Health Insurance Enrollment: A Superhuman Decision

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

Six Ways to Avoid Regret

I wish I had picked a different airline or maybe shelled out more money for a better seat. (I’m writing this squeezed into a coach seat near the lavatory on a six-hour flight to attend the Behavioral Finance Symposium in San Francisco.) I wish I had known six months ago that people were much more … Continue reading Six Ways to Avoid Regret

Can One Become Great at Decision-Making?

Our decisions, and the actions they lead to, make us who we are. In that sense, decisions are fundamental to our identities, our humanity and even the future of our planet. But what is a good decision and how do we get great at making them? I want to share with you my answers to … Continue reading Can One Become Great at Decision-Making?

Framing 1, Facts 0?

When we make decisions, we often take the way they are presented to us at face value. Maybe a sales person offers you a menu of investment options or maybe a single recommendation; either way, you can bet a lot of thought went into the architecture of the choice presented to you. Amos Tversky and Daniel … Continue reading Framing 1, Facts 0?

Decisions into Old Age: The Forecast is Partly Cloudy

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

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

Rationality: Our Humanity, Our Planet

Rationality is supposed to be integral to our humanity. Indeed, the “sapiens” in homo sapiens is from the new Latin sapere, meaning know, learn and know how. As a matter of fact, our subspecies is actually homo sapiens sapiens. Does this mean we have twice the intellectual capacity of our extinct ancestors from the Pleistocene? … Continue reading Rationality: Our Humanity, Our Planet

Push the Limits on Rational Decision-Making

There are three things we need to make wise and rational decisions with confidence: time, information and smarts. Unfortunately, as mere humans, we know that these resources are in short supply. Indeed, the vast range of choices we have to make daily and the overwhelming influx of information and stimuli can limit or confuse all … Continue reading Push the Limits on Rational Decision-Making