How to practice behavoral economic insights

The Happiness Code

Last summer, three dozen people, mostly programmers in their 20s, gathered in a rented house in San Leandro, Calif., a sleepy suburb of San Francisco, for a lesson in ‘‘comfort-zone expansion.’’ An instructor, Michael Smith, opened the session with a brief lecture on identity, which, he observed, can seem immutable. ‘‘We think we behave in certain ways because of who we are,’’ he began. ‘‘But the opposite is also true. Experience can edit identity.’’ The goal of the ‘‘CoZE’’ exercise, Smith explained, was to ‘‘peek over the fence’’ to a new self; by doing something that makes you uncomfortable and then observing the result. ….[READ]

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