The problem with preferences A cynic, Oscar Wilde wrote in his play Lady Windermere’s Fan, is “a man knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing”. This suggests that price and value are two different concepts, which apparently … Continue reading Unknown preferences
A new challenge for behavioural economics Many of the best known examples of everyday Behavioural Economics are about health, wealth and wellbeing. Not surprisingly, these three central aspects of our life feature in the subtitle of Thaler and Sunstein’s popular … Continue reading Safeguarding democracy
Primal fear can blinker our decisions, even in elections Few researchers in the history of psychology are as controversial as Harry Harlow. His most famous experiment was to socially isolate infant rhesus monkeys and give them a choice between two … Continue reading Fear won
Music Enhances Beer’s Flavor Hearing your favorite song at a bar doesn’t just improve the ambience of your 21-and-up social endeavor. A recent study published in Frontiers in Psychology found that the music we listen to while drinking significantly influences … Continue reading Which music do you taste?
People are fed up with taking surveys, and that’s bad for science You should probably start filling out those annoying government surveys. Science depends on it. Regular surveys of households are crucial sources of data for measuring unemployment, poverty, health … Continue reading Are you overwhelmed by surveys?
Accounting for Taste Sitting in a pub one night a dozen years ago, Charles Spence realized that he was in the presence of the ideal experimental model: the Pringles potato chip. Spence, a professor of experimental psychology at Oxford University, … Continue reading What you hear is what you are
Behavioral economics and public policy David Just and Andrew Hanks have a new paper forthcoming in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics entitled: The Hidden Cost of Regulation. This is an important paper in many respects. As I see it, … Continue reading Do people’s preferences depend on policies?