When to Set Rigid Goals, and When to Be Flexible To encourage loyalty, customers who purchase wine at the online store Yesmywine receive a stamp in the form of a “Country Medal” each time they buy a bottle. Customers who … Continue reading Do you prefer flexibility?
The Normalization Trap What’s normal? Perhaps the answer seems obvious: What’s normal is what’s typical — what is average. But in a recent paper in the journal Cognition, we argue that the situation is more complicated than that. After conducting … Continue reading Normal is not average
You’ve been framed: Why Narratives Matter How many times have you seen a headline similar to this – “Nigeria loses $34 billion to tomato/fish/toothpick imports?” If you’re Nigerian, you’ve heard an assertion like this at least once. And how does … Continue reading Framing economic policy
Behavioral Economics Isn’t Dead Yet Just a few years ago, many were proclaiming the decline of behavioral economics. In 2009, the well-known game theorist David Levine delivered a lecture called “Is Behavioral Economics Doomed?,” in which he casts doubt on … Continue reading Behavioral macroeconomics is alive
Why Trump’s Staff Is Lying One of the most striking features of the early Trump administration has been its political uses of lying. The big weekend story was the obviously false claim of Donald Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer, that … Continue reading Trump’s loyalty tests
How do we measure well-being? Opinions differ on the definition of well-being. Yet there’s a growing consensus that it cannot be reduced to material consumption and that other aspects of life, such as health and good social relations, are essential … Continue reading Is happiness just satisfaction?
An influential theory about emotion and decision-making just failed a new test It’s a common belief that to make optimal decisions we need to be more logical and less emotional, rather like Mr Spock in Star Trek. In fact, much … Continue reading Somatic markers at work