The Art of Giving an Effective Non-Answer

I'll admit it. Over the years there have been times when students have asked me a question to which I didn't quite know the answer, but for some reason, I decided to answer anyway. Sometimes I got lucky and gave the right answer, and sometimes I've given the wrong answer. And sometimes I gave an … Continue reading The Art of Giving an Effective Non-Answer

Hey Kids! If Your Parents Start Stealing Your Veggies, Don’t Fall for That Old Trick!

Some of my long-time readers (i.e., my wife and three sons) might know what today is - it's every other Saturday, which means it highly likely that today's blog has something to do with behavioral economist Dan Ariely. For people new to my blog, it's every other Saturday, which means it highly likely that today's … Continue reading Hey Kids! If Your Parents Start Stealing Your Veggies, Don’t Fall for That Old Trick!

Maybe Sally Field Was Speaking for All of Us

If you're of a certain age, you may well remember Sally Field's famous Oscar Acceptance speech in 1985 when she won Best Actress for her role in Places in the Heart. Here is a short clip of her speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2FJtsL8AJx0 Field's gushing acceptance speech is well remembered and has since been both admired as earnest … Continue reading Maybe Sally Field Was Speaking for All of Us

Using the Veil of Ignorance to Create a Just Society

Today was one of my favorite Saturdays - Dan Ariely's column was in the Wall Street Journal! I'll offer my perspective on his advice in a later post, but what I want to focus on in this post is a phrase which Ariely used that I had not heard of before, the veil of ignorance. … Continue reading Using the Veil of Ignorance to Create a Just Society

The Spotlight Effect (also known as “no one is paying attention to you”)

I still remember it from 40 years ago. A bunch of guys in our dorm had t-shirts made that said in big letters "Disco Sucks", and we all decided to wear them around campus the same day. I can recall before even going into my first classroom that day and my face was already bright … Continue reading The Spotlight Effect (also known as “no one is paying attention to you”)

You Must Read This Blog Post Within the Next 15 Minutes

It's not because there is anything earth-shattering in the paragraphs that follow. It's not because something might happen to you if you don't. And it's not because I'm trying to trick you into reading it. Well, maybe that last statement is not quite true. But blame Dan Ariely, not me. One of the letters Dan … Continue reading You Must Read This Blog Post Within the Next 15 Minutes

People Are More Honest Than We Think, and I Find That Sad

People are more likely to return a lost wallet with money inside than an empty wallet. That should seem like a given to me, but apparently, it came as a surprise to a group of international researchers who set out to test the tension between financial self-interest and the honesty of people around the world. The … Continue reading People Are More Honest Than We Think, and I Find That Sad

Creating a Book of Small Experiments

Between Dan Pink, Dan Ariely, Adam Grant, and Seth Godin, I've usually got material for about five or six blog posts a month. Add in my Music Monday posts, and I've got 10 posts covered. That still leaves 20 or so ideas that I need to come up with each month, but it's nice when … Continue reading Creating a Book of Small Experiments

According to Dan Ariely, I Should Be the Most Productive Person in the World

Old-time readers of my blog should know who Dan Ariely is, given how often I've used his work in my posts. If you're not sure who he is, Dan Ariely is a Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University. He is also the author of several New York Times bestsellers and he has … Continue reading According to Dan Ariely, I Should Be the Most Productive Person in the World

Just Let Us Introverts Be Introverts

A couple of years ago I wrote about how I often went entire meetings without saying a word. I called it doing my Clarence Thomas impression. I suggested that such behavior was probably linked to my introverted nature, as well as a lack of confidence. And not much has changed since I wrote that post. Sometimes … Continue reading Just Let Us Introverts Be Introverts