Choiceology with Katy Milkman

Choiceology with Katy Milkman

Can we learn to make smarter choices? Listen is as host Katy Milkman--behavioral scientist, Wharton professor, and author of How to Change--shares stories of high-stakes decisions and what research reveals they can teach us. Choiceology, an original podcast from Charles Schwab, explores the lessons of behavioral economics to help you improve your judgment and change for good. Season 1 of Choiceology was hosted by Dan Heath, bestselling author of Made to Stick and Switch. Podcasts are for informational purposes only. This channel is not monitored by Charles Schwab. Please visit schwab.com/contactus for contact options. (0321-1S88)

Episodes

April 26, 2021 36 min

You probably have a list of reminders somewhere. Maybe you have a calendar with important dates marked. And likely a mental to-do list. And shopping lists. And gift ideas. And you’ve got to remember to get your taxes filed. And don’t forget to get those prescriptions filled before the drug store closes. And you’ve got to renew your insurance, and …

There’s a lot of information to juggle in modern life. In this episode of Choiceology...

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For many, the onset of the coronavirus pandemic was terrifying. Descriptions of the outbreak in Europe and Asia led to panic buying and sheltering in place here at home. But, as time passed and people became acclimatized to life with masks and social distancing, many of those same people who were terrified at the outset began to let their guard down and take unnecessary risks.

In this episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkman, we loo...

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Have you ever visited your doctor to deal with a minor health issue and then left the office with nothing more than the doctor’s calming reassurance? Chances are good that you felt a bit better, physically, just by virtue of experiencing the environment of the clinic and anticipating some kind of improvement in your health.

In this episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkman, we explore how your beliefs and expectations can have a very...

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Hardware stores and home improvement shows often promote do-it-yourself projects. And while it’s challenging to make your own projects look as good as the ones on TV or in glossy brochures, building something yourself can be a very rewarding experience. The trouble is, the DIY approach can sometimes cloud your perceptions of the value of your project.

In this episode of Choiceology with?Katy Milkman, we look at how putting personal ...

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In a past episode titled “Spoiled for Choice,” we looked at how decision-making can be hampered by our desire to avoid the painful emotion of regret. In fact, regret aversion can cause people to abandon certain decisions entirely.

In this episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkman, we look more closely at regret itself.?

Stirling Hart is a professional lumberjack. He’s also a world-class lumberjack sports athlete. He has travelled the ...

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For some people, the check engine light on their car dashboard means an immediate trip to the repair shop. But for others, it represents a nagging unpleasant feeling that’s best to be avoided. So they put it out of their mind for as long as they can.?

In this episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkman, we examine the tendency to avoid or ignore certain information when it may be uncomfortable or inconvenient.

Amelia Boone is a high ach...

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You’ve probably had the annoying experience of going to a store to pick up a few things, only to leave having forgotten at least one of them. That’s likely due to the challenge of holding more than one piece of information in your working memory while you shop, not to mention the effects of time pressure, distraction, and the procedural complexity of a seemingly simple trip to a store.

In this episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkma...

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“Mom! Janey got more ice cream than me! Not fair!” For kids—and many adults—the notion of what’s fair or not often involves comparing quantities of some valuable thing. But there’s another, more nuanced concept of fairness that crops up in certain types of negotiations.?

In this episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkman, we look at what people perceive as fair or not amid changing circumstances.

At the turn of the 20th century, profes...

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Traditional economic theory says that more choice should always be better than less. After all, if the cereal aisle has corn flakes, honey nut corn flakes, toasted coconut corn flakes, chocolate corn flakes, multi-grain flakes, and all the rest, you’ll surely be able to find the breakfast carbs that suit your taste buds perfectly. But it turns out that, in certain situations, more choices can be counterproductive.

In this episode of...

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The rapid heartbeat. The shaking hands. The flushed face. The symptoms of pre-performance jitters are common. For some people, nervousness before a big test or important presentation is normal and temporary. For others, it can be debilitating. Typical suggestions for managing nerves tend to involve deep breaths and calming thoughts. But what if there were a better way?

In this episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkman, we look at the...

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“In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun, and snap, the job’s a game!” So says Julie Andrews’ character in the Disney film Mary Poppins before she launches into the famous musical number “A Spoonful of Sugar.”?

In this episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkman, we look at the science behind the intuitive strategy of making difficult or boring things easier by adding that “element of fun.” But whil...

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Have you ever bid in a competitive auction—say, on eBay—and won the item, only to see a similar item for sale elsewhere at a lower price? If so, you may have fallen prey to the winner’s curse.

In this episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkman, we look at bias that can lead people to overpay in auctions and other types of negotiations.

We begin with the story of Havre de Grace. This prize filly had an exceptionally successful career as...

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Have you ever purchased a car or a motorcycle or a boat, based on some particular quality it had that made you fall in love? Maybe it was candy apple red. Maybe it had sleek lines. Maybe the engine made a pleasing purr. Hopefully that decision was a happy one. But what happens when the red sports car spends most of its time in the shop? Or the sleek motorbike is hard on your back? Or the purring boat engine is a gas-guzzler?

In this...

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If you’ve ever signed up for a frequent flyer program, chances are good that you were awarded a certain number of bonus points to start. Those bonus points feel like a nice little gift, but they also serve another purpose: to increase your motivation to participate in the program.

In this episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkman, we explore how your proximity to a goal can affect the way you behave.

You’ll hear the fascinating story ...

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An unprecedented global health crisis has overwhelmed healthcare systems, disrupted economies and financial markets, and radically altered our daily lives. And while social distancing is the responsible thing to do to slow the spread of disease, it also heightens the emotional challenges we face during these scary and uncertain times.

In this special bonus episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkman, we look to the science of happiness...

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We are inundated with decisions in the modern world. What to wear, what to buy, what to watch, where to work, what to eat, who to call, where to live, what to study, when to exercise, how much to save, etc. And every decision, no matter how small, requires mental effort. But when a particular option is suggested to us ahead of time, the cognitive load is much smaller.

In this episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkman, we explore the ...

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Many episodes of this podcast deal with cognitive biases that can hinder our decision-making abilities. In this episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkman, we look at a different kind of error: how completely irrelevant information can negatively influence our judgments, making them varied and unpredictable.

This variability of human judgment—or noise—is the topic of an upcoming book by Nobel Prize-winning economist Daniel Kahneman, w...

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In an episode of the television series Seinfeld, Jerry does a standup bit where he talks about staying up too late at night. He says, “I’m Night Guy. Night Guy wants to stay up late,” to which he then replies, “What about getting up after five hours of sleep?” The answer? “That’s Morning Guy’s problem.” This illustrates a challenge that we all face: How do you stick to positive long-term goals in the face of negative short-term tem...

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Benjamin Franklin is one of the most revered figures in American history. He accomplished more in one lifetime--as a publisher, scientist, and politician--than most of us dream of. One argument for his success is that he was a creature of habit. His grueling daily schedule focused on repeating several habits of self-improvement. He hoped to achieve a perfect version of himself by automating certain positive behaviors. Whether or no...

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If you’ve toured through any old world cities, you’ve probably marveled at ancient buildings that have stood the test of time. You might think to yourself, “They sure made things to last back in those days.” And while the Notre Dame Cathedral or the Parthenon or the Tower of London may seem like proof of the superior workmanship of a bygone era, what you don’t see are all the other buildings erected during the same period that have...

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