ClusterDuck of Thinking: A Collusion of Self-Deception and Half-Truths

Kevin J. Fleming, Ph.D. | Posted 02.18.2014 | Science
Kevin J. Fleming, Ph.D.

Thanks to a burst of media attention this week centering around a certain actor from A&E's show "Duck Dynasty," we may be thinking we have learned som...

The 12 Business Books to Read in 2014

Adam Grant | Posted 02.16.2014 | Books
Adam Grant

Here are a dozen books with big implications for the world of work that are likely to make a splash in the coming year.

7 Ways Black Friday Messes With Your Mind

Troy Campbell | Posted 01.26.2014 | Business
Troy Campbell

Over the last decades, social scientists have cataloged the many different factors that lead to shopper irrationality, and Black Friday touches on nearly that entire list.

Catching Fire's Katniss Everdeen Is Our Fantasy Vessel

Troy Campbell | Posted 01.25.2014 | Entertainment
Troy Campbell

Ever since Star Wars, we've increasingly gone more and more towards movies that convince us that we are secretly more powerful and more interesting than the world lets on. We can not get enough of that story!

Why We Love Louis CK? -- His Painful Honesty

Troy Campbell | Posted 01.23.2014 | Comedy
Troy Campbell

Through the safety of comedy he allows people to consider intense and threatening ideas. In doing so, his performances transform a night out into something special and meaningful.

Avoiding Offending Stigmatized Persons: The Matching Strategy

Troy Campbell | Posted 01.23.2014 | Science
Troy Campbell

You might find yourself picking up lunch for yourself and an overweight friend. Do you get her fries or salad as a side dish? What do you get for yourself? What will she think when you return with your selections for her and for yourself?

Why We Need Slack in Our Lives, and Why Organizations Should Start Giving It to Us?

Jon Jachimowicz | Posted 01.23.2014 | Business
Jon Jachimowicz

The idea of structuring processes and tasks to most efficiently utilize employees' time and workload has an intuitive appeal -- isn't efficiency a goal many countries cherish and many people strive towards?

Random thoughts on rational decline

Robert Teitelman | Posted 01.23.2014 | Business
Robert Teitelman

This has been a rough few weeks for Rational Man. In fact, this has been a difficult decade or more for the concept, central to both the Enlightenment...