Category Archives: Behavioral Economics

Artificial intelligence and human limits

Are we getting dumber?  Or is stuff just harder?

Both are true.  Between-silo problems are the new bottleneck.  We’re inundated with information, so we take cognitive short cuts.   And “wicked” problems keep getting wickeder.

Take this “invisible art” artist.  She sold a few.*

Real decisions are made in the heart, the gut, based on a good story.  So we’re vulnerable to master wizards: good story tellers.  And, often, we’ll do what they say.

It’s impossible to assemble hundreds of graphs and data visualizations in our heads to make good decisions. It’s a fiction that we can.  So we’re overwhelmed, take short-cuts, but it’s hard to admit.

The good news: we have new superpowers.

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Guest post: The convergence of behavioral economics and big data

What does cold dead fish have to do with random forests? If you were to open a restaurant that served cold dead fish, you would not stay open for very long. However, if you used the concept of framing and instead sold a delicacy called Sushi, you would have much better chance of staying in business. Framing is a concept in the emerging field of behavioral economics that attempts to understand how people make decisions as well as how to influence those decisions. Other examples include the use of a default preference in order to encourage more people to become organ donors and rearranging the layout of food in a school cafeteria to get kids to eat more healthy fruits and vegetables. Continue reading

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