Irrational Markets Or Irrational Individuals? Designing ‘Smart’ Environments Improve Decision-Making and Make Markets More Efficient 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. When such ‘choice architecture’ is executed well, individuals can make decisions that more accurately reflect their intentions, ultimately making markets more efficient. Every day news headlines are filled with yet another decision-making failure, spurred by cognitive biases individuals exhibit. We are too fat, too lazy, … Continue reading Choice Architecture vs. Nudge
The Neuroscience of Fairness and Injustice Humans are inherently social beings. We care not only about material and financial rewards, but also about social status, belonging, and respect. Research studies show that our brains automatically evaluate the fairness of how financial rewards are distributed. We seem to have a happiness response to fair treatment and a disgust or protest response to unfairness. This brain wiring has implications for life happiness, relationship satisfaction, raising kids, and organizational leadership. This article will examine how we define fairness, how your brain processes experiences of fairness and unfairness, and how to cope with life’s … Continue reading Fairness rewards your brain
Why does cold water on our heads increase charitable giving? Silly, narcissistic, irresponsible are some of the adjectives that the “ice-bucket challenge” has received from its critics. This is an initiative that was created to raise money for charities and consists of someone pouring a bucket of ice-cold water over their head, making a video of it and posting it on social networks (e.g. Facebook, Twitter). After that, they challenge some friends in the video to do the same within 24 hours or donate a given amount of money to a charity (most people do both). Many people are wondering … Continue reading Marketing for charities
Emotions and Eating: A Marketer’s Dream? Both research and popular media tell us that emotions and eating are intrinsically related. How many times have we seen a character in a TV show reaching for the ice-cream tub when feeling particularly down or after a breakup? What is it about sadness that leads to such behaviour? Feelings of loss and helplessness spurred on by sadness are what drives the unhealthy behaviours, whether it’s overeating or overspending. Research has shown sad people consume significantly more fatty, tasty food products such as chocolate or buttery popcorn, than those who are feeling happy. They … Continue reading How to feel in control as food consumers
When To Think Less About Your Choices Smart people have a tendency to think hard about the choices they make. Who are you going to marry? What house are you going to buy? What flavor of gelato should you get? Some make lists of pros and cons, some try to think about the most important features of the choices, and some make up new strategies on the fly. The more important the decision, the more we feel it’s warranted to think hard about it. It seems self-evident that thinking more would produce better choices. But in science, even self-evident things … Continue reading Is it better to choose unconsciously?
Burger King Stores Discontinue Satisfries as Sales Fizzle Lower-fat French fries won’t be sold anymore in most Burger King (BKW) restaurants. About two-thirds of Burger King Worldwide Inc. stores in the U.S. and Canada are phasing out the fries, dubbed Satisfries, that were introduced less than a year ago. Still, 2,500 locations will continue to offer them as a permanent menu item, the Miami-based company said in an e-mailed statement. When they were first sold, Burger King said customers would determine how long Satisfries would stay on the menu. The fries, which are designed to absorb less oil, have been … Continue reading Can fast-food restaurants make money with healthy food?
A Psychological Speed Limit On average, vehicles seriously injure or kill someone in New York every two hours; last year, 173 pedestrians were killed. Last week Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed a bill allowing New York City to enact a citywide default speed limit of 25 miles per hour as part of its “Vision Zero” campaign to reduce traffic deaths to nil. As much political wrangling as the bill took, a sterner challenge to the new limit looms: Getting drivers to obey it. What, after all, is so dangerous about driving 5 or 10 m.p.h. above the new speed, a … Continue reading How to reduce speed-related car accidents