Why you tip as much as you do At a cafe in Upstate New York, a waiter paused for a moment in the kitchen to draw a playing card from a shuffled deck before bringing a check out to a … Continue reading Tipping anxiety
Why Your Brain Hates Other People As a kid, I saw the 1968 version of Planet of the Apes. As a future primatologist, I was mesmerized. Years later I discovered an anecdote about its filming: At lunchtime, the people playing … Continue reading Us Versus Them
The economist’s guide to gift-giving “There are worlds of money wasted, at this time of year, in getting things that nobody wants, and nobody cares for after they are got.” That was Harriet Beecher Stowe in 1850, reminding us that … Continue reading Is giving gifts socially efficient?
Self-Control Is Just Empathy With Your Future Self You’ve likely seen the video before: a stream of kids, confronted with a single, alluring marshmallow. If they can resist eating it for 15 minutes, they’ll get two. Some do. Others cave … Continue reading How to think about thinking people
Connections to a Cause: The Millennial Way of Charity It was an otherwise routine bus ride through the Costa Rican countryside several years ago that changed the way Chase Adam thought about what makes people give. Mr. Adam, a 24-year-old … Continue reading Charitable giving for millenials
Science confirms rich people don’t really notice you—or your problems No one can pay attention to everything they encounter. We simply do not have enough time or mental capacity for it. Most of us, though, do make an effort to … Continue reading Motivational relevance
Presumed Selfish Imagine that some person or organization is now a stranger, but you are considering forming a relation with them. Imagine further that they have one of two possible reputations: presumed selfish, or presumed pro-social. Assume also that the … Continue reading Are you not selfish enough?