Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Psychology research: Human beings can not be trusted to act in their own best interests

Using Psychology To Save You From Yourself

by Alix Spiegel
All Things Considered, NPR
June 8, 2009

Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein's blog, Nudge, looks at how many — from parents to credit card companies to policymakers — are using human psychology to help you, or sometimes to simply get what they want.·

In the city of Greensboro, N.C., there's a program designed for teenage mothers. To prevent these teens from having another child, the city offers each of them $1 a day for every day they are not pregnant. It turns out that the psychological power of that small daily payment is huge. A single dollar a day is enough to push the rate of teen pregnancy down, saving all the incredible costs — human and financial — that go with teen parenting.

Cass Sunstein, President Obama's pick to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, is a vocal supporter of the program, because it's an economic policy that shapes itself around human psychology...

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