Category Archives: behavioral economics

Does America over-incarcerate?

Joseph M. Bessette writes, only two fifths of those convicted of felonies in state courts are actually sentenced to prison. Of the rest, about half receive no incarceration (mainly probation) and half are sentenced to a short term in a … Continue reading

Posted in behavioral economics | 29 Comments

Reading our own minds

Thanks to a commenter, I found a paper by Peter Carruthers. metacognition always results from people turning their mindreading abilities upon themselves. By metacognition he means our description of our own mental processes. We call this introspection, although his theory … Continue reading

Posted in behavioral economics | 7 Comments

The Theory of Mind

I just finished reading The Enigma of Reason by Dan Sperber and Hugo Mercier. They look at the process by which we arrive at reasons for actions. The following thought occurs to me: You probably assume that understanding your own … Continue reading

Posted in behavioral economics, books and book reviews, culture | Tagged , | 6 Comments

The problem of overconfidence

Chris Dillow writes, overconfidence can be a form of strategic self-deception. A new paper by Peter Schwardmann and Joel van der Weele shows this. They got subjects to do intelligence tests and then selected some at random and told them … Continue reading

Posted in behavioral economics, Mark Thoma is Indispensable | 6 Comments

Emotions about winning and losing

Tyler Cowen writes, In venture capital, I suspect that hatred of losing may be a disadvantage. No matter how successful you may be, most of your individual investments will lose money and hatred of losing may make you too risk-averse. … Continue reading

Posted in behavioral economics, Tyler Cowen is my Favorite Blogger | 3 Comments

Meaningless rituals might be good for you

Veronika Rybanska and others write, To be accepted into social groups, individuals must internalize and reproduce appropriate group conventions, such as rituals. The copying of such rigid and socially stipulated behavioral sequences places heavy demands on executive function. Given previous … Continue reading

Posted in behavioral economics | 11 Comments

Jonathan Parker Discusses Financial Behavior

In an interview format with Aaron Steelman. Pointer from Timothy Taylor. Interesting throughout. A few tidbits: people don’t spend the money the week before it shows up — they spend it the week it shows up. And it seems like … Continue reading

Posted in behavioral economics, income distribution-wealth-poverty, Timothy Taylor is my Favorite Blogger | 8 Comments

Some Useful Cosmides Tooby Links

This post is a sort of note-taking for my benefit.

Posted in behavioral economics | 4 Comments

Are Moral Absolutists Easier to Trust?

Molly Crockett says, We’ve done experiments where we give people the option to play a cooperative game with someone who endorses deontological morality, who says there are some rules that you just can’t break even if they have good consequences. … Continue reading

Posted in behavioral economics | 9 Comments

Another Theory of the Trump Phenomenon

Someone writes, Girard discovered the answer. Society has survived because it has developed a mechanism for concentrating violence on a limited number of victims. This he called the “scapegoating mechanism”. In fact the scapegoating mechanism exploits the very mimetic mechanisms … Continue reading

Posted in behavioral economics, Tyler Cowen is my Favorite Blogger | 24 Comments