Think back to the last time you had to make a hard, important decision. Were you picking an asset allocation for your 401k, selecting a health insurance plan or deciding whether it was time to refinance your mortgage? What kind of help did you seek and what kind of help was available? Were you confident … Continue reading How to Decide…How to Help People Decide
Open enrollment for health insurance began November 16 and the decision isn’t any easier than last year. On the contrary, not only are premiums higher and benefits lower, there’s greater uncertainty about the future of the Obama health care act. On a cold, cloudy Sunday afternoon, I analyzed my health insurance choices. Our choices and … Continue reading Health Insurance Enrollment: A Superhuman Decision
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)
Decision Fish Interviews Kim Stephenson, an occupational psychologist. Perhaps the greatest benefit of the World Wide Web, is contained in the first two words. Decision Fish’s blog has readership worldwide, self-selected to be some of the most thoughtful and smartest people anywhere. Kim Stephenson, an occupational psychologist from the UK is one of those people. Here’s a … Continue reading Interview With a Skeptic
I recently visited with a 27 year old who asked me for help in figuring out what to do with his life. He is about to start at a prestigious graduate school and is feeling pressure to make some big career decisions quickly. Here’s the letter I wrote him, inspired by Seneca’s Letters from a Stoic. Before you … Continue reading Career Advice from a Stoic
Here’s a question that just about everyone approaching (and passing) middle age will feel ambivalent about: how does getting older affect our ability to make rational decisions? On the one hand, it’s common knowledge that our cognitive abilities begin to decline in our fifties. On the other, as I’ve written before, the accumulation of experience … Continue reading Decisions into Old Age: The Forecast is Partly Cloudy
How do men and women approach decision-making differently? An evidence-based answer to this question is important: If we want to make better personal, policy and business decisions, the tools and strategies we use will depend on our strengths and weaknesses, which may be correlated with gender. If we want to help others, we need to … Continue reading Your Gender: Your Destiny?
I’ve got a wickedly complex decision to make. What should my priorities be now that I no longer have a full-time banking job? I’ve got at least a dozen different alternatives, each with subtle-to-obvious differences with respect to my key values including impact on my family, benefit to society, intellectual challenge, financial security and leverage of … Continue reading Got a Tough Decision? Fuggedaboutit!
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
A bias is an unconscious, natural and immediate prejudice or tendency to a particular action. Bias-driven decisions may or may not be consistent with that which may result from a more deliberative or thoughtful process. Biases can be harmful: think of prejudices in employment, housing and education. They can be helpful as when we slam on … Continue reading Bias Among Us: How to Influence Others & Ourselves