Psychology News Round-Up (April 25th)
By Dave Nussbaum
- The New York Times launched The Upshot this week, which focuses on data driven analysis. One of their first pieces is by economist Justin Wolfers (@JustinWolfers) who discussed some psychological research — by my colleague George Wu (@GeoWu) among others — on why marathoners place great value on coming in just under the hour mark, and how this same tendency can lead to costly financial decisions.
“Goals can be useful when they motivate us to perform better, but they’re harmful when focusing on arbitrary targets leads to arbitrary decisions. My advice: Treat your economic life like a marathon, not a sprint, but focus on the goals that really matter — economic security for your family — rather than on arbitrary round numbers.”
- There’s also an interview with Louis C.K. in GQin which he channels Dan Gilbert (@DanTGilbert) and Jane Ebert when describing how he makes choices:
“So my rule is that if you have someone or something that gets 70 percent approval, you just do it. ‘Cause here’s what happens. The fact that other options go away immediately brings your choice to 80. Because the pain of deciding is over.”
- Cass Sunstein (@CassSunstein) defends nudges against criticism that they limit people’s freedom, and from the other end of the spectrum, that they are insufficient and should be replaced with outright bans. Psychology research has laid the foundation for understanding what sorts of nudges are likely to be effective, as well as what leads people to resist being told how to behave.
“The beauty of nudges is that when they are well chosen, they make people’s lives better while maintaining freedom of choice. Moreover, they usually don’t cost a lot, and they tend to have big effects. In an economically challenging time, it is no wonder that governments all over the world, including in the US and UK, have been showing a keen interest in nudging.”
Cap’n Crunch Is Looking at You http://t.co/VVhYT57Omc— Brian Wansink (@BrianWansink) April 21, 2014
Why Don’t We See Our Kids as They Really Are? http://t.co/Tkae8S0UdE— Talk Psych (@myersdewall) April 25, 2014
You're Looking for Help in All the Wrong Places, on why we fail to ask the right people for support: https://t.co/VmmcUlueLu— Adam Grant (@AdamMGrant) April 22, 2014
One consequence of a highly productive winter? In our field, it's sometimes followed by a highly rejected spring. #spspblog— Michael W. Kraus (@mwkraus) April 25, 2014
If you'd like your social and personality psychology-related tweets shared in the SPSP blog weekly round-up just add the hashtag #SPSPblog— Dave Nussbaum (@davenuss79) April 24, 2014