Maya-Bar-Hillel and Cass Sunstein explore problems of navigability: Humans do not know how to get to their preferred destination. Much work in behavioral economics (including that by 2017 Nobel Prize winner Richard Thaler) can be seen as an exploration of the challenges that people face in navigating complex situations, and the imperfect strategies they develop to meet those challenges. The Grand Hotel in Stockholm, which plays annual host to the Nobel laureates and many of their guests, lives up to its name, but in illuminating ways, creates problems of navigability for those who stay there. This essay, written by two of Richard Thaler’s guests, explores some of those problems, with general observations about choice architecture, bathroom design, heterogeneity, and navigability. … More Baffling bathrooms: On navigability and choice architecture
Barbara Fasolo responds to Ellen Peters’ article “Educating good decisions”: In this digital age decision aids can be much more than just one-way “information technology”. Two-way “Decision technology” is now possible, and can help make good decisions when personal objectives are complex. … More How about tools for provoking decision capability?
Drawing on “Inoculation Theory” Baggio and Motterlini argue that cognitive vaccination by “exposure to weak persuasive messages” may be more effective than information campaigns to protect people from “fake news” and “alternative facts”. They suggest that such an approach might have potential in dealing with “anti-vaxx” propaganda … More Could we use “cognitive vaccination” against “Anti-vaxx”?
Luc Bovens responds to ~Sarah Conly’s article arguing that almost anything can be a cherished liberty to someone and people’s expectations differ in choice situations. There is a real risk that the wise pay the price for paternalism: Pub closures due to minimum unit alchohol pricing, for example, would hit wise drinkers as well as the unwise. … More Should the wise pay the price of Paternalism?
Ann Tenbrunsel, responding to Sunita Sah, agrees that “norms” offer a firm platform from which to address professional conflicts of interest. She warns, however, that measures to build advisors sense of “obligation” to clients may generate the same close relationships that have caused major problems in the past. There is a need to understand this “dark side” of potential policies. … More Understanding Conflicts of Interests: The Vulnerability of Invulnerability and the Danger of Entitlement
Robert Cialdini, responding to the article by Sunita Sah, argues that steps can be taken to raise advisors’ awareness of their susceptibility to bias, in order to puncture powerful mis-perceptions of invulnerability. … More Puncturing Biases by First Dispelling the Illusion of Invulnerability to Biases
Robert Sugden, responding to Shaun Hargreaves Heap, backs Rawls’ argument that a stable form of liberty means that “Those who surf all day off Malibu must find a way to support themselves”. A basic income system system would not command the support of those who are net payers. … More Should basic income be unconditional?