Articles

Donja Darai, Silvia Grätz. Attraction and Cooperative Behavior

Being good-looking seems to generate substantial benefits in many social interactions, making the "beauty premium" a not to be underrated economic factor. This paper investigates how physical attractiveness enables people to generate these benefits in the case of cooperation, using field data from a modified one-shot prisoner's dilemma played in a high-stakes television game show. While attractive contestants are not more or less cooperative than less attractive ones, facial attractiveness pro...

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Geoffrey M. Hodgson. The ubiquity of habits and rules

Under what circumstances is it necessary or convenient for an agent to rely on habits or rules? This paper focuses on the types of decision situation giving rise to their use. Even optimisation requires the deployment of rules, and for this reason mainstream economics cannot legitimately ignore these questions. The argument is that habits and rules are ubiquitous in human activity. In a new taxonomy, seven types of decision situations are considered, classified according to the type of informa...

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Christian Jarrett. An insight into "nudge"

How did you find your experience as a psychology undergrad, and how did you go from there to working at the heart of government? I did experimental psychology at Cambridge. Like many others I went to do physics, etc. as part of the Natural Sciences tripos, but I’d always read psych textbooks just for interest – who could not be fascinated by those fantastic social-psych experiments of the 50s, 60s and 70s? Fantastic to find I could study it seriously. After a year I went back and did a PhD in ...

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Elizabeth W. Dunn, Barbara A. Spellman. Forgetting by remembering: Stereotype inhibition through rehearsal of alternative aspects of identity

We applied previous research on retrieval-induced forgetting to the issue of stereotype inhibition. All participants learned about a target person who belonged to a stereotyped group, and then practiced retrieving a subset of the targets characteristics. When participants practiced individuating information about the target, they showed inhibited memory for the targets stereotypic traits. When participants practiced stereotypic information about the target, they showed inhibited memory for: ...

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Dennis Dittrich, Werner Güth, Boris Maciejovsky. Overconfidence in Investment Decisions: An Experimental Approach

The evidence on decision biases and heuristics challenges the prescriptive validity of standard finance theory which is still the dominant paradigm in modern finance. One such violation is the overcon fidence bias in the sense of systematically overestimating the accuracy of one's decisions and the precision of one's knowledge. Overconfidence has been observed in many professionals (for a survey see Yates (1990)). Most relevant for our study, overconfidence was found in entrepreneurs (Cooper e...

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Oliver Letwin, Gregory Barker, Andrew Stunell. Behaviour Change and Energy Use

This paper shows how government can make it easier for people to use energy more eiciently. It sets out a range of trials to test diferent ways of applying behavioural insights to overcome barriers to being more energy eicient. This research will help to ensure that government policy on energy eiciency will be as efective as possible in motivating behavioural change. These insights are not alternatives to existing policy. They complement the Government’s objective to reduce carbon emissions ac...

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