Dan Ariely

Dan Ariely

Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics & best selling author

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON September 08, 2015

Discussion

Dan Ariely
Dan Ariely@dan_ariely
Despite our intentions, why do we so often fail to act in our own best interest? Why do we promise to skip the chocolate cake, only to find ourselves drooling our way into temptation when the dessert tray rolls around? Why do we overvalue things that we’ve worked to put together? What are the forces that influence our behavior? My name is Dan Ariely, and officially I am the James B. Duke Professor of Psychology & Behavioral Economics at Duke University. Most of my time is dedicated to answering these questions and others in order to help people live more sensible – if not rational – lives. I am also the founding member of the Center for Advanced Hindsight, co-creator of the film documentary (Dis)Honesty: The Truth About Lies, and a three-time New York Times bestselling author. His books include Predictably Irrational, The Upside of Irrationality, The Honest Truth About Dishonesty, and Irrationally Yours. Irrationally yours, Dan. --------------------- Thanks a lot for the questions and time. Irrationally yours, Dan
Ovi Negrean
Ovi Negrean@ovinegrean · Founder @SocialBeeHQ
Hey @danariely, I've first found out about your video course and then became a fan of your books as well. So much so that we've nuggetized two of your books: Irrationally Yours - http://www.getnugget.co/dan-arie... Predictably Irrational - http://www.getnugget.co/fight-ba... I am curious - what do you think is the top bias that start-ups can use in their favour?
Dan Ariely
Dan Ariely@dan_ariely
@ovinegrean Thanks. I'm not sure about the top bias, but a very interesting bias that I think that more startups can use is the IKEA effect. This is basically a bias where the moment we are involved in something, we create something, we start loving it to a higher degree. This means, for example, that if you design the colors on your shoes or pick the type of sticker that goes on your laptop, you will appreciate these products to a higher degree.
Ovi Negrean
Ovi Negrean@ovinegrean · Founder @SocialBeeHQ
@danariely Thanks Dan. In fact it's something we can incorporate in nugget as well, when people will be able to add their own quotes they like from books and design their own nuggets! :-)
dave_sloan
dave_sloan@dave_sloan · Founder
@danariely Thanks, Dan. Regarding the IKEA effect, while it can be powerful I would caution startups from building design-your-own experiences unless you're confident it will drive conversions for your specific product. Often the product customization experience leads to MORE work on the customers behalf, which puts more friction in the user experience - leading to abandons and churn. I wrote about it in more detail here: https://medium.com/@dave_sloan/w...
Vitaliy Hamuha
Vitaliy Hamuha@vitaliy_hamuha
@danariely thats the reason product hunt added Live Q&A.
AKA
AKA@carryonabramson · Software Engineer, Learnist
Where have you seen behavioral econ techniques fail in practice?
Dan Ariely
Dan Ariely@dan_ariely
@carryonabramson Every time we're trying to convince somebody working for a government to do anything.
Avish Rana
Avish Rana@avishrana
Hi @danariely Would you be conducting the course titled "Beginner's Guide to Irrationality" on Coursera ever again? I missed it and would love to attend it once.
Dan Ariely
Dan Ariely@dan_ariely
@avishrana Teaching on Coursera was certainly a very interesting experience. It was very time consuming to create the material, and I kind of anticipated that. But, what did I did not anticipate correctly was how much time it would take to run the class. And, the biggest surprise for me was that there were a few individuals in the class that simply made it their job to make my life more difficult. I'm not sure what their goal was. But, they made the whole process unbelievably time consuming. When I think about doing this class again, I worry that somebody like this will show up again, and I have no idea how I will manage my time if that happens. So, the answer is that unless Coursera changes how they do things, I will not be able to teach it again. This problem also raises another issue about openness and democracy. I can see the value of having a platform that is open to everyone, but what if some people pee into the pool that everybody is drinking from? Should we have a way to turn them away? I think we have to find some form of governance that would value the public good and not allow a few individuals to spoil it for everyone. P.S. As you can see, I am still very emotional about this.
Duane Morin
Duane Morin@shakespearegeek
@danariely Hi Dan! I'm curious. My coworkers and I are in the online learning space and fascinated by the behind-the-scenes look at being a content creator for Coursera. Could you elaborate on the "made it their goal to make my life miserable" people? Are you referring just to the students who required way more than their share of your time, or are you saying that there was something malicious afoot and that there are people who go out of their way to just basically cause trouble?
tim
tim@buggemantim
@danariely "This problem also raises another issue about openness and democracy. I can see the value of having a platform that is open to everyone, but what if some people pee into the pool that everybody is drinking from? Should we have a way to turn them away? I think we have to find some form of governance that would value the public good and not allow a few individuals to spoil it for everyone." Perhaps the public good is better served by replacing the value of Inclusivity with the value of Freedom of Association (which is the same as Freedom of DISassociation). It may help to distinguish between Public and Society.
Jay Mutzafi
Jay Mutzafi@jaymutzafi · iOS Developer
@danariely Hi Dan, your work is absolutely fascinating. You've given some examples in marketing and sales on how we can guide buyers towards a particular purchase option by positioning it relatively to other offers (and other similar ways to guide purchase behavior). Now I am not sure if this is getting outside of your wheelhouse but I was wondering if you have any thoughts about the aspects of marketing such as this that uses our cognitive biases and tendencies and should they be considered unethical in any way. If so, what might honest (yet still effective) marketing look like? Thanks!
Ryan Hoover
Ryan Hoover@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
I've been a fan of Dan since reading his book, Predictably Irrational, years ago. What's something you've learned that's had the most significant impact on your life, Dan?
Dan Ariely
Dan Ariely@dan_ariely
@rrhoover I think that one of the most important lessons for me has to do with loss aversion and the extra negative effect we get from any kind of loss. In my mind this limits people from trying more things -- and it is something that I actively try to manage. It is still painful to fail, but I try to see it as part of a portfolio of trying new things.
Erik Torenberg
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
@danariely Hey Dan! Thanks for joining us today. I know you did a lot of work with Ashley Madison - What do you make of the recent leak of Ashley Madison data?
Dan Ariely
Dan Ariely@dan_ariely
@eriktorenberg Lots of things about Ashley Madison are very troubling. A while ago, we got some data from them, and our analyses so far don't match some of the findings in the popular press. Beyond that, I think it provides interesting questions about what is appropriate and inappropriate web behavior. How do we get companies to stick to their promises? How do we get people to behave morally? And, to what extent do we allow ideology to dictate what services will and will not be allowed to function?
Pablo Artee
Pablo Artee@arteepa · Product @ RocketJourney
Do you think it’s possible to change people’s behaviour with apps? (If a specific topic is needed take Fitness)
Dan Ariely
Dan Ariely@dan_ariely
@arteepablo For sure. I don't think it's easy, but I think we can change lots of behaviors. For one, we have seen how we can decrease the quality of driving with apps. We have also seen how we can get students to stop paying attention in class. On the positive side, I think we can do similar things. I'm a fan of the health tracking apps. In particular, I love the 10,000 steps. Now, my understanding is that 10,000 is not really the right number, and we should aim for something more like 16,000. But, the reason I like the 10,000 steps is that it provides a very simple recipe for behavior. Think about it: if you measure your cholesterol, and you find that the number is 122, what should you do next? How should you eat differently tonight? But if you find that your steps have been 8,725, and it is 6:00 in the evening, you know what you can do to make things right. This simple example also tells you that what we should think about is not just about apps that give people information, but apps that give people simple recipes for how to behave next.
Agent 009co
Agent 009co@agent009co · agent 009
@danariely I think this is very important line of questioning especially if scope is increased to include leveraging "AI" or machine learning to broadly apply your "predictably irrational" observations to monitor and advise an individual. Can the "predictably irrational" be categorized into patterns of behaviour, inputs, outcomes, or something unique about them that could be a trigger that is used to prompt / advise or at least alert individual that they have hit this "predictably irrational" trigger? You describe some potential specific triggers eg cholesterol / food intake / steps. The idea would be to fill behaviour, inputs, outcomes, unique patterns into trigger "observational slots" and variation from norm becomes the alert, which could be dynamically attached to advise, etc. Do you envisage this is possible, can it be atomized this way? Thx!
Morgan Beller
Morgan Beller@beller · Corporate Development, Facebook
Hey @DanAriely! Thanks for AMA-ing in - I've been a huge fan since my advisor in school (Jeff Hancock @ Cornell) sung your praises...and made us read all of your books :) (we happily complied) Building on this...what is one vertical (aside from fitness) where you think mobile could be an effective tool for behavior change?
إبراهيم أبوحجلة
إبراهيم أبوحجلة@abuhijleh90 · program manager
Hello Dan, thanks for doing this, I enjoyed your book, the honest truth about dishonesty, but so u think that the results of your expirements would be different if it's done in other cultures or parts of the world??
Renaud Guerin
Renaud Guerin@renaudguerin · Senior DevOps engineer
@danariely Hi Dan. Timeful has made a difference in my daily life and I'm desperate to find a replacement before you guys shut it down at the end of this month after the Google acquisition. I wish this could have been delayed until your work had been integrated into a released Google Product. Can you share anything at all ?
Oded Vakrat
Oded Vakrat@ovakrat · CEO at Earny
Hey @danariely. One of the biggest problems in the online dating world is our behaviour. Do you think there is a place to change the way we are looking for relationships online and the way we expose ourselves in our profiles?
Hey @danariely I saw your list of your favorite app's and was wondering, what are your favorite books?
Brent Summers
Brent Summers@brentsum · Founder, Code-Free Startup
What's your favorite cognitive bias?
Dan Ariely
Dan Ariely@dan_ariely
@brentsum My favorite cognitive bias is probably the placebo effect (although there's a steep competition). And the reason I love the placebo effect is that it demonstrates very nicely the complexity of the human mind and it brings to the foreground some interesting questions about the links between our bodies and our minds.
BitchMank
BitchMank@bitchmank · President, Nestify
I was just reading "Predictably Irrational" this weekend and love it! I was wondering what is the most surprising discovery you have made regarding our irrationality as humans?
Dan Ariely
Dan Ariely@dan_ariely
@bitchmank After years of doing research on human irrationality, the thing that surprised me the most is that so many people still insist that people behave rationally. And, it's particularly interesting because it is very easy to convince people that they have made mistakes from time to time. And, it's even easier to convince them that their spouses and kids make a lot of mistakes. But the moment you ask people to think more generally about human behavior, the belief in rationality seems to pop up. Not sure how to fix it.
Pablo Artee
Pablo Artee@arteepa · Product @ RocketJourney
Why is it so difficult to achieve a fitness habit?
Srivatsan Laxman
Srivatsan Laxman@srivatsanlaxman
@arteepablo Somehow I feel the rewards are not immediately apparent. Like a lot of other things, enjoying the activity, is one of the few positive reinforcements that can be experienced instantaneously. So if you enjoy the activity, you are likely to do it, regardless of future consequences.
Vinicius Ribeiro
Vinicius Ribeiro@viniciusfr84 · Negotiator and PhD Student, Petrobras
At what extent do we really have the chance to choose what to do? Do you think we have the free will? How does it operate in the the want x should dilemma?
Joseph Chan
Joseph Chan@jochan34 · Product & Growth Guy
@danariely Hello Dan, thanks for taking the time to doing this AMA. I want to know how your working relationship with Daniel Kahneman has evolved since your days as a PhD student at Duke. Obviously he was a huge mentor before but are there examples in which the direction of your work changed because of him afterwards?
David Glover
David Glover@davidglover · Founder, BadVoter.org
Have you heard any new effective ways to increase voter turnout/registration?
Dan Ariely
Dan Ariely@dan_ariely
@davidglover One interesting approach is to get people to put voting on their schedule. We know that the moment people put something on their schedule, they're much more likely to act accordingly, and voting is no exception. Another interesting direction is the use of lotteries. There have been some interesting experiments where people were offered a small probability of a high reward if they showed up to vote. And this turned out to increase turnout. Now, you could ask whether you want the people who come because of the lottery. But, if your goal is to get more people out, this is one good approach.
Steven De Blieck
Steven De Blieck@brainvolve · Founder Brainvolve
I have noticed that to a lot of people, their intuition is like a magical superpower. Even when I explain about biases and how they work, a lot of people still hold on to the "being always right" of their intuition. Maybe because without it, it would mean for themselves that they are less capable. Have you experience with tackling this?
Vinicius Ribeiro
Vinicius Ribeiro@viniciusfr84 · Negotiator and PhD Student, Petrobras
Have you ever had experienced failure in replicating experiments' results? Or has anybody informed you that they could not replicate one of your experiment findings?
Joy Thunder
Joy Thunder@joy_thunder
Hi Dan, can you explain Donald Trump?
Brett Watson
Brett Watson@brettewatson · Learner
Hi @danariely , I'm a big fan working my way through Predictably Irrational now and love it. Thanks for answering a couple random questions. As a writer, what is your overall goal in writing books? What do you want people to take away beyond just the facts? What do you think about the recent news involving the inability to reproduce many psychology experiments? How do you think this will affect the validity (or perspective) of some research findings in the future?(Source:http://www.sciencemag.org/conten...) In the world of business and marketing, are there ways to predict when (or to what extent) people will be irrational? What about in life and society in general?
Ayush Agarwal
Ayush Agarwal@ayush_ag09 · GET, UltraTech Cement
@danariely Hello Professor Ariely, I am a huge fan of your work. Your book Predictably Irrational, is one of the best non-fiction I've ever read. For me Dan Ariely is a synonym for Behavioral Economics. I want to know what are the required skill-sets to start-up in this domain? How can one acquire them? What kind of services one can offer?
tim
tim@buggemantim
@ayush_ag09 By "value time more" do you mean to know how better to evaluate and compare each additional unit of time spent working against time spent doing something else?
Ayush Agarwal
Ayush Agarwal@ayush_ag09 · GET, UltraTech Cement
@buggemantim exactly!
tim
tim@buggemantim
@ayush_ag09 Then yes I find that it is much easier to do so when I keep in mind the market value of my time broken down into quickly manageable units, like hours. I learned this quick when as a young man I transitioned from hourly to monthly. I initially did not audit my pay as closely as I did when I was hourly and found it difficult to decide when to stop working. Once I began to ask myself "would I rather spend another hour working or would I rather spend another hour doing something else?" it became much easier to manage my life. If you are not already familiar with the concept of Marginalism in economics then I encourage you to explore it. I especially encourage you to consult a non mainstream school known as Austrian Economics which offers what I believe to be a deeper understanding of how individual preferences inform and help predict the decisions that are made.
Ayush Agarwal
Ayush Agarwal@ayush_ag09 · GET, UltraTech Cement
@buggemantim thanks Tim! This was really helpful... Will surely check out Austrian Economics.
Emad Mostaque
Emad Mostaque@emostaque · Founder, Ananas
@danariely as we log the intricacies of behavioural economics & psychology, to what degree do we need to be conscious of the ethics of using these techniques to alter the perceptions and positions of users? One could argue they are all consenting adults and everyone tries to influence people in different ways, but with portable supercomputers/pseudo-skinner boxes in our pockets and our wrists, is there a point at which we need to step back from engineering habit loops/increased "engagement" in the platforms we create? If yes, does it matter if its for a "good" cause? (e.g. anti-extremism programs, pro-charity programs)
Dan Ariely
Dan Ariely@dan_ariely
@emostaque The question of the ethics of using social science is very important. Think about something like "all in auctions." In class, I sometimes play a game with the students where I sell them a hundred dollar bill. And the rules for the game are very simple. One, the auction has to start with five dollars. Two, the auction can only increase by $5 at a time. Three, the person with the highest bid pays whatever they bid and gets the $100. Four, the person with the second highest bid also pays what they bid, but they get nothing. What happens in this auction? Lots of people start bidding. And at some point, somebody is offering $90, and another person is offering $95. At this point, I stop the game, and I tell them that if we stop at this point, the person offering $90 will give me $90 and get nothing, while the person offering $95 will give me $95 and get $100. Then I ask the person who offered $90 if they wished to offer $100. They always do. Now I turn to the person offering $95 and ask them if they want to offer $105. They always do. This game goes on for a while. One time I sold a 100-euro bill in Spain for 490 euros, which may tell you something about the Spanish economy. Anyway, the point is that this type of "all in auctions" are a very easy to separate people from their money. And there are lots of other tricks that social scientists can use to abuse people. My personal hope is that we will not use this information for evil, and I always try to help my students see that there are lots of ways to use this type of information for good, rather than for bad. Please use all social science with discretion.
Emad Mostaque
Emad Mostaque@emostaque · Founder, Ananas
@danariely thanks Dan, much appreciated. Have really enjoyed your books/papers and incorporated some of them into my geopolitical/market analysis models that I use to help create a rough guide for my advice to clients (large asset managers & sovereign wealth funds). It works surprisingly well, but what really concerned me was when looking at the methodologies employed in rise of extremist groups, which led me to predict the unfortunate fall of West Iraq in 2013 (http://bit.ly/emiraq) Unfortunately we see extremist groups of all types now rising and either implicitly or explicitly using some of these same techniques and principles (ISIS's core text Management of Savagery by Abu Bakr Naji is a key example). I think the only way to stem this is to recognise this increasing sophistication and figure out ways to disrupt the pathways taken using even more efficient methodologies, something I hope to help with in my new project. Thanks again, Emad
tim
tim@buggemantim
@emostaque Assuming your inquiry is not rhetorical, I'm curious to know how you would answer your question if you replaced the words "we" with the words "I". "as (I) log the intricacies of behavioural economics & psychology, to what degree do (I) need to be conscious of the ethics of using these techniques to alter the perceptions and positions of users? (I) could argue they are all consenting adults and everyone tries to influence people in different ways, but with portable supercomputers/pseudo-skinner boxes in our pockets and our wrists, is there a point at which (I) need to step back from engineering habit loops/increased "engagement" in the platforms we create? If yes, does it matter if its for a "good" cause? (e.g. anti-extremism programs, pro-charity programs)"
Emad Mostaque
Emad Mostaque@emostaque · Founder, Ananas
@buggemantim hi Tim, You're right in that it is a practical question as I'm moving from using behavioural science to analyse geopolitics & markets to using it (and AI and other cool tech) to create a sustainable solution to extremist ideology. I would answer that I (and everyone) needs to pay more attention to the ethics of utilising our knowledge of the science of habit, behaviour & persuasion as they build them into their products. Books such as those by @danriely and Hooked by @rrhoover & @nireyal are formalising the process of habituation, habit loops & behaviour modification but I think most people apply them to users without thinking of the consequences. For example, if you're creating the next addictive game or platform, is there any moral responsibility for the hours people spend on it, or the whales who buy IAP after IAP? To be honest it seems most platforms are engineered into disguised skinner boxes, which troubles me. Due to the sensitivity of the area I'm looking at & scale of challenge I've delayed kick off a few times despite lots of support until I'm comfortable with the ethics & hopefully get an ethics board in place. Doubt that applies to anyone else, but do consider what the overall benefit of increasing "engagement" in your software is & if there are people who get addicted if you have a responsibility or ability to help them. Emad
N T
N T@phobos_phobos · student
Would you mind commenting on the fact that it took the a picture of a drowned three-year-old for people to recognize the refugee crisis we are facing globally and how we can use the same effect to arouse general population's interests in other crisis, such as the disease of malaria, which kill one African child per minute. (Source WHO http://www.who.int/mediacentre/f...)
Rick Nimo
Rick Nimo@ricknimo
@phobos_phobos You might want to search for a cognitive bias called "the identifiable victim effect". A vivid image of a single helpless victim has greater emotional impact than a table of numbers. Journalists often use this technique (focusing on a single individual) in newspaper stories.
Kienan Clute
Kienan Clute@kienan · Apple
Dan, I manage young contract workers with a short, 6-mo contract. Any resources on how to motivate individuals to push themselves on such a short runway?
Agent 009co
Agent 009co@agent009co · agent 009
@kienan I would look at the project itself as the primary means of engagement. Are contractors brought in and simply plugged in as temporary "cog in the machine" vs key resource to do vital and important that internal resources cannot address? The later should get anyone motivated, the former would likely do opposite.
Kienan Clute
Kienan Clute@kienan · Apple
@agent009co Good advice and thank you for taking the time to reply.
Gidi Levy
Gidi Levy@gidilevy · CEO, Founder
Hi @danariely, I've been watching a lot of your lectures, and I've been trying to implement your great ideas at my real life. I have a few question for you: 1. My child start learning at school at 1st grade and he tends to bother his class mate's sitting next to him during the lessons. Is is effective to put a paper with smileys at the middle of our living room and draw a sad smiley when he bothers his mate and a happy smiley when he doesn't? I promise him a reward for not getting sad smileys, Is that reward substitution method is effective for a 6 years old child? 2. At my neighborhood there is a lack of parking spots especially when parents are willing to take their children from the kindergartens, so people are tend to park at other private people's parking spots. They are also tends to block the pavements and so. We were discussing about it on our neighborhood's facebook group, and I told them to not to try to educate other people, and keep taking pictures and posting them on our's neighborhood's facebook group. Do you have another ideas on how to make them reduce this wrong behavior? 3. I am building an invoice web application that remind peoples to collect their debts from their customers at time. we send them mail notifications about that. How can we make them not to ignore our notifications? we thought about painting the objects in red when they are running late, but we haven't found any idea to encourage them to do so.
Lukman Edwindra
Lukman Edwindra@lukmanedwindra
Hi Dan, I have read some of your books (The Honest Truth... and Predictably Irrational), and through your books I become more curious about behavioral economics. Do you think that "one size fits all" kind of thinking is dangerous in applying behavioral economics? Would you set up a research group (probably consisted of your readers) to conduct a meta-analysis of your research?
Dan Ariely
Dan Ariely@dan_ariely
@lukmanedwindra Last answer for the day, and this is a great question. I don't think that all people are the same, but I think that people are much more similar than what we would normally think. I remember when I was visiting China for the first time, my friend Ron and I would show each other's passports. He has curly hair, brown eyes, and is generally much more attractive. But, at that time, they could not tell the difference. I think the same thing applies to individual differences. We are designed to look for those, so we see them, even when they're very small. This is why I think that for a first approximation, it is okay to treat people as being very similar. But of course, as we move forward, it would be nice to create a more nuanced understanding that would include variables such as cultural differences, ideology, etc.
Dan Ariely
Dan Ariely@dan_ariely
@danariely Thanks a lot to everybody. I really appreciate the questions and the time. Irrationally yours, Dan
Micaela
Micaela@thinkmil · Marketing
Dear @danariely I have followed you on coursera and you have touched my life, as my 17 yr old daughter Anna is now in treatment for cancer and in my long waits in hospital I often think of you and how you overcame your pain. I talked a lot about your lessons and I learned frombyou. So please know that you are dwar to me even if you do jot know me and even if some peed in the pond, some of us found a special gift of hope in it. Thank you from an italian mom. Ps your book on irrational behaviour was also one of my favorite! !!! Micaela
Dan Ariely
Dan Ariely@dan_ariely
@thinkmil please send me an email to dan@danariely.com
Jeff Mckinnon
Jeff Mckinnon@jmckinnonone
@danariely I love predictably irrational! At school at the university of colorado a lot of classes based topics on your books
Dan Ariely
Dan Ariely@dan_ariely
@jmckinnonone Thanks. One of the largest compliments I get is when people read something I wrote, and try to figure out how to integrate this in their life. For example, if you understand the effects of social motivation -- how would you give different gifts? In any case, I think this is the most interesting interface between social science and life.
Aishwarya Vardhana
Aishwarya Vardhana@shweezy503 · Designer in Chief at Verbatm
@danariely I'm a young designer and founder of a start up. I've currently stopped out of Stanford to work full time on the company. I believe deeply in my team and what we're trying to do but I'm also a lover of learning - what do you think of my (and many other ppl my age) choosing the start up world over higher education? Do you think it's harmful to our intellectual and moral growth? I plan on going back to school in January btw :)
Dan Ariely
Dan Ariely@dan_ariely
@shweezy503 I'm a fan of education. Of course, I'm a university professor, which means that I have a conflict of interest. But, I think about education as a gamble with the high expected pay off. Many of the startups I visit have lots of interesting ideas, but they seem to have never discovered the library, which means that they start everything as if they are the first people to have an idea. Now, it's not really their fault because they are busy with other things, but I think that too much of the effort in the tech sector is focused on rediscovering things that we know already. From that perspective, I think that studying can provide you with a base of knowledge from which you could evaluate if a direction is worthwhile or not and what other literature you might want to look at. Is it always going to have a positive payoff? Of course not. But I suspect it often does. One other thing: if you are educated, it is not always easy for you to attribute what you know to a particular class, which is why I think that many people don't sufficiently appreciate their education.
Srivatsan Laxman
Srivatsan Laxman@srivatsanlaxman
@shweezy503 @danariely .. does it need to be a choice between the startup world and higher education? You go to grad school because of a curiosity to learn more and try new ideas, something not fundamentally different from pursuing a startup idea?
tim
tim@buggemantim
@danariely "I think that too much of the effort in the tech sector is focused on rediscovering things that we know already." Knowing that the wheel has in fact already been invented would indeed be of probable benefit to any individual entrepreneur, however doesn't society benefit from all the individual short-sightedness? In fact, doesn't a productive economy require a healthy amount of the failure that retracement generates specifically because of the increasingly granular information it delivers?
Alec Pollak
Alec Pollak@apollak
Do you have any go-to resources for designers who are interested in integrating true user behavior into their work?
Dan Ariely
Dan Ariely@dan_ariely
@apollak Sadly, no. The tool kit for motivating human behavior is very broad. It includes social pressure. It includes financial motivation. It includes rituals and habits, and many others. Because of that, there is no single resource that covers everything, which means that the task that you're facing is much larger and more complex, but it also means that doing it right has extra positive payoffs. P.S. Catherine says hi.
Alec Pollak
Alec Pollak@apollak
@danariely Thanks for the reply and hi Catherine!
Sgt Pepper
Sgt Pepper@chiverman
@danariely did you repeat any of your experiments with people that already read your book, ex: the beer with vinegear and the expectations
David Glover
David Glover@davidglover · Founder, BadVoter.org
@chiverman I have done the beer/vinegar experiment more than 12 times works almost every time.
Sgt Pepper
Sgt Pepper@chiverman
@davidglover yes but, did your public knows about the previous outcomes before tasting it, i mean, if any of the experiments of behavioral economics changes if they know the results in advance
yegor
yegor@yegorgolubev
I'm just testing this feild. Sorry
Octavian Popescu
Octavian Popescu@tavi_marian · Student
I just finished the predictably irrational book and it was gorgeous! Congratulations, DAN! How did you find yourself studying behavioral economics?
Irina Jordan
Irina Jordan@irinajordan · Director of Inbound Marketing
@danariely My company got acquired by a much larger company and I learned about it a day before it happened - lots of changes happened right away, incl. a new office and new management team. What's your advice on making the best out of it? Thanks!
Alec Pollak
Alec Pollak@apollak
What do you think keeps patients from adhering to their medication regimen even when they know it will keep them healthy?
Blaine Warkentine MD MPH
Blaine Warkentine MD MPH@blainomd · CareGoals & CarePilot
Working on a project that redirects spend on end of life care. What do you think drives the irrational behavior around Americans spending 100's of thousands in their last months of life to only live in pain and misery and even hasten death in the process?
Dan Ariely
Dan Ariely@dan_ariely
@blainomd I think that end of life spending is driven by lots of things. For one, we have medical professionals that are taught to save lives at all costs. When we came up with this directive, all costs wasn't that expensive. But now it is. Another thing is that we don't see the money. Some time ago, I proposed to the hospital at Duke that they have one of the TV channels set up to show the patient their ongoing bill. The people from the hospital hated it. And they thought it was immoral. I personally think it's immoral not to tell people how much things cost. Finally, there is the issue of opportunity cost. When somebody is in front of us, and we know that for 50,000 dollars we can improve the quality of their lives, this person is very clear and vivid and we feel their pain. But, what we don't see is the 10,000 kids that we could immunize if we redirected the money. There is no question that this is one of the largest challenges that the medical system will face. As technology gets better and better, and more and more expensive, the questions about rationing health will become more central.
Fritz
Fritz @fritz · CCCM
@danariely Lead us moral questions to the edge of our rational thinking because (0r if) we take the moral quandary as seriously as we can? Is moral thinking the king of rational reflections, so to speak?
Ron Rinaldi
Ron Rinaldi@ron_rinaldi · Event Specialist
@danariely Hi Dan. What are your thoughts on the differences between using mobile technology in the classroom and its use in an physical event/conference setting. I find digital distraction is a denial by many in favor of trying to condense materials and costs at the expense of learning less in a live environment (never mind the lack of reach/effectiveness it can pose for a presenter). What do you feel?
tim
tim@buggemantim
@danariely Is there any area of research in to cognitive bias that tries to understand how the intractability of polarization of consensus tends to increase as group size increases?
Danny Espinoza
Danny Espinoza@abcdannye · Founder @looksyvideo
@danariely Hi Dan, what are your thoughts on the theory that US crime is down due to the ubiquity of smartphones with cameras?
Harit Rathi
Harit Rathi@haritrathi94 · Growth Obsessed!
Hi Dan, I'm a Business Administration Graduate. 1. I've done Rotman's course on edX called Behaviour Economics 101. Any other courses/ you recommended resources that might help me learn more on behaviour economics? 2. Places to work to broaden horizon at intersection of Marketing/Sales (offline or online) and BE?
Erez
Erez@erezlouzon · Co-Founder ThinkUser
Hey @danariely, Do you think users behave online the same way they behave offline ? all of your studies (the ones I know, and I am a big fan) are on "offline behavior". Do you think we behave differently on the web ? Maybe there is a difference the same way we are using credit cards vs cash ?
raymondjtoth
raymondjtoth@raymondjtoth · home user
@danariely what made you do the book you wrote predictably irrational?
Vidhya
Vidhya@vidhyas
Hey Dan, I work on a product idea where users can give to a charity with their shopping at no cost to them. Everyone we speak to loves the idea, but we just cannot seem to get adoption going. There is like no reason why not to do it, but looks like we always want a reason to do something instead?
Craig Watson
Craig Watson@cdcwatson · Product @Spotify
Hey @danariely - I really enjoyed Predictably Irrational and it encouraged me to learn more about behavioural economics in general which I'm fascinated by. One of the stand-out topics you covered in the book was the cost of businesses confusing social norms with market norms. So that leads to two questions :) 1) Do you see this getting better or worse as more and more businesses turn to online channels for 'customer success' as a panacea to help remedy their bad reputation (eg banks)? 2) how would you change the professional services model to fix this issue (I'm a lawyer by training and have seen first hand the perils of getting this combination between social norms and market norms wrong - hourly billing will tend to do that!)
Dan Ariely
Dan Ariely@dan_ariely
@_craigwatson The topic of social versus market norms is certainly very interesting. Since I wrote Predictably Irrational, I also became more interested in this topic. I think that some companies are getting it right, but most companies are making it worse. I recently got to visit Zappos for a few days, and I think that they are the type of company that is working very hard to get things right. When I was at Zappos, I got to listen to some of the discussions between people working there, and it was very clear what an important role they played in each other's lives much beyond work. On the other hand, I see other organizations that are being ruled more and more by lawyers and bureaucracy, and these kinds of changes are making people focus on a very narrow aspect of their work and in many cases take away joy and fulfillment.
Craig Watson
Craig Watson@cdcwatson · Product @Spotify
@danariely Great, thanks for the insight! You would think that more companies would be getting it right these days. I guess it is a top-down approach that provides the 'social' DNA by the founders from the very start. AirBnB, Virgin, Zappos - all had clear social norms baked into their mission statements from day one (both between team members and with customers).
Stephen Duffy
Stephen Duffy@stephen_duffy · Head of Digital, The Mix
@danariely Hi Dan, big fan of your books! How do you think the changing (more cautious) attitudes of the Gen Z demographic will change the way marketers have to approach their audience? Have you noticed an attitude change with this generation with your work? Thanks! Stephen
IrinaB
IrinaB@iirinabr
Hi @danariely! I'm a really big fan looking for a new job, but feeling those pesky pre-interview butterflies. Any tips on fighting the stage fright?
Dan Ariely
Dan Ariely@dan_ariely
@iirinabr There is a lot of interesting research of misattribution of emotions. The basic finding is that we feel something and then we peg it to some reason. In one of the classical experiments, they took people who were walking over a very narrow, shaky bridge. And sometimes, they would meet the research assistant at the middle of the bridge where everything was the most shaky. But sometimes they would meet the research assistant after they finished crossing the bridge. In all cases, the research assistant asked some questions and gave the male participants her phone number in case "they wanted to learn about the results of the experiment". Of course, nobody wanted to learn about the experiment, but the question was whether the male participants would call her for a date. The results show that more of the men who met the research assistant in the middle of the bridge called her. They felt their hearts pounding, their palms sweating, and they attributed their physiology to being attracted to her. This is a long story. And I think that the lesson for you is to try and find another aspect to attribute your physiology to. As long as you will think of it as a fear reaction to the interview, it will reduce your performance. But if you can try to link it to excitement, rather than fear, or if you can link it to the three cups of coffee you drank earlier that day, it might not decrease your performance. And good luck.
Aditya Gopal Ganguly
Aditya Gopal Ganguly@gopcruise · Developer, Practical Knowledge Labs
Hi Dan, big, big fan of your work. Have read your book and taken your course as well. I am researcher cum student. How do you write book about science (behavioral economics) that are so interesting to read. What's the key? Secondly, what fuelled your interest in the research career?
Atul Pradhananga
Atul Pradhananga@atulpradhananga · Logo Designer and Branding Consultant
Hey Dan! Glad to have you here :) Few questions: 1. What is your guilty pleasure & what do you waste most of your time on? 2. How do you yourself to do great work & keep that motivation for longer period of time? 3. Which book have you gifted most often? Why? 4. What advice would you give a grad student to make the most of his time? 5. What are some cognitive hacks you use to stay on top of your game?
Dan Ariely
Dan Ariely@dan_ariely
@atulpradhananga You only get one question. My guilty pleasure is running. I used to think that exercise was a waste of time. I have lots of work, I have lots of projects, I am the source of delay for lots of people. And, I used to think that taking 45 minutes out of my day and exercising was pure selfishness. Then, one day, I was in a different time zone. I was exhausted and I had no mental energy to focus. So, I went for a run. Since then, every time when I am unable to focus, I take my phone and I listen to music and podcasts for 45 minutes while running (slowly).
Rick Nimo
Rick Nimo@ricknimo
@danariely Hi, Dan. I wonder if you have ever considered setting up an organization where people could get involved in a project for social welfare and/or income generation. Because not everyone wants to start a new company or organization from scratch; some people would prefer to have a model to copy and a back-up organization.
Harit Rathi
Harit Rathi@haritrathi94 · Growth Obsessed!
Hi Dan, I'm a Business Administration Graduate. 1. I've done Rotman's course on edX called Behaviour Economics 101. Any other courses/ you recommended resources that might help me learn more on behaviour economics? 2. Places to work to broaden horizon at intersection of Marketing/Sales (offline or online) and BE?
Gabe Tonon
Gabe Tonon@gabe_pt
Hi Dan, My question is simple: If one is aware his actions are irrational, does that influence his outcome? Thanks Gabe
Dan Ariely
Dan Ariely@dan_ariely
@gabe_pt Sometimes. Maybe. Think about three types of decisions. Big decisions, small decisions, and habits. When it comes to small decisions, for example, buying coffee, being aware of our inherent biases does not really influence our behavior. After all, you're not going to approach every little decision taking out your whole arsenal of knowledge about human behavior and mistakes and applying it with vigor. Big decisions are a different story. These are the cases where you actually have time, and you can sit back, reason about your decision, and to the extent that you understand something about human irrationality, you can behave better. These decisions might include things like buying houses, changing jobs, having kids. And then there's a third category of habits. Habits are a case in which we make small decisions, but we make them repeatedly. And this is a case where you could start with the same process of big decisions where you think carefully about your habit. You make a decision about how to move forward with this habit, and then your daily decisions get the benefit of better decisions.
Dave Smiddy
Dave Smiddy@davesmiddy
Hi Dan, Loss Aversion is prominent with young wine consumers who are A) afraid to spend $ on a wine they haven't tried before because they may not like it and conclude it was a waste of $ and/or B) afraid of being embarrassed in front of their peers because of their bad selection. How can this be overcome? Or, is better to try to reposition the wine explorer's journey such that "losing" $20 or $30 on a "bad" choice is actually a good investment - i.e. mistakes are part of the fun and ultimately enhance the consumer's palate and knowledge?
Sushant Chavan
Sushant Chavan@csushant · Team Leader, Technology, Mobiefit
Hello @danariely, Can you talk about your personal process of making a choice? How do you weigh things before settling on something? This could be about taking up a new assignment or choosing a place to spend your evening. Thanks, Sushant
David Kadavy
David Kadavy@kadavy · Host, Love Your Work podcast
Hey @danariely, I love your work, and I recognize that the knowledge you create is powerful in giving us a chance to redesign the world with irrationality in mind. But my question is, do you know of any research that finds that knowledge of cognitive biases does anything to prevent their effects? (or, any research to the contrary)
RC Lim Xi Zhi
RC Lim Xi Zhi@limrc · PhD Candidate at Columbia Economics
@danariely Professor Ariely, do you think people can voluntarily and genuinely change how much satisfaction they derive from a consumption? For instance, can one choose to (and successfully) convince herself that she should discount future utility less?