Archivio per 13 maggio 2015



13
Mag
15

From “Economic Man” to Behavioral Economics

See on Scoop.itBounded Rationality and Beyond

A short history of modern decision making.

When we make decisions, we make mistakes. We all know this from personal experience, of course. But just in case we didn’t, a seemingly unending stream of experimental evidence in recent years has documented the human penchant for error. This line of research—dubbed heuristics and biases, although you may be more familiar with its offshoot, behavioral economics—has become the dominant academic approach to understanding decisions. Its practitioners have had a major influence on business, government, and financial markets. Their books—Predictably Irrational; Thinking, Fast and Slow; and Nudge, to name three of the most important—have suffused popular culture.

So far, so good. This research has been enormously informative and valuable. Our world, and our understanding of decision making, would be much poorer without it.

It is not, however, the only useful way to think about making decisions. Even if you restrict your view to the academic discussion, there are three distinct schools of thought. Although heuristics and biases is currently dominant, for the past half century it has interacted with and sometimes battled with the other two, one of which has a formal name—decision analysis—and the other of which can perhaps best be characterized as demonstrating that we humans aren’t as dumb as we look.

See on hbr.org

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13
Mag
15

Leaders as Decision Architects

See on Scoop.itBounded Rationality and Beyond

All employees, from CEOs to frontline workers, commit preventable mistakes: We underestimate how long it will take to finish a task, overlook or ignore information that reveals a flaw in our planning, or fail to take advantage of company benefits that are in our best interests. It’s extraordinarily difficult to rewire the human brain to undo the patterns that lead to such mistakes. But there is another approach: Alter the environment in which decisions are made so that people are more likely to make choices that lead to good outcomes.Leaders can do this by acting as architects. Drawing on our extensive research in the consulting, software, entertainment, health care, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, banking, retail, and food industries and on the basic principles of behavioral economics, we have developed an approach for structuring work to encourage good decision making.

See on hbr.org

13
Mag
15

The Average Age Of A Minimum Wage Worker In America Is 36

See on Scoop.itGold and What Moves it.

Did you know that 89 percent of all minimum wage workers in the United States are not teens?  At this point, the average age of a minimum wage worker in this country is 36, and 56 percent of them are women.  Millions upon millions of Americans are working as hard as they can (often that means two or three jobs), and yet despite all of their hard work they still find themselves mired in poverty.  One of the big reasons for this is that we have created two classes of workers in the United States.  “Full-time workers” are entitled to an array of benefits and protections by law that “part-time workers” do not get.  And thanks to perverse incentives contained in Obamacare and other ridiculous laws, we have motivated employers to move as many workers from the “full-time” category to the “part-time” category as possible.  It may be hard to believe, but right now only 44 percent of all U.S. adults are employed for 30 or more hours each week.  But to get any kind of a job at all is a real challenge in many parts of the country today.  As you read this article, there are more than 100 million working age Americans that are not employed in any capacity.  And according to John Williams of shadowstats.com, if the federal government was actually using honest numbers the unemployment rate would be sitting at 23 percent.  That is not an “employment recovery” – that is a national crisis.

Hal’s insight:

This is not good. Click through for the rest.

See on theeconomiccollapseblog.com

13
Mag
15

Trust Your Intuition

See on Scoop.itMindfull Decision Making

An odd feeling in your gut. A subtle sense of foreboding. A funny inkling. A knowing whisper: “steer well away.”

I’m sure you’ve felt those intuitive murmurs yourself. The question is, how often have you trusted them? And those times you didn’t, how did it cost you—professionally, personally, financially or physically?

Beyond our conscious awareness, our “sixth sense” reads minuscule signals   that point us to pay attention to something…or someone. Wired only to perception, our intuition can guide us to making snap decisions we later marvel at. “Somehow I just knew,” people will later say about a hidden danger they just knew to veer away from or an opportunity they spontaneously seized despite knowing little about it.

See on forbes.com

13
Mag
15

Frontiers | Dynamic Optimization and Conformity in Health Behavior and Life Enjoyment over the Life Cycle | Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience

See on Scoop.itBounded Rationality and Beyond

This article examines individual and social influences on investments in health and enjoyment from immediate consumption. Our lab experiment mimics the problem of health investment over a lifetime (Grossman 1972a, 1972b). Incentives to find the appropriate expenditures on life enjoyment and health are given by making in each period come period a function of previous health investments. In order to model social effects in the experiment, we randomly assigned individuals to chat/observation groups. Groups were permitted to freely chat between repeated lifetimes. Two treatments were employed: In the Independent-rewards treatment, an individual’s rewards from investments in life enjoyment depend only on his choice and in the Interdependent-rewards treatment; rewards not only depend on an individual’s choices but also on their similarity to the choices of the others in their group, generating a premium on conformity. The principal hypothesis is that gains from conformity increase variance in health behavior among groups and can lead to suboptimal performance. We tested three predictions and each was supported by the data: the Interdependent-rewards treatment 1) decreased within-group variance, 2) increased between-group variance, and 3) increased the likelihood of behavior far from the optimum with respect to the dynamic problem. 

See on journal.frontiersin.org

13
Mag
15

Democracy Does Not Live by Tech Alone

See on Scoop.itBounded Rationality and Beyond

Enthusiasm for reforming our democracies has been gaining momentum. From the pages of Foreign Policy to the colorfulcriticisms of comedian Russell Brand, it is evident that a long-overdue public conversation on this topic is finally getting started.

There is no lack of proposals. For example, in their recent Foreign Policypiece, John Boik and colleagues focus on decentralized, emergent, tech-driven solutions such as participatory budgeting, local currency systems, and open government. They are confident that such innovations have a good chance of “spreading virally” and bringing about major change. Internet-based solutions, in particular, have captured our collective imagination. From Pia Mancini’s blockbuster TED presentation to New Scientist‘s recent coverage of “digital democracy,” we’re eager to believe that smartphone apps and novel online platforms hold the key to reinventing our way of governance. This seems only natural: after all, the same technologies have already radically reconfigured large swaths of our daily lives.

See on foreignpolicy.com




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