Rainy days make us just as happy as sunshine Rainy days don’t have to get you down, a happiness expert has claimed. Paul Dolan, Professor of Behavioral Science at the London School of Economics, said that people only feel miserable in bad weather because they dwell on it too much. Studies have shown that people who live in warm, sunny climates are no happier that those in chilly, wet climes, he told the Hay Festival. So the British obsession with talking about the weather may be making us gloomier than the weather itself. Paul Dolan, Professor of Behavioural Science at … Continue reading Happiness and weather
Where do Eureka moments come from? A man in a town married twenty women. There have been no divorces or annulments, and everyone in question is still alive and well. The man is not a bigamist, and he has broken no laws. How is this possible? This is the so-called marrying-man problem, which psychologists often use to study creative insight: the process by which we suddenly figure out the answer to something that had previously stumped us. A problem makes no sense at first. But then we turn it around in our minds and, presto, the answer comes. So, naturally, … Continue reading Tips for being creative
Which came first, the preference or the choice? Obviously, preference precedes choice because choices are made to maximize preference. That is certainly the way we conduct our marketing research. We generate factorial designs and write descriptions full of information about products and services. Our subjects have no alternative but to use the lists of features that we provide them in our choice sets. All of this can be summarized in the information integration paradigm shown in the figure above. Features are the large S real-world stimuli that become corresponding small s perceptions with their associated utilities inside our heads. The … Continue reading Does purchase depend on the list of benefits or features?
The New McDonald’s Mascot Terrified His Way Into Our Minds Today the new McDonald’s Happy Meal mascot, Happy, officially enters the U.S. market. Born in France in 2009, McDonald’s says the anthropomorphized box “brings fun and excitement to kids’ meals, while also serving as an ambassador for balanced and wholesome eating.” Despite purportedly noble aspirations, though, Happy is entering the country bruised and beleaguered. On Monday, U.S. McDonald’s shared a preview of the character on Twitter. The now-infamous proclamation seemed simple enough. “Say hello to our newest friend, Happy!” The real impetus of the widespread fallout to the unveiling was … Continue reading Is the new McDonald’s mascot wrong?
Testing Text Messages to Improve Financial Behavior How effective would you like your mobile banking alerts to be? Last month, The New Yorker featured a snarky mobile banking program in a humor column by Kelly Stout. Personified through a text conversation with the author, “Mobile Banking” started with helpful reminders about her balance and spending goals. However, as the author fails to live up to the expectation of Mobile Banking in her spending behavior, Mobile Banking devolves into a frenemy, sending judgmental reminders such as: “Your checking acct ending in 6885 has a balance of $3.03, which is below your … Continue reading How does texting affect financial behaviors?
The best way to win an argument You are, I’m afraid to say, mistaken. The position you are taking makes no logical sense. Just listen up and I’ll be more than happy to elaborate on the many, many reasons why I’m right and you are wrong. Are you feeling ready to be convinced? Whether the subject is climate change, the Middle East or forthcoming holiday plans, this is the approach many of us adopt when we try to convince others to change their minds. It’s also an approach that, more often than not, leads to the person on the receiving … Continue reading How to change someone’s mind
When Memory Starts Working Working memory is the tool that allows us to navigate an ever-changing world, as we assess what information to ignore, what information to retain for mere seconds, and what information to process as lasting, long-term memories. It is the process that is at work at this very moment, as you—the reader—move from sentence to sentence: each one, I would hope, building on the previous. Or perhaps your mind is elsewhere—your eyes scanning these lines in rhythm yet your attention lost—then, alas, I have failed. But working memory is still working—you have just established a stronger neural … Continue reading How our brain stores information