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The bread and butter of behavioral economics

person standing on the scales

Great nudge from a behavioral economics point of view. Plus, the example shared is from a “losing weight” perspective which many of us can relate to!

What is behavioral? A blog of recent updates to behavioral economics

breadbutter

The Business Of Behavioral Economics

You’ve done everything—endured diets, purged your freezer of Ben & Jerry’s, and educated yourself on fat, sugar, and calories. Yet, you can’t manage to lose weight. What’s wrong with you? According to standard economic theory, which gives humans (perhaps too much) credit for making rational choices, those efforts should be enough to change your behavior. If you know the consequences but still get fat, you must want to be overweight. Of course not, say Leslie John and Michael Norton, professors at Harvard Business School specializing in the burgeoning field of behavioral economics. “Standard economic theory suggests that as long as people understand the full consequences of their actions, they tend to act in their self interest,” says John. “If they want to be healthy, and you tell them how many calories are in a burger, then they’ll eat better.” But behavioral economics suggests that people…

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Nudges risks reductionism

Interesting article about #nudge #behavioraleconomics and #socialphysics

What is behavioral? A blog of recent updates to behavioral economics

steadysurveillance

Like clueless guinea pigs

Even the mavens of Silicon Valley are occasionally right. And so: the production, accumulation, and analysis of traces left by the digital devices does produce real benefits. Following the logic of the Peace Dividend – a popular slogan of the early 1990s, which held that decreased military spending would promote economic growth – we can speak of the Surveillance Dividend: the idea that the Internet of Things and Big Data and the inevitable disruption of the entire universe by a handful of Californian start-ups will yield economic abundance, political emancipation, universal prosperity. Thanks to the increased trackability of everything, we can design better, optimize better, govern better, know better. The Surveillance Dividend boosts efficiency. It saves money. It extends lives. Its benefits are real. The right question to ask, then, is not whether the Surveillance Dividend allows us to govern better or know better. No, it’s…

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