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behavioral economics


3 things to know about behavioral economics

What exactly is ‘behavioral’ economics? In understanding the distinction between behavioral and theoretical economics, it’s important to understand that within the ‘traditional’ view of economic theory, it is assumed individuals behave in a vacuum. In practice, however, the attitudes and wants of individual actors is well, human. In an interview with Yale professor Robert Shiller, Nigel Warburton clarifies this: So what you’re saying […]


  American Voices: Dan Ariely

For many people, saving money isn’t just difficult; it’s a foreign concept. A recent study found that 58% of Americans do not have a formal retirement plan in place.¹ Why is even thinking about saving money so daunting to so many of us? We spoke with Dan Ariely, professor of psychology and behavioral economics at […]


  Need to Know: April 5, 2013: Working bridges

In this program, we visit employers implementing the program, who agree it has dramatically reduced employee turnover and increased productivity.


The Miata scenario, or justifying what we desire

Sometimes making a choice involves a complicated mental gymnastics designed to convince ourselves that the snazzier option is also the rational choice, writes Dan Ariely.


Don’t regret the future: why it’s hard to ‘just say no’

We often find it difficult to say no, writes our favorite irrationality specialist Dan Ariely. The reason may be related to how we approach the future.


The economics of the boring first date

When going on a first date, we try to achieve a delicate balance between expressing ourselves, learning about the other person and not offending anyone, favoring friendly over controversial even at the risk of sounding dull. This approach might be best exemplified by an amusing quote from the film “Best in Show”: “We have so […]


A good day for a colonoscopy, and other fantasies

Students start out the semester with such good intentions! Do all the reading! Start the papers early! And then something happens.


E-mail obsessive disorder, or what I learned about myself from rats

Obsessively checking e-mail or Facebook has become a productivity killer for many of us. Behavioral economist Dan Ariely explains what rats can teach us about these annoying habits.

How to commit the perfect crime

Note: Dan Ariely’s new book, “The Upside of Irrationality,” was released this week. See the video below for more from Dan about the book. There is a certain perverse pleasure in contemplating the perfect crime. You can apply your ingenuity to the hypothetical issues of choosing a target, evading surveillance and law enforcement, dealing with […]

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