Articles on behavioural economics

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Experimenting with bubbles. Flickr/Indigo Skies Photography

Brain scans could be used to predict financial bubbles

Some shares have new owners every second. Today much of the buying and selling is done by computers, but some still rely…
People are notoriously bad at filtering choices - being faced with too many leads us to choose poorly. Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com

AUDIO Q&A: Neuroeconomics and the answer to the ‘curse of choice’

We are faced with a myriad of choice in our lives - but an emerging body of work suggests the more choice we’re faced with, the more likely we’ll make a poor decision. The conundrum is called the “curse…
Neuroeconomics is a burgeoning field aimed at helping us understand decision-making. Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com

Explainer: neuroeconomics, where science and economics meet

Whether choosing a dinner, a car, a spouse or an investment, experts now know what part of the brain our likes and dislikes are encoded, how we represent alternatives, and even how we choose. This has…
‘Nudge’ theory - a form of behavioural economics - encourages rather than coerces. Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com

‘Nudging’ people towards changing behaviour: what works and why (not)?

Earlier this week an impressive cast of academics, policy experts and business leaders gathered in Sydney at the inaugural Behavioural Exchange meeting to talk about “nudges”. Made famous by Richard Thaler…
All in the wording: behavioural science, such as the ‘nudge’ concept isn’t new, or quasi-science. Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com

Why can’t we just behave? Free drinks and behavioural science

In recent years, books like Predictably Irrational, Nudge and Thinking Fast and Slow have catapulted the findings of behavioural science (think cognitive psychology and behavioural economics) into new-found…
Power of suggestion. Summer Kitchen

Nudge can make us healthier even if it’s a bit 1984

In George Orwell’s futuristic dystopia Nineteen Eighty-Four, O’Brien, an apparatchik of the Thought Police come sadistic torturer, famously boasts to the book’s protagonist Winston Smith, “We create human…
Raised aspirations can help Indian sex workers escape poverty. Gates Foundation

Raise aspirations to break the poverty trap

Why do some people get stuck in poverty? Most answers to this question start with the idea that external constraints trap people in poverty. These constraints could take the form of malfunctioning credit…
Are you a rational thinker, or do you make decisions based on intuition? alistairh

The benefits of being in two minds

Are you the “lazy” or the “deliberate” thinker? Why can’t we have a hybrid? Something has been bugging me for quite a while – how difficult it is to strike a balance between thinking fast, albeit impulsively…

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