How scarcity affects people

The Psychology of Scarcity: What Behavioral Economics Can Teach Design

Even as we deal with the strain on our resources—energy, water, clean air—the gap between those who have access to these resources and those who don’t continues to widen. As some sections of society agree that we simply have too much stuff, that production of many items is fast approaching a peak—how many cars, for example, does the world need in total?—other groups of people deal with the crippling reality of a resource crunch. Eldar Shafir, professor of psychology and public affairs at Princeton University and coauthor, with Sendhil Mullainathan, of the book Scarcity: The New Science of Having Less and How It Defines Our Lives (Picador, 2013), talks to Metropolis’s Avinash Rajagopal about what lessons behavioral economics may hold for architecture and design. …[READ]

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