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Articles on Heuristics

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Preference for tax-free savings accounts may be due, in part, to a psychological bias for the phrase “tax-free.” (Shutterstock)

The ‘tax-free trap’: How a simple phrase skews Canadians’ savings choices

New research finds that people are more likely to choose a plan that has the words “tax-free” in the title, regardless of the details in fine print.
So much uncertainty around risk can make it extra hard to decide what to do. Richard Drury/DigitalVision via Getty Images

Pandemic decision-making is difficult and exhausting – here’s the psychology that explains why

People tend to dislike uncertainty and risk – two things that are hard to avoid completely during a pandemic. That’s part of why it can feel especially draining to make even small decisions these days.
Earthquake in Haiti killed more than 100,000. That’s hard to imagine. UNDP

How huge disasters can play tricks on the way we value life

People find it difficult to understand the true value of loss of life when the numbers are large. For instance, a study found that people are more willing to donate money to an organisation when just one…

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