To plan or not to plan?

Many of Dan Ariely’s recent columns have focused on COVID-19 issues and his current one is no exception. Here’s a question a reader posed: Dear Dan, The holidays are right around the corner, but I’ve been hesitating to make plans to visit family or host a party. The changing Covid-19 situation means that any plan … Continue reading To plan or not to plan?

Mirror, Mirror On the Wall. Who’s the Most Honest Trick-or-Treater of All?

I might have to try this little experiment. In the most recent edition of "Ask Ariely", a reader asked behavioral economist Dan Ariely the following question: For Halloween this year, we are going to leave a plastic jack-o-lantern full of wrapped treats on the doorstep along with a sign that says “Only one piece of … Continue reading Mirror, Mirror On the Wall. Who’s the Most Honest Trick-or-Treater of All?

Can You Solve the Candle Problem?

In today's class, I showed the wonderful Dan Pink TED talk on motivation (yes, the same Dan Pink who many of you pointed out the other day needs to work on his hand washing). In part of the video, Dan introduces the candle problem, which is shown in the image above. The problem was developed by … Continue reading Can You Solve the Candle Problem?

It’s Dan Ariely Time!

I'm quite happy that it appears that Dan's column in the Wall Street Journal is back with some regularity because it has always been a great source of material for my blog. And this week is no exception. Here is one of the emails Dan received: Dear Dan, I am obsessed with my blogging stats. … Continue reading It’s Dan Ariely Time!

How to Avoid Behaving Irrationally

Dan Ariely has written several books about irrational decision making, including Predictably Irrational and The Upside of Irrationality. His books are both enjoyable and educational. In addition, he has a regular column in the Wall Street Journal called Ask Dan, which has been the basis for many of my blog posts over the past five … Continue reading How to Avoid Behaving Irrationally

Moving Beyond Small Talk

COVID-19. The weather. The latest sports score. Those are among the go-to topics that many of us probably default to when we are in a conversation with someone. But what if you want to move beyond that, and get to know someone a bit better? Well, Dan Ariely, a behavioral economist, has some suggestions, based … Continue reading Moving Beyond Small Talk

The Paradox of Last Place

We all (well, maybe not all) remember those dreaded gym classes when it was time for teams to be picked. If you weren't an athlete (nope), popular (nope), or good-looking (nope), you were going to be among the last ones selected. And you were just hoping you would not be THE last one selected. While … Continue reading The Paradox of Last Place

If This Is True, Then I Should Be the King of Brainstorming

I've written more than a few posts about some of my embarrassing moments (I have so many to choose from): Lobster Man Strikes Again Another One of Life’s Embarrassing Moments Embarrassing Stories – A Wonderful Way to Get to Know One Another? Another Benefit of Sharing Embarrassing Moments Add One More to Life’s Embarrassing Moments Well, That Was Embarrassing… The … Continue reading If This Is True, Then I Should Be the King of Brainstorming

Gift Card vs. Cash – Which Would You Prefer?

It's a question that at first glance, at least to me, has a simple answer. Cash, of course. Cash enables you to do anything you can do with the gift card, plus a whole lot more. A gift card, on the other hand, restricts your choices to just the gift associated with the card. By … Continue reading Gift Card vs. Cash – Which Would You Prefer?

The Age-Old Debate – Reward vs. Punishment

Dan Ariely's column today addresses the age-old debate - what works better for modifying behavior - punishments or rewards. Here is the email: Dear Dan, One grocery store I shop at charges a nickel for paper bags, while the other gives me a nickel when I bring my own bag. Which approach is more likely … Continue reading The Age-Old Debate – Reward vs. Punishment