Choiceology with Dan Heath

Choiceology with Dan Heath

What happens when intuition fails us? Listen in as Dan Heath shares stories of irrational decision making--from historical blunders to the kinds of everyday errors that could affect your future. Choiceology, an original podcast from Charles Schwab, explores the lessons of behavioral economics, exposing the psychological traps that lead to expensive mistakes.... Show More

Episodes

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 shor... Read more

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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... Read more

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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 Read more

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In this episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkman, we look at how framing a decision based on what you stand to lose versus what you stand to gain affects your tolerance of risk.

Luis Green was a contestant on the popular TV game show Deal or No Deal. The game is largely one of chance, but there are moments during play where the contestant has an option t... Read more

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Say you have a colleague who is struggling to complete a project at work. You might offer them some tips and tricks based on your own experience with similar projects. And it’s reasonable to expect those tips might be helpful to your colleague. But what if it turned out that the act of giving that advice might provide a measurable benefit to you as well?

In this episode of Choiceology with Read more

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Think back to a situation where you’ve been really pressed for time. Chances are good that the pressure of a deadline or an appointment caused you to be (a) hyper-focused and efficient or (b) panicked and prone to errors.

Now think of a situation where you had plenty of available time. While you were probably much less stressed, it’s also likely that the superpowers of hyper-focus didn’t come so easily.

In this episo... Read more

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There’s something satisfying about the close door button in an elevator, especially when you’re in a rush. However, it turns out that most of those close door buttons aren’t actually connected to anything; they have no effect. So why are they there?

In this episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkman, we explore a quirk in the way people understand t... Read more

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If you’ve ever been through a home renovation, you know that it often takes more time or more money (or both!) than the contractor’s original estimate. But why is that? Experienced contractors renovate homes all the time. And yet they still regularly face delays and cost overruns.

In this episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkman, we explore a tendency people h... Read more

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Assuming you live in the northern hemisphere, which would you say is colder: a day in March or a Day in April? On average, of course, March is colder than April, but there’s probably not a big difference in temperature between March 31 and April 1. If you’re like most people, though, you put March days in the colder March category and April days in the warmer April category. It’s a useful shortcut, but it doesn’t always give you... Read more

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Think about a time when something happened that just seemed meant to be. Maybe you had a feeling that your child would get into a certain college. Perhaps you just knew that your partner would forget to pack something important for your vacation. The question is, did you really know it along?

In this episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkman, we explore a tende... Read more

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It makes some intuitive sense to judge a decision based on its results. But is it always true that a good decision leads to a good outcome, and vice versa?

In this episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkman, we look at a bias that can lead to errors in the way we judge our decision-making processes.

Katy brings you a story about the challenging early days... Read more

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Have you ever noticed that there’s something satisfying about seeing a car’s odometer roll over from 99,999 to 100,000 miles? Or maybe more likely, looking at a clock right when it hits 12:00 on the nose? What’s so special about these moments?

In this episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkman, we look at quirk of human behavior that can lead, in some cases, to ... Read more

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If you’ve ever watched a TV crime drama, you’ve probably heard that eyewitness testimony is notoriously unreliable. A person commits a crime literally right in front of someone, but the witness can’t identify key characteristics of the perpetrator—or worse, gets the details wrong and implicates an innocent person. Why does this happen?

In this episode of Choiceology with Read more

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“For most things are differently valued by those who have them and by those who wish to get them; what belongs to us, and what we give away, always seems very precious to us.” –Aristotle

In this episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkman, we look at the peculiar ways people tend to value the things they own.

The episode begins with a tour of the Read more

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Netflix recommendations, Amazon suggestions, Google searches, airline ticket prices, your social media feed. All of these things are driven by algorithms—computer models that crunch massive amounts of data to generate useful results. These types of online algorithms are commonplace and so, generally speaking, we’re used to them.

But what about the algorithms behind self-driving cars or airplane autopilots? What about algo... Read more

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Have you ever seen a cloud overhead that looks very much like, say, a rabbit? Or maybe you’ve found a potato chip that had an uncanny resemblance to Elvis, or a cornflake that was almost exactly the shape of the state of Texas. What are the chances?

In this episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkman, we explore curious events and mysterious patterns in order to ... Read more

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For many people, the start of a new year is an occasion to re-examine their lives, to set new goals and to give up old habits. Making New Year’s resolutions is something of a social ritual, but we see similar behaviors around other significant dates, as well--such as birthdays and anniversaries and the changing of seasons. And while it can be argued that all of these dates are arbitrary, studies show that they can still give you... Read more

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December 21, 2018 1 min

Choiceology with Katy Milkman returns after the holidays, starting with a special New Year’s episode on January 7. In the meantime, you can listen to all of our past episodes online or in your podcast app of choice.

Choiceology is an original podcast from Charles Schwab. For more on the series, visit Read more

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In this episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkman, we examine an old insight about happiness and giving. It’s an insight that is now backed up by behavioral science.

The episode begins with a scene from the Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol. From there we hear from the founder and CEO of C... Read more

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You’re an independent-minded person. You make choices for yourself based on the best information available. You own your decisions, right or wrong. Right?

No so fast. You are, in fact, a social animal. You take many visible and invisible cues on how to behave from the people around you—family, co-workers, friends, social media, even the folks in the elevator or on the bus. So your decisions and behaviors aren’t always as ... Read more

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