About MeI am a physician and behavioral scientist. My research and writing explore the quirks in human nature that influence our lives -- the mixture of rational and irrational forces that affect our health, our happiness, and the way our society functions. (more...)
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Tag Archives: behavioral economics
Cigarette smokers have rights. No one should be able to tell an adult that she can’t spend her hard earned money on cigarettes. But non-smokers have rights, too. Specifically, they shouldn’t have to pay to subsidize health care costs of … Continue reading
My son was underperforming at school, and I was gently encouraging him to try harder (if gesticulating like an over caffeinated Italian qualifies as gentle encouragement). He could not understand why I was upset: “Dad, most of my friends are … Continue reading
Lots of us eat when we are stressed. But did you know that even when we are not currently under stress, the amount of food we eat might be influenced by the stress we experienced as children? That’s the conclusion … Continue reading
Put our brains into the modern food environment, and you have a recipe for disaster. Our brains are hardwired to crave calorie-dense foods, this craving no doubt arising from our evolutionary time spent on the Tundra where calories were often … Continue reading
It is notoriously difficult to change physician behavior. When it’s discovered that primary care physicians are, say, prescribing too few cholesterol pills or too many antibiotics, it will not be easy to change those behaviors. Physicians are strong-willed people, with … Continue reading
Here is a great graphic from the Center for Science in the Public Interest laying out how supermarkets lay out food to encourage impulse purchases: So much for “free” markets!
Very interesting article in the Lancet recently, from the nudge unit in the United Kingdom. They give physicians feedback on how much they prescribed antibiotics compared to their peers, and found that such feedback reduced antibiotic prescriptions. I hope to … Continue reading
I have absolutely no confidence that this approach will work, but I don’t even care because it is so hilarious. Thanks to Pelle Hansen (@Peguha) for tweeting this image.
I recognize that correlation does not prove causation. But here is a picture illustrating the correlation between income inequality and the percent of a country’s population that is obese. The findings are provocative, to say the least. Making the relationship … Continue reading
Pizza is pizza, and a full stomach is a full stomach. But when restaurants slice pizza into smaller pieces, you are probably likely to consume less pizza: