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The Neuroscience of Empathy

The Neuroscience of Empathy | Behavioral & Nudge Economics | Scoop.it

Neuroscientists identify specific brain areas linked to compassion. In a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience on October 9, 2013, Max Planck researchers identified that the tendency to be egocentric is innate for human beings – but that a part of your brain recognizes a lack of empathy and autocorrects. This specific part of your brain is called the the right supramarginal gyrus. When this brain region doesn't function properly—or when we have to make particularly quick decisions—the researchers found one’s ability for empathy is dramatically reduced. This area of the brain helps us to distinguish our own emotional state from that of other people and is responsible for empathy and compassion.


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Behavioral & Nudge Economics
Articles, studies and discussion points on the principles and practices of Behavioral and Nudge Economics, particularly as they might be employed beyond the domain of government policy and applied in the service of enhancing the workplace dynamic of both private and public sectors.
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Data Mining Reveals How Conspiracy Theories Emerge on Facebook | MIT Technology Review

Data Mining Reveals How Conspiracy Theories Emerge on Facebook | MIT Technology Review | Behavioral & Nudge Economics | Scoop.it
Some people are more susceptible to conspiracy theories than others, say computational social scientists who have studied how false ideas jump the “credulity barrier” on Facebook.
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Overcome the Eight Barriers to Confidence

Overcome the Eight Barriers to Confidence | Behavioral & Nudge Economics | Scoop.it
Achieve your goals this year.
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Can virtual classrooms beat face-to-face interaction?

Can virtual classrooms beat face-to-face interaction? | Behavioral & Nudge Economics | Scoop.it
Studying online doesn't have to mean being isolated behind a computer screen – there are plenty of ways to connect with your coursemates and tutors

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The evolution of cooperation

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Four reasons why evolutionary theory might not add value to economics - Evolving Economics

Four reasons why evolutionary theory might not add value to economics - Evolving Economics | Behavioral & Nudge Economics | Scoop.it
In the lead article to a recent Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization special issue, Evolution as a General Theoretical Framework for Economics a
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Why isn't economics evolutionary? - Evolving Economics

Why isn't economics evolutionary? - Evolving Economics | Behavioral & Nudge Economics | Scoop.it
At the end of my last post, I noted that despite the massive influence of Richard Nelson and Sidney Winter's An Evolutionary Theory of Economic Change with
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What is evolutionary economics? - Evolving Economics

What is evolutionary economics? - Evolving Economics | Behavioral & Nudge Economics | Scoop.it
I am called an evolutionary economist often enough that I have been tempted to write a post titled "Why I am not an evolutionary economist". In the absence
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A Beginner's Guide to Irrational Behavior

A Beginner's Guide to Irrational Behavior | Behavioral & Nudge Economics | Scoop.it

A new course from DAn Ariely -

Behavioral economics and the closely related field of behavioral finance couple scientific research on the psychology of decision making with economic theory to better understand what motivates investors, employees, and consumers. This course will be based heavily on my own research. We will examine topics such as how emotion rather than cognition determines economic decisions, “irrational” patterns of thinking about money and investments, how expectations shape perceptions, economic and psychological analyses of dishonesty by presumably honest people, and how social and financial incentives combine to motivate labor by everyday workers and CEOs alike. This highly interdisciplinary course will be relevant to all human beings. 

This class has two main goals:

To introduce you to the range of cases where people (consumers, investors, managers, and significant others) make decisions that are inconsistent with standard economic theory and the assumptions of rational decision making. This is the lens of behavioral economics.To help you think creatively about the applications of behavioral economic principles for the development of new products, technology based products, public policies, and to understand how business and social policy strategies could be modified with a deeper understanding of the effects these principles have on employees and customers.


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NBCNews.com: Irrational fears: Why 30 year-old avoids stocks

Video on msnbc.com: Elizabeth Phelps explains why a young-person's fear of the stock market might be rooted in neurological realities.

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From weight loss to fundraising, 'ironic effects' can sabotage our best-laid plans

From weight loss to fundraising, 'ironic effects' can sabotage our best-laid plans | Behavioral & Nudge Economics | Scoop.it

The great Harvard psychologist Dan Wegner, who died earlier this year, wrote a famous article entitled How To Think, Say, or Do Precisely the Worst Thing for Any Occasion (pdf). It concerned a very specific kind of mistake, which he labelled the "precisely counterintuitive error" – the kind of screw-up so obviously calamitous that you think about it in advance and decide you definitely won't let it happen: We see a rut coming up in the road ahead and proceed to steer our bike right into it. We make a mental note not to mention a sore point in conversation and then cringe in horror as we blurt out exactly that thing. We carefully cradle the glass of red wine as we cross the room, all the while thinking 'don't spill,' and then juggle it onto the carpet under the gaze of our host."

http://www.wjh.harvard.edu/~wegner/pdfs/Wegner%20(2009).pdf


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Herding, social influence and economic decision-making: socio-psychological and neuroscientific analyses

Herding, social influence and economic decision-making: socio-psychological and neuroscientific analyses | Behavioral & Nudge Economics | Scoop.it

Typically, modern economics has steered away from the analysis of sociological and psychological factors and has focused on narrow behavioural assumptions in which expectations are formed on the basis of mathematical algorithms. Blending together ideas from the social and behavioural sciences, this paper argues that the behavioural approach adopted in most economic analysis, in its neglect of sociological and psychological forces and its simplistically dichotomous categorization of behaviour as either rational or not rational, is too narrow and stark. Behaviour may reflect an interaction of cognitive and emotional factors and this can be captured more effectively using an approach that focuses on the interplay of different decision-making systems. In understanding the mechanisms affecting economic and financial decision-making, an interdisciplinary approach is needed which incorporates ideas from a range of disciplines including sociology, economic psychology, evolutionary biology and neuroeconomics.

 


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Five Recognition Myths that Hinder Employee Engagement

Five Recognition Myths that Hinder Employee Engagement | Behavioral & Nudge Economics | Scoop.it
The value of a measurable recognition strategy is far reaching for employers and by conquering common misconceptions, organizations can help elevate employee engagement and promote a more positive ...

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Trouble at the lab

Trouble at the lab | Behavioral & Nudge Economics | Scoop.it
“ “ “I SEE a train wreck looming,” warned Daniel Kahneman, an eminent psychologist, in an open letter last year. The premonition concerned research on a phenomenon known as “priming”. Priming studies suggest that decisions can be influenced by apparently irrelevant actions or events that took place just before the cusp of choice. They have been a boom area in psychology over the past decade, and some of their insights have already made it out of the lab and into the toolkits of policy wonks keen on “nudging” the populace. Dr Kahneman and a growing number of his colleagues fear that a lot of this priming research is poorly founded. Over the past few years various researchers have made systematic attempts to replicate some of the more widely cited priming experiments. Many of these replications have failed. In April, for instance, a paper in PLoS ONE, a journal, reported that nine separate experiments had not managed to reproduce the results of a famous study from 1998 purporting to show that thinking about a professor before taking an intelligence test leads to a higher score than imagining a football hooligan.”
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The case for behavioral strategy

The case for behavioral strategy | Behavioral & Nudge Economics | Scoop.it
Left unchecked, subconscious biases will undermine strategic decision making. Here’s how to counter them and improve corporate performance. A McKinsey Quarterly article. 

Once heretical, behavioral economics is now mainstream. Money managers employ its insights about the limits of rationality in understanding investor behavior and exploiting stock-pricing anomalies. Policy makers use behavioral principles to boost participation in retirement-savings plans. Marketers now understand why some promotions entice consumers and others don’t.

Yet very few corporate strategists making important decisions consciously take into account the cognitive biases—systematic tendencies to deviate from rational calculations—revealed by behavioral economics. It’s easy to see why: unlike in fields such as finance and marketing, where executives can use psychology to make the most of the biases residing in others, in strategic decision making leaders need to recognize their ownbiases. So despite growing awareness of behavioral economics and numerous efforts by management writers, including ourselves, to make the case for its application, most executives have a justifiably difficult time knowing how to harness its power.1

This is not to say that executives think their strategic decisions are perfect.


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The Privacy Paradox: Why People Who Complain About Privacy Also Overshare

The Privacy Paradox: Why People Who Complain About Privacy Also Overshare | Behavioral & Nudge Economics | Scoop.it

"In an upcoming issue of the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Taddicken[1]explores a phenomenon called the privacy paradox, a term that describes how social media users report that they are concerned about their privacy but do very little to actively protect it."


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Chile's Attempt to Cut Traffic Meets the Law of Unintended Consequences

Chile's Attempt to Cut Traffic Meets the Law of Unintended Consequences | Behavioral & Nudge Economics | Scoop.it
The new hub-and-spoke system required many more transfers, increasing average daily commuting time.
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Nelson and Winter's An Evolutionary Theory of Economic Change - Evolving Economics

Nelson and Winter's An Evolutionary Theory of Economic Change - Evolving Economics | Behavioral & Nudge Economics | Scoop.it
Richard Nelson and Sidney Winter's An Evolutionary Theory of Economic Change is the book on which modern "evolutionary economics" is built. Published in 19
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The three stages of evolutionary economics - Evolving Economics

The three stages of evolutionary economics - Evolving Economics | Behavioral & Nudge Economics | Scoop.it
Many of the suggested additions to my reading list in evolution and economics came from the fields of evolutionary economics and complexity theory. While m
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The three stages of evolutionary economics - Evolving Economics

The three stages of evolutionary economics - Evolving Economics | Behavioral & Nudge Economics | Scoop.it
Many of the suggested additions to my reading list in evolution and economics came from the fields of evolutionary economics and complexity theory. While m
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Could a Well-Placed "Nudge" Get People to Take the Stairs?

Could a Well-Placed "Nudge" Get People to Take the Stairs? | Behavioral & Nudge Economics | Scoop.it

“An innovative experiment in "environmental calorie labeling" is based on the idea that ... (Could a Well-Placed "Nudge" Get People to Take the Stairs?”


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Richard Baxter's curator insight, January 28, 8:41 AM

so simple yet so powerful

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People Are Embarrassed to Order Complicated Pizzas. Eliminate Embarrassment, Increase Sales.

People Are Embarrassed to Order Complicated Pizzas. Eliminate Embarrassment, Increase Sales. | Behavioral & Nudge Economics | Scoop.it

In a classic Seinfeld episode, a purveyor of highly sought-after soup has no patience for customers taking too long to order and so enforces a set of fascist rules to keep the line moving. While the “soup Nazi” episode is highly amusing, recent research suggests that consumers tend to keep things simple all on their own—not to save time, but to avoid embarrassment. In sitcoms, embarrassment is the engine that keeps the laughs coming. In real life, we avoid it at all costs.moving. https://faculty.fuqua.duke.edu/~rcm26/mcdevitt_et_al_embarrassment_march_2013.pdf


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NBCNews.com: Dating advice from a neuroeconomist

Video on msnbc.com: Paul Glimcher explains how dating choices are similar to financial decisions, and explains why people can be inconsistent over time.

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Stirling Behavioural Science Blog : The 15 Best Behavioural Science Graphs of 2010-13

Stirling Behavioural Science Blog : The 15 Best Behavioural Science Graphs of 2010-13 | Behavioral & Nudge Economics | Scoop.it

(1) Benartzi & Thaler (2013), Behavioral Economics and the Retirement Savings Crisis, Policy Forum
Shlomo Benartzi and Richard Thaler have a graph showing an enormous growth trend over the last 10 years in the percentage of U.S. employers offering 401(k) plans that automatically enroll employees and automatically escalate savings rates (for example 3% savings this year increasing to 6% next year). This trend has been no doubt influenced by their Save More Tomorrow program which first implemented auto-escalating savings (see #4 here).


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Perceptions must change to avoid overeating, author says - HealthCanal.com

Perceptions must change to avoid overeating, author says - HealthCanal.com | Behavioral & Nudge Economics | Scoop.it
Perceptions must change to avoid overeating, author says
HealthCanal.com
By Amy Hamaker Have you ever felt driven to eat something sweet, even when you didn't want to?
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Stirling Behavioural Science Blog : Summary of Emotion Lecture

Stirling Behavioural Science Blog : Summary of Emotion Lecture | Behavioral & Nudge Economics | Scoop.it

a set of lectures as part of a module "Behavioural Economic: Concepts and Theories" in Stirling. I am posting brief informal summaries of some of these lectures on the blog to generate discussion. Thanks to Mark Egan for a lot of help in putting these together online.


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