The Con of Propaganda “If you can’t find the sucker at the poker table,” goes the saying, “you’re it.” Extrapolating that axiom to the present political moment, we may say: “If you don’t hear much about propaganda, that’s what you’re … Continue reading Propaganda vs. science
A psychological trick to turn people green: show how environmentalism will help their own goals How do you get people to act in a climate friendly manner? The received wisdom is to push the basic message that climate change is … Continue reading Everyone cares about something
How storytelling drives finance and economics In his recent presidential address to the American Economic Association, Nobel Laureate Bob Shiller drew attention to the importance of narratives in economics and, particularly, in financial markets. This corroborates some recent research by … Continue reading The force of narrative
Don’t Tell Your Friends They’re Lucky Cornell professor of economics Robert Frank says he’s alive today because of “pure dumb luck.” In 2007, he collapsed on a tennis court, struck down by what was later diagnosed as a case of … Continue reading Are you lucky?
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
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
The Real Problem With Hypocrisy What, exactly, is the problem with hypocrisy? When someone condemns the behavior of others, why do we find it so objectionable if we learn he engages in the same behavior himself? The answer may seem … Continue reading The dislike of hypocrisy