When Markus Dohle, the chief executive of Random House, announced at the company holiday party that each and every employee who had been with the company for a year — from top executives to their secretaries — would be receiving a $5,000 bonus, the room erupted in cheers. Dan Ariely, professor of behavioral economics at Duke University, explains the effects of bonuses like these.
You’ve probably heard of Alcoholics Anonymous. Maybe you’ve heard of Narcotics Anonymous, or Gamblers Anonymous. But have you ever heard about Clutterers Anonymous? Or Online Gamers Anonymous? Probably not. For Genevieve Smith, the twelve-step program in her life was another one of these lesser-known groups: Underearners Anonymous.
The markets continued their volatile ways yesterday with stocks taking a major nose-dive. Investors went into panic-mode trying to find anything safe to put their money into. Most put their money into the U.S. government's debt, but uncertainty remains. With so many factors affecting the global markets, how do we decide how investors will react and influence the markets?
Main Street may be fed up with Wall Street's apparent gluttony, but banks are once again awarding huge bonuses. The nation's biggest banks, including Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, are expected to pay some employees year-end bonuses reaching into eight-digit sums. These staggering amounts may irritate the American public, which is still feeling the effects of the recession... but does the public's ire matter? We speak with Eric Dash, who reported on this for The New York Times, and Dan Ariely, professor of behavioral economics at Duke University and author of “Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions.”
Poor study habits, too much TV or goofing off are usually cited as reasons students get bad grades. But the state of Texas has a different idea for why some students are underperforming – poor teaching – and state officials came up with a plan to look into it. Under a proposed new rating system, Texas schools that train teachers will be held accountable for their graduates' effectiveness on the jobs. That means bad grades may point to a bad teacher's teacher and not the student's bad habits.
The Senate voted 90 to 5 in favor of putting new restrictions on the credit card industry. In an effort to protect consumers’ rights, the legislation would put an end to some of the practices that have pushed so many Americans into an unprecedented amount of debt. (Today, credit and charge card debt is close to $1 trillion.) For a look at how the new restrictions may affect we got here and what the credit card industry has done to perpetuate this kind of debt The Takeaway is joined by Dan Ariely. He is the James B. Duke Professor of Behavioral Economics at Duke University. His updated and expanded version of Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions is in stores now.
To assess President Obama’s first 100 days, we’re going to the experts—the men and women who thought long and hard about his qualifications: the voters. We’re checking back in with the folks who joined us throughout the election season for a performance review on the man they did—and didn't— cast a ballot for.
Also joining the conversation is our friend, behavioral economist Dan Ariely. Ariely will talk us through what the next 100 days should entail.
It's Tax Day! In these challenging economic times, and in the wake of massive bank bailouts and several of Obama's cabinet nominees who took tax missteps, people may be fishing for an excuse not to pay all of their taxes. For a primer on what motivates us to cheat—and what keeps us honest—we are joined by behavioral economist Dan Ariely. He is the James B. Duke Professor of Behavioral Economics at Duke University and author of Predictably Irrational.
"The majority of the financial burden of cheating doesn't come from those individuals who don't pay at all, it comes from lots of people who are just shaving their taxes just by a little bit." —Duke University Professor Dan Ariely on people cheating on taxes
Investor Warren Buffett’s financial wizardry is a mix of shrewd analysis and a steely self-control, which keeps his instincts in check when panic claims Wall Street. But when the numbers indicate an uptick in his weight, the Oracle of Omaha cashes in his mid-western pragmatism for some wacky weight management ways. Behavioral Economist Dan Ariely says that Warren Buffett’s weight loss program offers an object lesson in self-control. He joins us from Duke University where he is the James B. Duke Professor of Behavioral Economics. He is also the author of Predictably Irrational.
AIG's bonus payments of $165 million to executives made no one happy. Well, the executives probably didn't mind them. From Ben Bernanke to Lawrence Summers, we're all mad at these guys. But what do we do next? How do we navigate the rule of law versus operating with the knowledge that we're compensating people for bad decisions? For more, The Takeaway talks to our friend Dan Ariely. Dan is the James B. Duke Professor of Behavioral Economics at Duke University and author of Predictably Irrational.
"There's such a huge loss over this thing that the few million dollars here and there don't matter. The reason we care, though, is that it's an outrage." — Behavioral economics professor Dan Ariely on the AIG bonus payments
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke discusses AIG.
In the last few weeks we’ve witnessed some high-profile duplicity: From Bernie Madoff’s masterminding of a $65 billion swindle or the tax lapses of the Obama cabinet nominees (Daschle, we're looking at you). But high stakes cheating is actually not nearly as common or collectively damaging as the petty crimes of dishonesty that most of us perpetuate daily. Joining us to talk about the human nature of cheating and the consequences of overlooking the common charlatan is Dan Ariely. Dan Ariely is James B. Duke Professor of Behavioral Economics at Duke University and author of Predictably Irrational.
Watch master poker cheats at work in the video below.
Today nearly 14 percent of Americans are underemployed. This is proving to be a challenge for beleaguered bosses and disgruntled employees struggling to keep morale up in the workplace. For those who are despairing, fear not. The ideal that IKEA holds forth in the form of those little flat wrenches and a lot of elbow grease, could prove to have some answers for business leaders, policymakers and everyday workers. It turns out what is true for the success of IKEA—the sense of accomplishment many experience in assembling IKEA’s housewares—could have broader implications. Joining us to discuss a phenomenon called “The IKEA Effect" is Dan Ariely, the James B. Duke Professor of Behavioral Economics at Duke University and author of Predictably Irrational.
When it comes to Super Bowl Sunday, who turned out the best commercial is almost as newsworthy as who won the game. This year companies forked out a record $200 million for a slice of the Super Bowl advertising pie. With the economy in shambles, consumer confidence at a 30-year low and the GDP shrinking at an alarming rate, these ads need to get a serious bang for their buck. To assess if this year’s batch of commercials did what they needed to do to motivate reluctant consumers, we turn to Behavioral Economist Dan Ariely. He is the James B. Duke Professor of Behavioral Economics at Duke University and author of Predictably Irrational.
President Obama’s $825 billion stimulus package includes $300 billion in tax cuts, which would come to the American spending public in the form of rebates. But history proves that refunds, whether dispersed in a small steady amounts or in one lump sum, do little to jumpstart a spending spree. For an assessment of what a tax rebate should look like under an administration that runs on the motto of “change,” we are joined by Dan Ariely, who is the James B. Duke Professor of Behavioral Economics at Duke University and author of Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions.
These days it seems that economists are the go-to people to explain many of the world’s ills, from sub-prime lending to credit default swaps to Ponzi schemes to the bad, emotionally charged decisions that we make with our own money. Dan Ariely, a behavioral economist, has some first-hand insight into how one self-destructive financial decision can thrust us into a downward spiral of many bad decisions. Dan Ariely is the James B. Duke Professor of Behavioral Economics at Duke University and author of Predictably Irrational.
What bad economic decisions have you made? Tell us!
"Whenever you think of a situation where your emotion can get the best out of you, it's good to get a person between you and that decision." — Professor Dan Ariely on how to make better financial decisions