Good Behavior? What I Learned at the Behavioral Summit (and How it Freaked Me Out a Little)

I just attended the best conference ever. And I’ve been to a lot of them. The ideas42 Behavioral Summit 2016 was billed as offering “…an inside look at the latest developments from the field of behavioral science and how these insights drive innovation in the private sector.” Indeed it went beyond that, touching on politics, … Continue reading Good Behavior? What I Learned at the Behavioral Summit (and How it Freaked Me Out a Little)

Future & Present: Where Brains, Math and Ethics Collide

Many of the most important decisions we make involve trade-offs between the present and future. How much of my income should I save today for my retirement? What costs should governments incur today to reduce the risk of catastrophic climate change in the (hopefully) distant future? How should businesses allocate investments that pay off in … Continue reading Future & Present: Where Brains, Math and Ethics Collide

We Use Feelings to Make Decisions, and that’s OK

One of the most important and surprising things I’ve learned about decision-making is that we rely on, even require gut feelings to make important decisions about the future. Naqiv, et. al. (2006) write about findings in neuroscience that support the somatic-marker hypothesis, which suggests that when we make decisions under uncertainty, we choose among different … Continue reading We Use Feelings to Make Decisions, and that’s OK

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