When we ask ourselves, “Would I cheat on a client? Would I cheat on my spouse?” for most of us the answer is no, but are we right? Is taking a bandage off with a quick rip better than a slow, steady pull? Ariely shows us that from small questions like the last one, we can gain insight into larger issue of economic and political moral behavior.
Why you should listen:
Ariely has long been fascinated with how emotional states, moral codes and peer pressure affect our ability to make rational and often extremely important decisions in our daily lives — across a spectrum of our interests, from economic choices (how should I invest?) to personal (who should I marry?).
Who is he:
At Duke, he’s aligned with three departments (business, economics and cognitive neuroscience); he’s also a visiting professor in MIT’s Program in Media Arts and Sciences and a founding member of the Center for Advanced Hindsight. His hope that studying and understanding the decision-making process can help people lead better, more sensible daily lives.
- What brought Ariely to question how bandages should be removed – quickly or slowly?
- Did his first experimental studies find that intensity or duration was most significant for people experiencing pain?
A) A lot
B) A little
C) Not at all
- Ariely went on to study cheating and found that many people are willing to cheat:
- Ariely found that reminders of moral codes were effective (1) or were ineffective (2) in preventing cheating.
- What influence does seeing members of our “in group” cheat have on personal behavior according to experimental results?
- What implications does Ariely see about his experimental results for economics, business and politics? Discuss in a paragraph length explanation.