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Choiceology with Katy Milkman

Can we learn to make smarter choices? Listen in as host Katy Milkman--behavioral scientist, Wharton professor, and author of How to Change--shares stories of high-stakes decisions and what research reveals they can teach us. Choiceology, an original podcast from Charles Schwab, explores the lessons of behavioral economics to help you improve your judgment and change for good.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. (0321-1S88)

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A Spoonful of Sugar: With Guests Ayelet Fishbach, Dan Ariely, Lynne Gauthier & Nancy Strahl

“In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun, and snap, the job’s a game!” So says Julie Andrews’ character in the Disney film Mary Poppins before she launches into the famous musical number “A Spoonful of Sugar.” In this episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkman, we look at the science behind the intuitive strategy of making difficult or boring things easier by adding that “element of fun.” But while Mary Poppins was focused on making the tedious task of cleaning a room a bit more enjoyable, you’ll see that this approach isn’t limited to housework.You’ll hear Nancy Strahl’s dramatic story of a life-threatening medical event. Her prognosis was grim, but thanks to grit, determination, and some pioneering work in gamifying rehabilitation by Professor Lynne Gauthier, Nancy made a remarkable recovery.Lynne Gauthier is an associate professor at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, and director of the Neurorecovery and Brain Imaging Laboratory. Next, Dan Ariely recounts an incredibly difficult long-term treatment that he was able to endure and complete, thanks to a strategy known as temptation bundling (a term coined by Katy Milkman through her research into the phenomenon).Dan Ariely is the James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University, and the author of several bestselling books, including Predictably Irrational.Finally, Ayelet Fishbach joins Katy to discuss research into myriad ways that adding enjoyable elements to difficult or tedious tasks can improve outcomes in everything from math education to exercise to job satisfaction. Ayelet Fishbach is the Jeffrey Breakenridge Keller Professor of Behavioral Science and Marketing at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.Choiceology is an original podcast from Charles Schwab. For more on the series, visit schwab.com/podcast.If you enjoy the show, please leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating or review on Apple Podcasts.Important Disclosures:All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions.The comments, views, and opinions expressed in the presentation are those of the speakers and do not necessarily represent the views of Charles Schwab.Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed.(0520-0DAP)

43mins

25 May 2020

Rank #1

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Summit Fever

Imagine that you’ve put in effort toward a goal, but things haven’t quite worked out the way you hoped. Maybe your goal was more expensive than you expected; maybe it’s taking longer to reach than you thought. So the question is, do you double down and continue to work toward that increasingly difficult goal, or do you move on to something new? Do you fish or cut bait? On this episode of Choiceology with Dan Heath, we look at how past effort, time or expense can influence the way we make decisions moving forward—even when they shouldn’t. The episode begins on an auction house floor but quickly climbs to the top of the highest peak in the world. Along the way, you’ll see how common is the lure to continue no matter what, and how it affects all kinds of decisions, big and small. Professor Michael Roberto explains how to identify this bias in your day-to-day life. You can read his paper on how it may have influenced some life-and-death decisions at the top of Mount Everest. Lou Kasischke’s book on his experience on the 1996 Mount Everest expedition is called After the Wind. You’ll also find out how to fight back against the influence of this trap in a story about Intel CEO Andy Grove—one of the most successful business leaders of the 20th century. And to learn about making investment decisions with an eye toward the future, check out our bonus article “Don’t Look Back.” Choiceology is an original podcast from Charles Schwab. For more on the series, visit schwab.com/podcast. If you enjoy the show, please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating or review on Apple Podcasts. (0318-8VJ8)

29mins

12 Mar 2018

Rank #2

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A Number in Mind

When you set out to buy something—a car, for example, or a laptop or some small gadget for your kitchen—you analyze the features and the style and the utility of the thing, and then you make a choice. But it turns out that there’s a psychological force that can influence what you’re willing to pay. On this episode of Choiceology with Dan Heath, we examine a bias that affects how you perceive gains and losses, how you negotiate deals and the way you think about value. The episode begins with legendary sports agent Leigh Steinberg. He describes his dramatic first attempt at negotiating a high-stakes contract for a client joining the National Football League. You can read more about his experiences in the sports world in his book The Agent. You’ll hear an experiment based on Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky’s early studies that demonstrate the bias in real time. And lawyer, mediator, and conflict resolution expert John Curtis explains how everyone—from people selling their homes to police informants going into witness protection—can fall prey to this psychological trap. You can find out how to reduce the influence of this bias in your financial decisions in an article on schwab.com called “Weigh Anchor.” Choiceology is an original podcast from Charles Schwab. For more on the series, visit schwab.com/podcast. If you enjoy the show, please leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating or review on Apple Podcasts. (0418-83H5)

28mins

23 Apr 2018

Rank #3

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The Devil's Advocate

In a world awash in data, you’d think it would be relatively easy to make informed, objective decisions. But there’s a problem that gets in your way, even with all of this information at your fingertips: You see what you want to see. On this episode of Choiceology with Dan Heath, we look at the tendency to favor information that confirms pre-existing beliefs. The episode begins in Europe in the 16th century, with a secret debate about sainthood, and then moves to a harrowing story of crime and punishment in contemporary America. Neuroscientist Tali Sharot explains the biological roots of this bias, and how it is actually a fundamentally useful mental shortcut. Her book is called The Influential Mind. Dean Gillispie is now listed with the National Registry of Exonerations. Mark Godsey’s book on his experience advocating for Dean Gillispie is called Blind Injustice. You can find out how to fight back against the influence of this bias in your financial decisions in a bonus article on Schwab.com. Choiceology is an original podcast from Charles Schwab. For more on the series, visit schwab.com/podcast. If you enjoy the show, please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating or review on Apple Podcasts. (0318-86Y2)

27mins

26 Mar 2018

Rank #4

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How Tomorrow Feels Today

Imagine you’ve just been through a major life event: The birth of a child. A major award. The loss of a job. A divorce. Now picture yourself 10 years in the future and try to imagine how that event affected your overall well-being. Research shows that—more often than not—your predictions will miss the mark. Why is that? On this episode of Choiceology with Dan Heath, we examine a bias that influences the way you believe you’ll feel in the future. The show begins with a quick survey based on the work of psychologists Daniel Gilbert and Timothy Wilson. The survey demonstrates—in a surprising way—our tendency to misjudge the importance of future events. From there we raise the stakes with two very dramatic stories from the opposite ends of human emotional experience. Diann Roffe describes the elation she felt after a stunning athletic achievement, and Scott Fedor shares the harrowing story of a life-altering injury. And while these events were totally different, you may be surprised to learn how they affected Scott and Diann’s lives over the long run. Boston University professor Carey Morewedge explains how this bias works and offers suggestions to help you re-examine your greatest hopes and fears. Find out how to reduce the influence of this bias in your financial decisions in an article called “Can You Really Know Your Future Self?” Choiceology is an original podcast from Charles Schwab. For more on the series, visit schwab.com/podcast. If you enjoy the show, please leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating or review on Apple Podcasts. (0219-9PLX)

33mins

14 May 2018

Rank #5

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Best-Laid Plans: With Guests Ken Bowersox, Robert Godwin & Bradley Staats

If you’ve ever been through a home renovation, you know that it often takes more time or more money (or both!) than the contractor’s original estimate. But why is that? Experienced contractors renovate homes all the time. And yet they still regularly face delays and cost overruns. In this episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkman, we explore a tendency people have to be overly optimistic about what they can accomplish in a set period of time—starting with a story of the phenomenon playing out on a massive scale. The International Space Station (ISS) is a marvel of human ingenuity. It’s the largest manned object ever put into space. It orbits the earth every 90 minutes. It contains 8 miles of wire and is the third brightest object in the night sky. At a cost of well over $100 billion, it is also the most expensive object ever built. At the beginning of the project, however, it was expected to cost only a small fraction of that amount. Robert Godwin has written extensively about the ISS. He explains the tumultuous history of the project, which started as a relatively modest American plan to succeed the Skylab station and eventually becoming a massive international collaboration hampered by political and technical challenges. Godwin is the co-author of the book Outpost in Orbit: A Pictorial & Verbal History of the International Space Station. Astronaut Ken Bowersox was aboard the ISS during one of the most difficult periods of the project. He recounts the harrowing details of an emergency return trip to Earth after tragedy struck the American shuttle program. In hindsight, it’s easy to see how a project that involves international cooperation and cutting-edge technology could run into delays and cost overruns. However, this tendency toward over-optimism manifests itself even in simple projects back on Earth. As an experiment, we had several volunteers sit down, separately, with a child’s engineering toy. We asked them to estimate how long it would take to build a simple machine, using the included step-by-step instructions. The difference between their estimates and reality is telling. And this is a toy designed for 8-year-olds! Bradley Staats of the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School joins Katy to discuss the mechanics of this bias and to give examples of a number of different domains where this tendency can cause problems. He also introduces some simple strategies to help reduce forecasting errors. Finally, Katy expands on some of those strategies in order to help you make better estimates around the time, effort and expense required to meet your goals. Choiceology is an original podcast from Charles Schwab. For more on the series, visit schwab.com/podcast. If you enjoy the show, please leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating or review on Apple Podcasts. Important Disclosures: All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. The comments, views, and opinions expressed in the presentation are those of the speakers and do not necessarily represent the views of Charles Schwab. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed. The Schwab Center for Financial Research is a division of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (0519-9AY5)

37mins

27 May 2019

Rank #6

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Invisible Failures: With Guests Emily Oster, Sendhil Mullainathan & Linda Rodriguez McRobbie

If you’ve toured through any old world cities, you’ve probably marveled at ancient buildings that have stood the test of time. You might think to yourself, “They sure made things to last back in those days.” And while the Notre Dame Cathedral or the Parthenon or the Tower of London may seem like proof of the superior workmanship of a bygone era, what you don’t see are all the other buildings erected during the same period that have since crumbled or been torn down.In this episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkman, we look at a bias that often clouds the way we evaluate success and failure.We begin with the scientific awakening of Joseph Banks Rhine in the 1920s, during the peak of the spiritualist movement. Rhine was trained in science and wanted to apply the scientific method to his research into paranormal phenomena. Science taught him to be skeptical, so when Rhine’s research results seemed to demonstrate the existence of extra-sensory perception, or ESP, he believed he had found proof of a new aspect of human nature. The findings led to academic accolades and substantial financial support, until others tried to replicate his results.Next, we present a survey on musical acts and college drop-outs to demonstrate how easy it is to discount important information—when that information is not readily apparent.  To look at the science behind this bias, Katy has enlisted two scholars to help explain it in different contexts. First, Sendhil Mullainathan provides useful examples of the bias in the world of investing and hiring. Sendhil is the Roman Family University Professor of Computation and Behavioral Science at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He’s also the co-author of the book Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much. Then, Emily Oster talks about the ways that doctors and parents sometimes unintentionally ignore important information when attempting to solve problems. Emily is a professor of economics at Brown University. Her most recent book is called Cribsheet: A Data-Driven Guide to Better, More Relaxed Parenting From Birth to Preschool. Choiceology is an original podcast from Charles Schwab. For more on the series, visit schwab.com/podcast.If you enjoy the show, please leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating or review on Apple Podcasts.Important Disclosures:All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions.The comments, views, and opinions expressed in the presentation are those of the speakers and do not necessarily represent the views of Charles Schwab.Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed.The Schwab Center for Financial Research is a division of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.(1119-9NGD)

38mins

4 Nov 2019

Rank #7

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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.John Thorn is the official historian for Major League Baseball and the author of Baseball in the Garden of Eden: The Secret History of the Early Game.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.Richard Thaler is a Nobel Prize-winning economist and the Charles R. Walgreen Distinguished Service Professor of Behavioral Science and Economics at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. He is the author of several books, including Misbehaving: The Making Of Behavioral Economics.Choiceology is an original podcast from Charles Schwab. For more on the series, visit schwab.com/podcast.If you enjoy the show, please leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating or review on Apple Podcasts.Important Disclosures:All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions.The comments, views, and opinions expressed in the presentation are those of the speakers and do not necessarily represent the views of Charles Schwab.Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed.All corporate names are for illustrative purposes only and are not a recommendation, offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy any security.(1020-0XDB)

33mins

31 Aug 2020

Rank #8

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No Harm, No Foul? With Guests Francesca Gino & Dr. Byers “Bud” Shaw

It makes some intuitive sense to judge a decision based on its results. But is it always true that a good decision leads to a good outcome, and vice versa? In this episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkman, we look at a bias that can lead to errors in the way we judge our decision-making processes. Katy brings you a story about the challenging early days of organ transplant surgery. Dr. Byers “Bud” Shaw arrived in Pittsburgh in 1981 to work under transplant pioneer Dr. Thomas Starzl. At the time, liver transplants were often unsuccessful, and some of the hospital staff were even petitioning to ban the procedure outright. You’ll hear about one particular operation that had Dr. Shaw questioning the viability of liver transplants and his ability as a surgeon. His decision to carry on would have major implications for medical progress. Bud Shaw is the author of Last Night in the OR: A Transplant Surgeon’s Odyssey. Next, we place you courtside at a basketball game for a quick experiment. We run two plays that are identical in strategy, but you’ll hear them be judged very differently by the players who execute them. Then, Francesca Gino of Harvard Business School joins Katy to discuss the ways that people tend to overvalue the outcome of a decision and undervalue the process that led to the decision. She demonstrates how this bias can lead to flawed and even unethical decision making. Francesca Gino is the author of Rebel Talent: Why It Pays to Break the Rules at Work and in Life. Finally, Katy provides insight on how to better evaluate both the process and the outcome of your decisions, so that you can make better choices in the future. Choiceology is an original podcast from Charles Schwab. For more on the series, visit schwab.com/podcast. If you enjoy the show, please leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating or review on Apple Podcasts. Important Disclosures: All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. The comments, views, and opinions expressed in the presentation are those of the speakers and do not necessarily represent the views of Charles Schwab. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed. The Schwab Center for Financial Research is a division of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (0419-9WFE)

35mins

15 Apr 2019

Rank #9

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A Clean Slate: With Guests John Beshears, Richard Thaler & Ray Zahab

For many people, the start of a new year is an occasion to re-examine their lives, to set new goals and to give up old habits. Making New Year’s resolutions is something of a social ritual, but we see similar behaviors around other significant dates, as well--such as birthdays and anniversaries and the changing of seasons. And while it can be argued that all of these dates are arbitrary, studies show that they can still give you a head start in achieving your goals. In this episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkman, we examine the common but not always rational phenomenon whereby people divide their lives into chapters. We look at ways to leverage this phenomenon to make better choices. The episode begins on a riverbank, with a religious rite symbolizing rebirth and renewal. Next, we hear about Ray Zahab’s life changing New Year’s resolution. What began as a simple plan to live a healthier lifestyle ended up taking him on incredible adventures all around the world. Ray is the author of the book Running For My Life. From Ray’s story of personal transformation around an auspicious date, we pivot to a related tendency for people to separate their money into mental accounts. Money, like time, is fungible--one dollar is as useful as any other dollar--and yet people often divide their money into different categories. Why? Nobel laureate and best-selling author Richard Thaler explains the value of this cognitive bias and explores some of the peculiar behaviors people exhibit when they earmark their money for different purposes. And John Beshears of the Harvard Business School describes a study that exposes this bias in the way people perceive the value of grocery store coupons. Finally, Katy Milkman offers additional tips on leveraging these temporal landmarks and personal budgets to help you stick with your resolutions. Choiceology is an original podcast from Charles Schwab. For more on the series, visit schwab.com/podcast. If you enjoy the show, please leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating or review on Apple Podcasts. Important Disclosures: All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. The comments, views, and opinions expressed in the presentation are those of the speakers and do not necessarily represent the views of Charles Schwab. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed. (0119-8C4W)

32mins

7 Jan 2019

Rank #10

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The Mystery of Chance: With Guests Andy Marocco & Tom Gilovich

Have you ever seen a cloud overhead that looks very much like, say, a rabbit? Or maybe you’ve found a potato chip that had an uncanny resemblance to Elvis, or a cornflake that was almost exactly the shape of the state of Texas. What are the chances? In this episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkman, we explore curious events and mysterious patterns in order to reveal the human habit of ascribing meaning to randomness. Andy Marocco of the Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale Museum joins Katy to revisit some of the most famous and enduring unsolved air and naval mysteries that have occurred inside the “treacherous” Bermuda Triangle. You’ll hear about several famous disappearances, with a focus on the harrowing tale of Flight 19 in which several planes and airmen vanished without a trace. Next, we conduct a simple experiment--or is it a magic trick?--involving a series of coin tosses. Our game master will attempt to identify a truly random list from a pile of imposter lists, using nothing but mental prowess. (If you’re still skeptical about how “lumpy” randomness is, just notice how many possible outcomes of four coin flips include either three heads or three tails in a row: HHHH, HHHT, HHTH, HHTT, HTHH, HTHT, HTTH, HTTT, THHH, THHT, THTH, THTT, TTHH, TTHT, TTTH, TTTT.) Then we hear from Cornell University psychology professor Tom Gilovich about randomness as it pertains to iPods, jellybeans, faces, and canals on Mars. Finally, Katy Milkman offers tips on how basic statistical analysis can help you make better decisions. Choiceology is an original podcast from Charles Schwab. For more on the series, visit schwab.com/podcast. If you enjoy the show, please leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating or review on Apple Podcasts. Important Disclosures: All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. The comments, views, and opinions expressed in the presentation are those of the speakers and do not necessarily represent the views of Charles Schwab. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed. (0119-8TSV)

27mins

21 Jan 2019

Rank #11

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Knew It All Along: With Guests Kathleen Vohs, Douglas Porch & Julian Jackson

Think about a time when something happened that just seemed meant to be. Maybe you had a feeling that your child would get into a certain college. Perhaps you just knew that your partner would forget to pack something important for your vacation. The question is, did you really know it along? In this episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkman, we explore a tendency to be overconfident in our predictions about events that have already come to pass. We begin with the story of the fall of France. In the early days of World War II, the French surrendered a mere six weeks after the German invasion. How did one of the great European powers fall so quickly? Shortly after the end of hostilities in France, historians began to construct a narrative to explain this rapid defeat. That narrative focused on unflattering perceptions of French society and culture at the time. Historian Julian Jackson of Queen Mary University of London explains the origins of this line of thinking. Then we hear from military historian and Distinguished Professor Emeritus Douglas Porch of the Naval Postgraduate School about the Mechelen Incident—an event leading up to the German invasion that could have easily altered the trajectory of the war. Next, we conduct an audio experiment to demonstrate this tendency to revise our own predictions. Along with our participants, you’ll hear a distorted audio clip and then the undistorted version. As you listen to the experiment, try to remember what it was like to be naive about the content of the clip. It’s not easy! Kathleen Vohs of the Carlson School of Management at The University of Minnesota joins Katy to discuss the broader implications of this bias on how we make important decisions. Finally, Katy provides some simple strategies to help you avoid falling prey to this bias. Choiceology is an original podcast from Charles Schwab. For more on the series, visit schwab.com/podcast. If you enjoy the show, please leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating or review on Apple Podcasts. Important Disclosures: All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. The comments, views, and opinions expressed in the presentation are those of the speakers and do not necessarily represent the views of Charles Schwab. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed. The Schwab Center for Financial Research is a division of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (0419-9AJY)

32mins

29 Apr 2019

Rank #12

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Out of Focus: With Guests Dolly Chugh, Max Bazerman & Mark Pendergrast

If you’ve ever watched a TV crime drama, you’ve probably heard that eyewitness testimony is notoriously unreliable. A person commits a crime literally right in front of someone, but the witness can’t identify key characteristics of the perpetrator—or worse, gets the details wrong and implicates an innocent person. Why does this happen? In this episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkman, we look at the limitations of attention and perception. The episode begins with the description of a surprising experiment involving two teams passing basketballs. You can try the experiment here, even if you’ve already listened to the episode. Katy follows with the story of one of the most famous marketing blunders of all time: the introduction of New Coke by the Coca Cola Company. Mark Pendergrast, author of For God, Country & Coca Cola, recounts the history of the brand and takes you inside the company to explain how their executives came to a disastrous decision. Robert Teszka then demonstrates how magicians harness the limitations of an audience’s attention in order to surprise and entertain. Next, we hear from Dolly Chugh of New York University’s Stern School of Business and Max Bazerman of the Harvard Business School. They explain how this tendency to miss important information is systematic and predictable, and how it can negatively affect decisions in business and life. Dolly Chugh is the author of The Person You Mean to Be: How Good People Fight Bias. Max Bazerman is the author of The Power of Noticing: What the Best Leaders See. Finally, Katy offers simple strategies to help you expand your awareness and make better-informed decisions. Choiceology is an original podcast from Charles Schwab. For more on the series, visit schwab.com/podcast. If you enjoy the show, please leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating or review on Apple Podcasts. Important Disclosures: All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. The comments, views, and opinions expressed in the presentation are those of the speakers and do not necessarily represent the views of Charles Schwab. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed. (0319-92FV)

39mins

18 Mar 2019

Rank #13

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The Price of Your Vice: With Guests Dan Ariely & Dean Karlan

In an episode of the television series Seinfeld, Jerry does a standup bit where he talks about staying up too late at night. He says, “I’m Night Guy. Night Guy wants to stay up late,” to which he then replies, “What about getting up after five hours of sleep?” The answer? “That’s Morning Guy’s problem.” This illustrates a challenge that we all face: How do you stick to positive long-term goals in the face of negative short-term temptations? In this episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkman, we look at strategies to help keep Night Guy in check, so that Morning Guy can wake up well-rested.The episode begins with two short tales of temptation. The first is the mythical story of Ulysses (Odysseus) avoiding the tantalizing but dangerous songs of the sirens. The second is an account of Victor Hugo’s struggles to complete his novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame in the face of his own procrastination. In both stories, the protagonist employs a clever strategy to reach his goals.For another illustration, we turn to Dean Karlan. Dean is a founder of StickK, a website and app that helps people commit to achieving goals using contracts with real stakes. The idea for StickK came about through Dean’s personal struggle to lose weight. He decided to leverage what he’d learned about human behavior as an economist. He drew up a contract with a friend--someone who was also struggling with his weight--that would oblige each of them to pay the other thousands of dollars if they failed in their quest to shed pounds.Dean Karlan is a professor of economics and finance at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He is also the co-author of More Than Good Intentions: Improving the Ways the World’s Poor Borrow, Save, Farm, Learn, and Stay Healthy.To look at the science behind commitment strategies, Katy is joined by behavioral economist and best-selling author Dan Ariely. You’ll hear how commitment devices can be used to help people overcome procrastination, save money for the future, and eat more vegetables. You’ll also hear about some of Dan’s favorite studies, in which these commitment devices improved post-operative outcomes for heart surgery patients and helped students better manage their workloads.Dan Ariely is the James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University. He is also the author of Predictably Irrational and The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty.Choiceology is an original podcast from Charles Schwab. For more on the series, visit schwab.com/podcast.If you enjoy the show, please leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating or review on Apple Podcasts.Important Disclosures:All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions.The comments, views, and opinions expressed in the presentation are those of the speakers and do not necessarily represent the views of Charles Schwab.Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed.(1219-9PPT)

32mins

2 Dec 2019

Rank #14

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Not Quite Enough: With Guests Howard Scott Warshaw, Sendhil Mullainathan & Anuj Shah

Think back to a situation where you’ve been really pressed for time. Chances are good that the pressure of a deadline or an appointment caused you to be (a) hyper-focused and efficient or (b) panicked and prone to errors.Now think of a situation where you had plenty of available time. While you were probably much less stressed, it’s also likely that the superpowers of hyper-focus didn’t come so easily.In this episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkman, we look at how not having enough time or money or other resources affects behavior and decision-making.We begin the episode with Howard Scott Warshaw. Warshaw was a very successful game developer at Atari during the company’s heyday in the 1980s. He worked on several best-selling titles, including the hit game Yar’s Revenge. However, he is probably best known for creating E.T. the Extra Terrestrial video game. Some consider it the worst commercial video game ever released. The reason E.T. was so unsuccessful as a gaming experience and a commercial product may have more to do with Atari’s development timeline than with Warshaw’s concept or design.Next, we test our hypothesis about resource scarcity with a simple bean-bag-toss game. Half of our players were given five bags to throw, while the other half were given only one. You may be surprised to find out which players were more accurate, on average, with their tosses.Katy then jumps into the science of scarcity with Sendhil Mullainathan. Mullainathan explains that while scarcity taxes the mind and can lead to poor decision-making, it can also pay dividends with increased focus.Sendhil Mullainathan is the Roman Family University Professor of Computation and Behavioral Science at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He is also the author of Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much.Anuj K. Shah is a colleague and research collaborator with Sendhil Mullainathan. He joins Katy to discuss simple strategies to help offset the mental load of scarcity. He is an associate professor of behavioral science at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.Choiceology is an original podcast from Charles Schwab. For more on the series, visit schwab.com/podcast.If you enjoy the show, please leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating or review on Apple Podcasts.Important Disclosures:All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions.The comments, views, and opinions expressed in the presentation are those of the speakers and do not necessarily represent the views of Charles Schwab.Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed.(0919-9CPR)

35mins

23 Sep 2019

Rank #15

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Losses Loom Large: With Guests Hank Haney, Dolly Chugh & Maurice Schweitzer

Winning feels good. Whether it’s nailing a tricky golf shot or landing a big client for your firm, it’s nice to come out on top. But is it the thrill of victory that pushes you to sink that 10-foot putt or compels you to put in a few extra hours at work? Or is it the fear of losing that motivates you more? In this episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkman, we examine a bias that affects the irrational way people often react to gains and losses. The episode begins with the heartbreaking story of Robbie Powell. A missed medical diagnosis and an elaborate cover up expose the lengths to which some people are willing to go in order to avoid a hit to their reputations. You’ll hear from professor Dolly Chugh from New York University’s Stern School. Dolly and collaborator Molly Kern have done some great research demonstrating how people behave differently when making ethical choices in the face of a potential loss versus a potential gain. You can learn more about this phenomenon in her book How Good People Fight Bias: The Person You Mean to Be. Then renowned golf coach Hank Haney describes how Tiger Woods and other golf pros seem to work harder to avoid bogeys on the putting green than they do to make birdies. According to Wharton School professor Maurice Schweitzer, professional golfers may be missing out on hundreds of thousands of dollars in winnings because of this tendency. And he’s got research to prove it. Finally, Katy will leave you with practical tips on how to limit the influence of this bias in your own decisions. Choiceology is an original podcast from Charles Schwab. For more on the series, visit schwab.com/podcast. If you enjoy the show, please leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating or review on Apple Podcasts. Important Disclosures: All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed. (1018-8PYL)

34mins

29 Oct 2018

Rank #16

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Everybody’s Doing It: With Guests Tyler Hamilton & Todd Rogers

You’re an independent-minded person. You make choices for yourself based on the best information available. You own your decisions, right or wrong. Right? No so fast. You are, in fact, a social animal. You take many visible and invisible cues on how to behave from the people around you—family, co-workers, friends, social media, even the folks in the elevator or on the bus. So your decisions and behaviors aren’t always as independent as you might think. In this episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkman, we look at a phenomenon that may have you running with the crowd, even when it’s not in your best interest. The episode begins with an experiment. A benign but peculiar behavior appears during an otherwise normal orchestra rehearsal. It starts with a few members but spreads rapidly through the orchestra. What’s causing this behavior, and why is it so contagious? From there we move to a much more consequential behavior in the world of professional cycling. We examine a high-stakes decision by cyclist Tyler Hamilton in his quest for Tour de France glory and Olympic gold. It’s a story of peer pressure, deep secrets, subterfuge and, ultimately, redemption. Behavioral scientist Todd Rogers of the Harvard Kennedy School explores the myriad ways we’re influenced by those around us. He speaks with Katy about some of the ways that businesses and institutions can harness our social nature for the greater good. Finally, Katy Milkman looks back at some of the early research on how individuals can be manipulated by social groups. She offers tips to help you avoid falling victim to mob mentality. Choiceology is an original podcast from Charles Schwab. For more on the series, visit schwab.com/podcast. If you enjoy the show, please leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating or review on Apple Podcasts. Important Disclosures: All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. The comments, views, and opinions expressed in the presentation are those of the speakers and do not necessarily represent the views of Charles Schwab. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed. (1118-8TPU)

27mins

26 Nov 2018

Rank #17

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Creatures of Habit: With Guests Wendy Wood, Angela Duckworth & Stephan Kesting

Benjamin Franklin is one of the most revered figures in American history. He accomplished more in one lifetime--as a publisher, scientist, and politician--than most of us dream of. One argument for his success is that he was a creature of habit. His grueling daily schedule focused on repeating several habits of self-improvement. He hoped to achieve a perfect version of himself by automating certain positive behaviors. Whether or not he always stuck to his daily schedule of self-improvement is debatable, but his intuition about the importance of habit was right on the money.In this episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkman, we look at the power of habit in shaping our behavior--for the better and for the worse.We begin with firefighter Stephan Kesting. Stephan takes us through several of the drills that firefighters repeat over and over again in order to internalize certain behaviors. These behaviors can save lives in disaster scenarios. Stephan’s preparedness was put to the test early in his career when he and his team were called to a massive fire. You’ll hear how habits developed through intense training made all the difference in a life-or-death rescue operation.Stephan Kesting is an officer in the Delta Fire Department in Delta, British Columbia. He is also a black belt instructor in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.To look at the science behind habit, Katy invited two top scholars to share their insights into this phenomenon.First, Wendy Wood explains why we have habits, how they’re formed, and the reasons they’re often difficult to change. Wendy Wood is the Provost Professor of Psychology and Business at Dornsife College at the University of Southern California. She’s also the author of the new book Good Habits, Bad Habits: The Science of Making Positive Changes That Stick.Next, you’ll hear from Angela Duckworth on how habits relate to self-control and persistence. She offers strategies that leverage the power of habit to help mitigate self-control challenges. Angela Duckworth is the Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and the author of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance.Choiceology is an original podcast from Charles Schwab. For more on the series, visit schwab.com/podcast.If you enjoy the show, please leave a ✪✪✪✪✪ rating or review on Apple Podcasts.Important Disclosures:All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions.The comments, views, and opinions expressed in the presentation are those of the speakers and do not necessarily represent the views of Charles Schwab.Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed.(1119-99ZW)

34mins

18 Nov 2019

Rank #18

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The Simple Choice: With Guests Shlomo Benartzi & Eric Sink

We are inundated with decisions in the modern world. What to wear, what to buy, what to watch, where to work, what to eat, who to call, where to live, what to study, when to exercise, how much to save, etc. And every decision, no matter how small, requires mental effort. But when a particular option is suggested to us ahead of time, the cognitive load is much smaller.In this episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkman, we explore the subtle power of default options.We begin with a simple experiment, offering free hot chocolate to random college students. A small shift in the way we present the option of a whipped-cream topping leads to a measurable change in the students’ preferences. Next up, a rather more consequential example. It’s the story of the web browser wars in the mid-1990s. You’ll get an insider’s perspective on the epic battle between Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser, and Netscape Communications’ Navigator browser. Netscape had a substantial head start in the browser space, pioneering many of the features we take for granted in web browsing today. But Microsoft employed a simple strategy to grow their user base for Internet Explorer and quickly gained market share. The end result of this strategy was a seismic shift in the industry. You’ll hear from Eric Sink, a lead developer on the Internet Explorer project.To examine the science behind defaults, Katy invited behavioral economist Shlomo Benartzi to join her to discuss the ways that choice architecture and defaults can have a major impact on our behavior, particularly around retirement savings programs.Shlomo Benartzi is a Professor of Behavioral Decision Making at the UCLA Anderson School of Management and a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Behavior Change for Good Initiative. He is a senior academic advisor to the Voya Behavioral Finance Institute. He is also the author of the book Save More Tomorrow: Practical Behavioral Science Solutions to Improve 401(k) Plans.Finally, Katy offers practical advice on how to leverage defaults to reach your goals—and how to avoid the defaults that might trick you into less desirable options.Choiceology is an original podcast from Charles Schwab. For more on the series, visit schwab.com/podcastIf you enjoy the show, please leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating or review on Apple Podcasts.Important Disclosures:All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions.The comments, views, and opinions expressed in the presentation are those of the speakers and do not necessarily represent the views of Charles Schwab.Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed.All corporate names are for illustrative purposes only and are not a recommendation, offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy any security.Shlomo Benartzi and Voya Financial are not affiliated with Schwab and any mentions should not be construed as a recommendation, endorsement of, or sponsorship by Schwab.(0320-0FL1)

35mins

30 Mar 2020

Rank #19

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Boxed In: With Guests Sophie Morgan, Modupe Akinola & Dolly Chugh

Assuming you live in the northern hemisphere, which would you say is colder: a day in March or a Day in April? On average, of course, March is colder than April, but there’s probably not a big difference in temperature between March 31 and April 1. If you’re like most people, though, you put March days in the colder March category and April days in the warmer April category. It’s a useful shortcut, but it doesn’t always give you the best information about the temperature on individual days. This tendency to quickly categorize time, objects and people helps us to simplify a complex world, but it can also lead to important errors. In this episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkman, we look at the ways our snap judgments work for us and against us. First, Katy brings you a profile of Sophie Morgan, tracing her career path from relative unknown to reality TV model to lead presenter at one of the largest sporting events in the world. And you’ll find out what makes Sophie unique in her field. Next, we hit the street with a quick questionnaire to see how people make judgments when faced with uncertainty or incomplete information. You can try these questions yourself, before you listen: Question 1: William is an opera fan who enjoys touring art museums when he goes on vacation. He enjoys playing chess with his friends. Which is more likely? A: William is a professional violinist for a major symphony orchestra. B: William is a farmer. Question 2: Amy is 29 years old. She’s single, outspoken and very bright. As a student, she majored in English literature and was deeply interested in theater. Which is more probable? A: Amy is a bank teller. B: Amy is a bank teller and writes an arts review for her local newspaper. After revealing the answers to our questionnaire, Katy is joined by Modupe Akinola, of Columbia Business School and Dolly Chugh of New York University’s Stern School of Business to explore the functions and flaws of these types of judgments and the mental architecture behind them. Dolly Chugh is the author of The Person You Mean to Be: How Good People Fight Bias. Finally, Katy gives you some simple strategies to counteract some of the negative impacts of snap judgments and implicit attitudes. Choiceology is an original podcast from Charles Schwab. For more on the series, visit schwab.com/podcast. If you enjoy the show, please leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating or review on Apple Podcasts. Important Disclosures: All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. The comments, views, and opinions expressed in the presentation are those of the speakers and do not necessarily represent the views of Charles Schwab. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed. The Schwab Center for Financial Research is a division of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (0519-9AKG)

33mins

13 May 2019

Rank #20