Economics, Literature and Scepticism

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I am a PhD student in Economics. I am originally from South Africa and plan to return there after my PhD. I completed my M. Comm in Economics and my MA In Creative Writing (Poetry) at the University of Cape Town, where I worked as a lecturer before starting my PhD.

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Ariely on Authors@Google

Posted by Simon Halliday | Monday, July 14, 2008 | Category: |

Dan Ariely, author of Predictably Irrational presents one of the talks for Google.

I have not (sadly) read his book, but I have encountered some of the papers that he discusses. I think that the cheating/shredding stuff is fantastic. I think that the idea of human 'fudging' is quite accurate and I believe that the idea for how this can expand in terms of how 'distant' individuals see themselves as being from actual monetary transactions will make a difference in how these individuals behave with respect to these transactions. He mentions the problems of Enron and the Subprime Mortgage Crisis.

Does anyone have any particularly perspectives on this? I'd love them to do experiments with teenagers and discussing alcohol consumption - "I had such a bender bru, I drank X beers." or something along those lines. How many did they actually drink? Or, "I scored X chicks man, I'm such a stud." Really? How so? Or, possibly more typically, "Yes man, we got to X base. It was frigging great."

What makes this kind of thing odd for me is that I like to think that I am (fairly) honest, and I like to believe that other people are too. I really, really don't like trying to bargain at the market, for example. Which is probably why I rarely, if ever, by anything at markets because I so dislike this kind of 'fudging' of prices in terms of the actual value of something (is this a misappropriation of the idea, it's late...).

Anyway, cool video, have a look.

Note that previously I had no idea about these fantastic talks from Google. Hat tip to Mike for recommending them. Damn this stuff for avoiding writing and research! Maybe I can change the frame...

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