Make Up Your Mind

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Humans often act irrationally... but irrational behavior can be quite predictable. An MIT professor explains the forces that lead to irrational behavior. Also, a new novel about the constricted life of a Japanese princess. On States of the Union, former US Senator from Rhode Island Lincoln Chafee tells us what his state’s voters are thinking as they head into their primary on Tuesday. And on Underreported: new attempts to change the sentencing policies for crack versus powder cocaine.

Check out the latest in our Political Projections film series! On Tuesday, March 4, we'll talk about how Hollywood has showcased American cynicism about politics. You can watch the films we've chosen and weigh in on the conversation.


Lincoln Chafee

Predictably Irrational Decision-Making

Humans often act in irrational ways...for example, making poor decisions about dating, and spending money unwisely. Recent experiments reveal our irrational behavior can be quite predictable! MIT professor Dan Ariely explains the forces that lead to irrational behavior in his new book Predictably Irrational.

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The Constricted Life of Japan’s Royal Family

John Burnham Schwartz’s new novel, The Commoner, is based on the life of Japan’s Empress Michiko, who was the first commoner to marry into the Japanese imperial family.


States of the Union: Rhode Island

All eyes are on Ohio and Texas for their March 4 primaries, but Rhode Island is voting on that day too. Rhode Island’s biggest industry is health care and we find out whether health care reform is a major issue there. Also: why Rhode Island has the lowest presidential approval ...

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Underreported: Unfair Crack and Cocaine Sentencing Guidelines

According to current federal sentencing guidelines, convictions for the sale of 500 grams of powder cocaine – and only 5 grams of crack cocaine – both result in a 5-year mandatory minimum sentence. Jesselyn McCurdy, legislative counsel for the ACLU, explains why this sentencing disparity is unfair and fails to ...

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