Monthly Archives: March 2013

Sunday Sound: As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls

1980 – Lyle Mays and Pat Metheny: Ozark

A Beginner’s Guide to Irrational Behavior

Here’s a link to the reading list for an online course offered by Dan Ariely titled “A Beginner’s Guide to Irrational Behavior.” The list includes direct links to academic papers on topics in behavioral economics which are included in the course coverage. The topics include: •the psychology of money; •dishonesty; •labor and motivation; •self-control; •emotion […]

Discrimination in Education for the Poor

How pervasive are low educational expectations in very poor villages? Powerful enough to generate discrimination against test-scores of low caste students – by low caste instructors themselves. Here’s the paper from Hanna and Linden, and here’s the summary from Banerjee and Duflo: In a study designed to find out whether this prejudice [of low expectations for […]

The Virtues of Paternalism

I’ve written often about Thaler and Sunstein’s Nudge, which highlights the realm where decision framing can “nudge” individuals toward making better decisions. Since a nudge requires some design – there must be someone to do the nudging – the approach advocated in Nudge is described as a form of libertarian paternalism. The goal is to frame decisions by […]

Admitting Mistakes

We all make mistakes. I have burned my lunchtime grilled cheese. Other times, I have burned bridges. Large or small, mistakes happen. That said, it is essential to be willing to admit to a mistake. Do you know who scares me? Someone who refuses to cop to an error, in favor of “sticking to their […]

Tuesday Talk: Rethinking Thinking

This talk relates closely to the proactive approach to critical thinking I discuss here. There is often much more we can control than we think, including considering the implicit assumptions we make, acknowledging alternate explanations, and hesitating to jump to conclusions.

On Doing Nothing

Barry Ritholtz, on doing nothing: Don’t do something, anything, just for the sake of it. If you are going to do something, you better have a damned good reason for it. Doing something feels good. Doing something creates the illusion of control. Doing something responds to the angst we feel when we are unhappy with current circumstances. Doing something is why people dump […]