Category Archives: Behavioral Economics and Public Policy

Christmas Shopping Tip — Your Brain Knows What You Like Better Than You Do

A song comes through your earbuds: good rhythm, clever lyrics, pleasing melody. You know whether you like the song, right? Maybe not. A series of studies using brain imaging raise the possibility that sometimes we think we like or dislike things, … Continue reading

Posted in Behavioral Economics and Public Policy

The Insurance Companies That Are Most Likely To Refuse To Pay Doctors

Healthcare reimbursement in the U.S. is frighteningly complex. We have federal payers, like Medicare; state/federal payers, like Medicaid; private, for-profit insurance companies, like Aetna; private, not for profit insurers, like many local Blue Cross Blue Shield networks. Oh yes, and … Continue reading

Posted in Behavioral Economics and Public Policy, Health Policy

Why Telling Your Children They Are Smart Could Turn Them Into Cheaters

I am not one of those parents who believes kids should win trophies just for showing up for their t-ball games. But I’m also not stingy in praising my children when they do well. When my kids got hundreds on … Continue reading

Posted in Behavioral Economics and Public Policy

What Socialized Medicine Would Mean for Your Health

Americans are not fans of socialized medicine. Sure, some people want socialized healthcare payment, including many people who are fans of Medicare for All. But even most Bernie Sanders supporters probably aren’t in favor of socializing the entire U.S. healthcare … Continue reading

Posted in Behavioral Economics and Public Policy, Health Policy

A Moderate Republican Plan To Fix American Healthcare: ‘Medicare For All’?

Everyone thinks of “Medicare for All” as a liberal idea, an extremely liberal one embraced by the socialist wing of the Democratic Party. It’s an idea Democrats were hesitant to embrace in the Obama era, for being too far out … Continue reading

Posted in Behavioral Economics and Public Policy, Health Policy

Do We Know How to Promote Employee Health?

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, lots of companies are encouraging workers to get biometric screening.  Here’s a picture of that: But is there evidence that this promotes healthier behavior? Would love someone to direct me to any relevant research.

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A Self Control App?

The MacOS has a new self control app called, straightforwardly, SelfControl. The app has an ominous icon, which looks like a cross between a poker game gone wrong and the warning symbol on a bottle of poisonous chemicals: The app … Continue reading

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Want Credibility? Use a Chart!

If I told you there was a new medicine effective in treating a previously untreatable illness, you might be interested. If you have the illness, you might even read up and try to figure out whether the medicine would work … Continue reading

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More Like a Sludge Than a Nudge

Every once in a while, I post a picture of an effort to nudge people into better behavior. Sometimes, I post pictures of pretty horrendous nudges. In response to one of those posts, Lydia Ashton sent me this picture, of … Continue reading

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The Anchoring Heuristic Courtesy of Dilbert

Heuristics is jargon used by decision psychologists and behavioral economists to refer to cognitive shortcuts we humans take to make judgments and decisions. One of the first heuristics identified as such by Danny Kahneman and Amos Tversky was the anchoring … Continue reading

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