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Choiceology with Katy Milkman

Charles Schwab

199
Followers
735
Plays
Choiceology with Katy Milkman

Choiceology with Katy Milkman

Charles Schwab

199
Followers
735
Plays
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About Us

Can we learn to make smarter choices? Wharton professor Katy Milkman shares stories of irrational decision making--from historical blunders to the kinds of everyday errors that could affect your future. Choiceology, an original podcast from Charles Schwab, explores the lessons of behavioral economics, exposing the psychological traps that lead to expensive mistakes.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.

Latest Episodes

A Successful Failure: With Guests Cass Sunstein, Kirabo Jackson & Andrew Chaikin

You’ve probably had the annoying experience of going to a store to pick up a few things, only to leave having forgotten at least one of them. That’s likely due to the challenge of holding more than one piece of information in your working memory while you shop, not to mention the effects of time pressure, distraction, and the procedural complexity of a seemingly simple trip to a store. In this episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkman, we look at effective tools for managing complex and time-sensitive procedures, from grocery shopping to space exploration.

40 min1 w ago
Comments
A Successful Failure: With Guests Cass Sunstein, Kirabo Jackson & Andrew Chaikin

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 recognize...

33 min3 w ago
Comments
Fair Is Fair: With Guests John Thorn & Richard Thaler

Spoiled for Choice: With Guests Barry Schwartz & Jen Glantz

Traditional economic theory says that more choice should always be better than less. After all, if the cereal aisle has corn flakes, honey nut corn flakes, toasted coconut corn flakes, chocolate corn flakes, multi-grain flakes, and all the rest, you’ll surely be able to find the breakfast carbs that suit your taste buds perfectly. But it turns out that, in certain situations, more choices can be counterproductive. In this episode of Choiceology withKaty Milkman, we look at how having too many options can sometimes produce anxiety, reduce satisfaction, and even lead us to abandon the decision we’d planned to make altogether.

33 minAUG 17
Comments
Spoiled for Choice: With Guests Barry Schwartz & Jen Glantz

A Bundle of Nerves: With Guests Alison Wood Brooks & Steven Osborne

The rapid heartbeat. The shaking hands. The flushed face. The symptoms of pre-performance jitters are common. For some people, nervousness before a big test or important presentation is normal and temporary. For others, it can be debilitating. Typical suggestions for managing nerves tend to involve deep breaths and calming thoughts. But what if there were a better way? In this episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkman, we look at the science behind the state of arousal commonly referred to as stage fright, including new research into better ways to manage unpleasant emotions.

34 minAUG 3
Comments
A Bundle of Nerves: With Guests Alison Wood Brooks & Steven Osborne

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 Stahl’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. Next, Dan Ariely recounts an incredibly difficult long-term treatment that he was able to endure and complete, thanks to a strategy known as tem...

43 minMAY 25
Comments
A Spoonful of Sugar: With Guests Ayelet Fishbach, Dan Ariely, Lynne Gauthier & Nancy Strahl

Bidder Beware: With Guests Max Bazerman & Glenye Cain Oakford

Have you ever bid in a competitive auction—say, on eBay—and won the item, only to see a similar item for sale elsewhere at a lower price? If so, you may have fallen prey to the winner’s curse. In this episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkman, we look at bias that can lead people to overpay in auctions and other types of negotiations. We begin with the story of Havre de Grace. This prize filly had an exceptionally successful career as a racehorse before being auctioned as a broodmare. Expectations were high for the sale because Havre de Grace had such a strong thoroughbred pedigree. But the way the auction proceeded surprised everyone in the room. Glenye Cain Oakford was at the Fasig-Tipton November Mixed Sale and paints a vivid picture of a dramatic bidding process. She is an award-winning journalist, writer, and videographer based in Lexington, Kentucky. Max Bazerman has contributed important research to the study of the winner’s curse. He joins Katy to discuss the ways in whic...

34 minMAY 11
Comments
Bidder Beware: With Guests Max Bazerman & Glenye Cain Oakford

A Choice Apart: With Guests Max Bazerman & Vivienne Wagner

Have you ever purchased a car or a motorcycle or a boat, based on some particular quality it had that made you fall in love? Maybe it was candy apple red. Maybe it had sleek lines. Maybe the engine made a pleasing purr. Hopefully that decision was a happy one. But what happens when the red sports car spends most of its time in the shop? Or the sleek motorbike is hard on your back? Or the purring boat engine is a gas-guzzler? In this episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkman, we look at how our preferences tend to shift when we evaluate a choice on its own versus side-by-side with other possible options. The episode begins with Vivienne Wagner and her family’s decision to adopt an adorable puppy after seeing a popular movie that featured the breed. (You know, the spotty dogs—over a hundred of them.) It’s a cautionary tale about a lovable but incredibly difficult pooch named Barkley and the perils of selecting a family pet in a vacuum. Max Bazerman is an authority on the phenomenon ...

28 minAPR 27
Comments
A Choice Apart: With Guests Max Bazerman & Vivienne Wagner

So Close to the Prize: With Guests Oleg Urminsky & Brian Zinn

If you’ve ever signed up for a frequent flyer program, chances are good that you were awarded a certain number of bonus points to start. Those bonus points feel like a nice little gift, but they also serve another purpose: to increase your motivation to participate in the program. In this episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkman, we explore how your proximity to a goal can affect the way you behave. You’ll hear the fascinating story of Brian Zinn and his decade-spanning quest to unravel an elaborate riddle. When Brian was a college student, he stumbled upon a book called The Secret: A Treasure Hunt. In it were 12 cryptic puzzles—arcane verses and mysterious images that, when paired and solved, would point readers to 12 treasures buried in undisclosed locations around the United States. The treasure hunt was a harmless pastime during Brian’s college days, but when he rediscovered the book years later, it became something of an obsession. You’ll learn about his escalating adventu...

36 minAPR 13
Comments
So Close to the Prize: With Guests Oleg Urminsky & Brian Zinn

Coping Amid the Crisis: With Guest Laurie Santos

An unprecedented global health crisis has overwhelmed healthcare systems, disrupted economies and financial markets, and radically altered our daily lives. And while social distancing is the responsible thing to do to slow the spread of disease, it also heightens the emotional challenges we face during these scary and uncertain times. In this special bonus episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkman, we look to the science of happiness to see how we might mitigate the adverse impacts to our mental health and well-being—and maybe even cultivate good new habits that can help us when the crisis is over. In 2018, psychologist Laurie Santos introduced a new course at Yale—its subject, happiness—which quickly became the storied university’s most popular class ever. Katy interviews Laurie to find out what insights from the course apply to our current situation and to solicit advice on happiness-improvement steps we can be taking now. Laurie Santos is a professor of psychology and head of ...

39 minAPR 6
Comments
Coping Amid the Crisis: With Guest Laurie Santos

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 ...

35 minMAR 30
Comments
The Simple Choice: With Guests Shlomo Benartzi & Eric Sink

Latest Episodes

A Successful Failure: With Guests Cass Sunstein, Kirabo Jackson & Andrew Chaikin

You’ve probably had the annoying experience of going to a store to pick up a few things, only to leave having forgotten at least one of them. That’s likely due to the challenge of holding more than one piece of information in your working memory while you shop, not to mention the effects of time pressure, distraction, and the procedural complexity of a seemingly simple trip to a store. In this episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkman, we look at effective tools for managing complex and time-sensitive procedures, from grocery shopping to space exploration.

40 min1 w ago
Comments
A Successful Failure: With Guests Cass Sunstein, Kirabo Jackson & Andrew Chaikin

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 recognize...

33 min3 w ago
Comments
Fair Is Fair: With Guests John Thorn & Richard Thaler

Spoiled for Choice: With Guests Barry Schwartz & Jen Glantz

Traditional economic theory says that more choice should always be better than less. After all, if the cereal aisle has corn flakes, honey nut corn flakes, toasted coconut corn flakes, chocolate corn flakes, multi-grain flakes, and all the rest, you’ll surely be able to find the breakfast carbs that suit your taste buds perfectly. But it turns out that, in certain situations, more choices can be counterproductive. In this episode of Choiceology withKaty Milkman, we look at how having too many options can sometimes produce anxiety, reduce satisfaction, and even lead us to abandon the decision we’d planned to make altogether.

33 minAUG 17
Comments
Spoiled for Choice: With Guests Barry Schwartz & Jen Glantz

A Bundle of Nerves: With Guests Alison Wood Brooks & Steven Osborne

The rapid heartbeat. The shaking hands. The flushed face. The symptoms of pre-performance jitters are common. For some people, nervousness before a big test or important presentation is normal and temporary. For others, it can be debilitating. Typical suggestions for managing nerves tend to involve deep breaths and calming thoughts. But what if there were a better way? In this episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkman, we look at the science behind the state of arousal commonly referred to as stage fright, including new research into better ways to manage unpleasant emotions.

34 minAUG 3
Comments
A Bundle of Nerves: With Guests Alison Wood Brooks & Steven Osborne

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 Stahl’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. Next, Dan Ariely recounts an incredibly difficult long-term treatment that he was able to endure and complete, thanks to a strategy known as tem...

43 minMAY 25
Comments
A Spoonful of Sugar: With Guests Ayelet Fishbach, Dan Ariely, Lynne Gauthier & Nancy Strahl

Bidder Beware: With Guests Max Bazerman & Glenye Cain Oakford

Have you ever bid in a competitive auction—say, on eBay—and won the item, only to see a similar item for sale elsewhere at a lower price? If so, you may have fallen prey to the winner’s curse. In this episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkman, we look at bias that can lead people to overpay in auctions and other types of negotiations. We begin with the story of Havre de Grace. This prize filly had an exceptionally successful career as a racehorse before being auctioned as a broodmare. Expectations were high for the sale because Havre de Grace had such a strong thoroughbred pedigree. But the way the auction proceeded surprised everyone in the room. Glenye Cain Oakford was at the Fasig-Tipton November Mixed Sale and paints a vivid picture of a dramatic bidding process. She is an award-winning journalist, writer, and videographer based in Lexington, Kentucky. Max Bazerman has contributed important research to the study of the winner’s curse. He joins Katy to discuss the ways in whic...

34 minMAY 11
Comments
Bidder Beware: With Guests Max Bazerman & Glenye Cain Oakford

A Choice Apart: With Guests Max Bazerman & Vivienne Wagner

Have you ever purchased a car or a motorcycle or a boat, based on some particular quality it had that made you fall in love? Maybe it was candy apple red. Maybe it had sleek lines. Maybe the engine made a pleasing purr. Hopefully that decision was a happy one. But what happens when the red sports car spends most of its time in the shop? Or the sleek motorbike is hard on your back? Or the purring boat engine is a gas-guzzler? In this episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkman, we look at how our preferences tend to shift when we evaluate a choice on its own versus side-by-side with other possible options. The episode begins with Vivienne Wagner and her family’s decision to adopt an adorable puppy after seeing a popular movie that featured the breed. (You know, the spotty dogs—over a hundred of them.) It’s a cautionary tale about a lovable but incredibly difficult pooch named Barkley and the perils of selecting a family pet in a vacuum. Max Bazerman is an authority on the phenomenon ...

28 minAPR 27
Comments
A Choice Apart: With Guests Max Bazerman & Vivienne Wagner

So Close to the Prize: With Guests Oleg Urminsky & Brian Zinn

If you’ve ever signed up for a frequent flyer program, chances are good that you were awarded a certain number of bonus points to start. Those bonus points feel like a nice little gift, but they also serve another purpose: to increase your motivation to participate in the program. In this episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkman, we explore how your proximity to a goal can affect the way you behave. You’ll hear the fascinating story of Brian Zinn and his decade-spanning quest to unravel an elaborate riddle. When Brian was a college student, he stumbled upon a book called The Secret: A Treasure Hunt. In it were 12 cryptic puzzles—arcane verses and mysterious images that, when paired and solved, would point readers to 12 treasures buried in undisclosed locations around the United States. The treasure hunt was a harmless pastime during Brian’s college days, but when he rediscovered the book years later, it became something of an obsession. You’ll learn about his escalating adventu...

36 minAPR 13
Comments
So Close to the Prize: With Guests Oleg Urminsky & Brian Zinn

Coping Amid the Crisis: With Guest Laurie Santos

An unprecedented global health crisis has overwhelmed healthcare systems, disrupted economies and financial markets, and radically altered our daily lives. And while social distancing is the responsible thing to do to slow the spread of disease, it also heightens the emotional challenges we face during these scary and uncertain times. In this special bonus episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkman, we look to the science of happiness to see how we might mitigate the adverse impacts to our mental health and well-being—and maybe even cultivate good new habits that can help us when the crisis is over. In 2018, psychologist Laurie Santos introduced a new course at Yale—its subject, happiness—which quickly became the storied university’s most popular class ever. Katy interviews Laurie to find out what insights from the course apply to our current situation and to solicit advice on happiness-improvement steps we can be taking now. Laurie Santos is a professor of psychology and head of ...

39 minAPR 6
Comments
Coping Amid the Crisis: With Guest Laurie Santos

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 ...

35 minMAR 30
Comments
The Simple Choice: With Guests Shlomo Benartzi & Eric Sink
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