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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.


Do violent video games make us violent?

Watch Can Violent Video Games Play a Role in Violent Behavior? on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour. Media outlets spent the day speculating about a CBS report that Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza had blacked out his bedroom and game-room windows, and spent hours playing violent video games. But what do we know about […]


The psychology of why we’re so gung ho about war with Iran

Two polls published Tuesday show that a majority of Americans support a pre-emptive strike on Iran. Why? According to a new paper, the way we talk about Iran might have something to do with it.


The Penn State riots, the 99 percent and the powerful psychology of group identity

Why did Penn State students riot over Joe Paterno’s firing? And why has Occupy Wall Street been so effective? It has to do with the power of group-think and the nature of human identity.


The psychology of Occupy Wall Street, or why we don’t always favor wealth redistribution

A new study explains why some people are opposed to wealth redistribution. But that’s not all that’s going on with protests like Occupy Wall Street and the tea party.


  Presidentiality: ‘Revenge!’

Why do we cheer for the death penalty? After an incident at a recent Republican debate, Presidentiality looks back at thousands of years of evolution, to understand why human beings get off on retribution.


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.

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