Tag Archives: behavioral economics

More on Relativity and Happiness

Recently, I wrote about relative wealth and happiness. A new NBER paper, by Stevenson and Wolfers, seems to belie this view. It shows a sharp increase in happiness with increasing income: But these data are consistent with the idea that … Continue reading

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Behavioral Economics and the Relativity Theory of Happiness

According to many traditional economic theories of human nature, higher income should make people happier. That’s because with every additional dollar we make, we can purchase goods that increase our “utility.” Or we can save more money, and reduce anxiety … Continue reading

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Why We Cannot Trust Political Pundits, or Ourselves

Take a look at the image below and decide what you are seeing: Some of you might have seen a “B.” Others might have seen the number 13. The image, after all, is ambiguous. For that reason, in fact, it … Continue reading

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Designing a Better Restaurant Menu

My friend and colleague Brian Wansink, from Cornell University, worked with some colleagues to design a preliminary restaurant menu, that maximizes the odds the people will order healthy foods. Trick number one: don’t call them “healthy” foods. Here is an … Continue reading

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Red Robin, Red Robin, Please Clog My Arteries!

A while back, one of my favorite journalists – Sarah Kliff, from Vox – published a picture showing which chain restaurants win the award for offering the highest calorie entrées. I figured it was time to recirculate this gallery of … Continue reading

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Is It Irrational For Carmelo Anthony To Take So Many Three Pointers?

A jab to the right, then Carmelo steps back behind the three-point line and launches a shot. It clanks off the back of the rim. How likely is he to be the next person on his team to attempt a … Continue reading

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Emotional Adaptation and Desire

I’ve done a fair amount of research on how people emotionally adapt to life circumstances. My research is mainly in the context of illness and disability, where people bounce back from adversity more than expected. But people can also emotionally … Continue reading

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Side Effect Warnings Can Increase Pharmaceutical Sales

I must not be the only person to wonder how pharmaceutical companies succeed with direct to consumer advertisements when, stuck in the middle of all their TV ads, are those long lists of side effects. You know what I mean. … Continue reading

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How to Make People Interested in What You Have to Say

In his book, To Save Everything, Click Here, Evgeny Morozov tells a story about a PR agent who was trying to create some buzz around a topic. No one seemed interested. And then the agent had an idea: “I dashed … Continue reading

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Can Circular Reasoning Make You Rich?

We Americans are notoriously bad at saving money.  While people in Germany, Sweden and even France save about 10% of the money they make, folks in the U.S. save closer to 3 or 4% of their earnings.  With so little … Continue reading

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