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Teen Brains and the Meaning of Life 

As the father of two teens who happens to be fascinated by decision making, I had a special interest in “The Terrible Teens“, in the August 31 New Yorker. It opens with vivid visual of (male, of course) adolescent mice drinking alcohol to oblivion. According to author Francis Jensen, teens’ frontal lobes aren’t yet that … Continue reading Teen Brains and the Meaning of Life 

Choice Architecture:  Don’t be Evil

HBR’s recent article, Leaders as Decision Architects, is a detailed investigation of how business managers can improve employee choices by adjusting the framework, context and process in which those decisions are made. The authors draw from two of my favorite books in behavioral economics, “Thinking Fast and Slow” and “Nudge”. There’s no doubt that in the right … Continue reading Choice Architecture:  Don’t be Evil

Introversion, Entrepreneurialism & Decision Making

My favorite article this week was Why Introverts Make Great Entrepreneurs, (WSJ) for three reasons: 1) it dispels the myth (which I held) that an entrepreneur must be extraverted; 2) it summarizes the relative strengths that introverts bring to business leadership, which can apply equally well to decision making in general and 3) It quotes Susan Cain, the author … Continue reading Introversion, Entrepreneurialism & Decision Making

Career Decisions & the U-Shaped Happiness Curve

The Atlantic recently ran this terrific article by Jonathan Rauch about the nearly universal u-shaped path of happiness that most humans and some primates follow: Happiness starts relatively high in early adulthood, declining steadily until late 40s or early 50s, when it picks up again until the final years. It appears to be much more … Continue reading Career Decisions & the U-Shaped Happiness Curve

Approach and Avoid: How to Use the SCARF Model to Set Better Conditions for Career Decisionmaking

We can we improve our ability to make wise choices in business and personal life by better understanding our brains and setting up conditions conducive to good decision-making. A good example is when we are confronted with a major life decision such as whether to seek (or accept) a new job. While few would argue this … Continue reading Approach and Avoid: How to Use the SCARF Model to Set Better Conditions for Career Decisionmaking

We are all Yes-People

The New York Times published a great, short article, complete with quiz, about confirmation bias. Confirmation bias is our innate preference to have our expectations, prejudices and assumptions confirmed. We can pay attention to confirming evidence and ignore contradicting evidence. The article measures this bias with a short quiz and argues that, when making a decision … Continue reading We are all Yes-People