How to Choose Wisely

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Behavioral economist Richard Thaler explains why we often make poor choices when it comes to our health, wealth, and happiness, and how we can learn to make better choices. His new book is Nudge.

Event: Richard Thaler will be speaking and signing books
Thursday, April 17 at 4:30 pm
City University of New York
Segal Theatre, The Graduate Center
365 5th Avenue (between East 34th and 35th Streets)

If you enjoy this interview, you might also enjoy Leonard’s Feb. 2008 conversation with Dan Ariely about why humans make irrational decisions.


Richard Thaler

Comments [8]

Jennifer Lavonier from Jersey City, NJ

The fly is etched into the toilet so that boys have a place to aim, hence less chances of "missing" the target.

Apr. 17 2008 01:56 PM
charles kennedy

Right, every one who needs medicare information or mortage information HAS a computer! I don"t think so.

Apr. 17 2008 12:42 PM
peter from bergen county

Another good example of a confusing personal finance decision is credit card offers. 21 3rd year law students at an Ivy League School could not decypher the actual rate of an offer one of the studants received, ie, if these highly educated people could nto do it, how is Joe Consumer (I learned this from an NPR interview).

This I believe is an example of intentional design to confuse.

Apr. 17 2008 12:41 PM
Robert Diamond from Washington Heights

Isn't this called "advertising." "Nudging," manipulating the environment, is as old as the development of the frontal lobe in human beings. These ideas are being used in earnest every day, everywhere (have the professors ever ridden in a subway car covered with ads from one product?). The most troubling aspect of the discussion is that there is no acknowledgement of how these ideas are used against the best interest of the good of society and/or the good of the individual.

Apr. 17 2008 12:37 PM
Neal from Port Washington

Advertising is continually trying to convince kids to eat burgers and fries, and drink soda. So I doubt that offering a choice of eating healthy or have soda and fries is going to nudge someone to eat better.

Apr. 17 2008 12:27 PM
James The Giant Peach from Park Slope

wait, I missed it, why is a fly picture etched in the toilet?

Apr. 17 2008 12:22 PM
Mike from Northern Manhattan

I had a slight weird experience with a doorman in my building. For a week, every time I wanted to leave the building to work-out at the gym, I thought twice and would not go. It was really bothering me, so I finally apologized for anything that was unclear between us and we worked it out and now I do not think going out the door.

That slight influence disrupted my working out because it was easier to not work out and the path was being blocked. I agree with these economist. Plus, my gym cost money and so it was a loss, but a lesson to not mess with gatekeepers.

Apr. 17 2008 12:16 PM
Jennifer Lavonier from Jersey City, NJ

In reference to the fly etched in the toilet, The Eric Carle Museum in Massachusettes has Mr. Carle's bug illustrations in the urinals just for that very purpose.

Apr. 17 2008 12:15 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.