Can we learn to make smarter choices? Wharton professor Katy Milkman 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.
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.
If Only …: With Guests Stirling Hart & Colin Camerer
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.
I Don’t Want to Know: With Guests Amelia Boone & Emily Ho
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.
A Successful Failure: With Guests Cass Sunstein, Kirabo Jackson & Andrew Chaikin
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 Milkman, we look at effective tools for managing complex and time-sensitive procedures, from grocery shopping to space exploration.
Fair Is Fair: With Guests John Thorn & Richard Thaler
“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, professional baseball had entered what came to be known as the dead-ball era. Pitchers had a distinct advantage over batters, resulting in low-scoring games and a substantial drop in attendance. Owners and league officials decided they needed to change some rules to entice fans back to their stadiums. One option on the table was to ban the spitball.
John Thorn explains the history of the spitball and other doctored pitches and describes the state of baseball at the time. While empty bleachers were clearly bad for the bottom line, the owners also recognized the problem of implementing a rule change that would likely destroy some pitchers’ careers. You’ll hear about the clever solution that the league arrived at to ensure a more exciting game without alienating their players.
Next, Richard Thaler joins Katy to explain his pioneering work with Daniel Kahneman and Jack Knetsch in describing the principle of dual entitlement. You’ll hear about several different scenarios where the phenomenon occurs and how it relates to status quo bias.
Spoiled for Choice: With Guests Barry Schwartz & Jen Glantz
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 Choiceology with Katy Milkman, we look at how having too many options can sometimes produce anxiety, reduce satisfaction, and even lead us to abandon the decision we’d planned to make altogether.
A Bundle of Nerves: With Guests Alison Wood Brooks & Steven Osborne
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 science behind the state of arousal commonly referred to as stage fright, including new research into better ways to manage unpleasant emotions.