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Dan Ariely: What makes us feel good about our work?
What motivates us to work? Contrary to conventional wisdom, it isn’t just money. But it’s not exactly joy either. It seems that most of us thrive by making constant progress and feeling a sense of purpose. Behavioral economist Dan Ariely presents two eye-opening experiments that reveal our unexpected and nuanced attitudes toward meaning in our work.
WHY YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO HIM?
Despite our best efforts, bad or inexplicable decisions are as inevitable as death and taxesand the grocery store running out of your favorite flavor of ice cream. They’re also just as predictable. Why, for instance, are we convinced that “sizing up” at our favorite burger joint is a good idea, even when we’re not that hungry? Why are our phone lists cluttered with numbers we never call? Dan Ariely, behavioral economist, has based his career on figuring out the answers to these questions, and in his bestselling book Predictably Irrational (re-released in expanded form in May 2009), he describes many unorthodox and often downright odd experiments used in the quest to answer this question.
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?). 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.
He produces a weekly podcast, Arming the Donkeys, featuring chats with researchers in the social and natural sciences.
“If you want to know why you always buy a bigger television than you intended, or why you think it’s perfectly fine to spend a few dollars on a cup of coffee at Starbucks, or why people feel better after taking a 50-cent aspirin but continue to complain of a throbbing skull when they’re told the pill they took just cost one penny, Ariely has the answer.” Daniel Gross, Newsweek
The Leadership Challenge – Graham Moore
Molly Crockett: Beware neuro-bunk
Brains are ubiquitous in modern marketing: Headlines proclaim cheese sandwiches help with decision-making, while a “neuro” drink claims to reduce stress. There’s just one problem, says neuroscientist Molly Crockett: The benefits of these “neuro-enhancements” are not proven scientifically. In this to-the-point talk, Crockett explains the limits of interpreting neuroscientific data, and why we should all be aware of them.
Neuroscientist Molly Crockett studies altruism, morality and value-based decision-making in humans.
WHY YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO HER
Can what you eat influence your sense of justice? Will a simple drug make you more likely to help a stranger on the street? Neuroscientist Molly Crockett asks and answers these and many other fascinating questions about the influence of neurotransmitters, like dopamine and serotonin, on altruism and decision-making. Neuroscience may hold the answer, says Crockett, but there are still limits to our ability to draw conclusions from neural research. Crockett received her PhD from the University of Cambridge in 2011, and she is currently working with support from the four-year Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowship studying human altruism in labratories worldwide.
Leadership Lessons – Setting Priorities
Dr. Fred Johnson is at the top of his game as a Leadership Expert. When comparing him to the greats like Steven Covey, John Maxwell and Ken Blanchard, your experience will rival nothing less than a “10″ performance. Dr. Fred engages the human element and is a catalyst in molding sustainable change. His Leadership program is time-tested and transcends industries, designed to align employees with corporate vision and values which serve as the decision-making filters throughout the organization.
Daniel Kahneman is an internationally renowned psychologist whose work spans cognitive psychology, behavioral economics, and the science of well-being. In recognition of his groundbreaking work on human judgment and decision-making, Kahneman received the 2002 Nobel Prize. In this program he explores the idea of intuition.
Antonio Damasio is a leader in understanding the biological origin of consciousness. He also argues that emotions, far from being barriers to it, are a crucial component of decision-making. He is founder and director of the USC Brain and Creativity Institute, which draws on partners across academic disciplines to use the explosion of new neuroscience results to tackle issues from mental health to societal and global change.
Damasio is the author of Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain, which was adapted into a musical composition performed by Yo-Yo Ma at the American Museum of Natural History.
“A mind is so closely shaped by the body and destined to serve it that only one mind could possibly arise in it. No body, never mind.” – Antonio Damasio in “The Feeling of What Happens”
Daniel Goldstein: The battle between your present and future self
Every day, we make decisions that have good or bad consequences for our future selves. (Can I skip flossing just this one time?) Daniel Goldstein makes tools that help us imagine ourselves over time, so that we make smart choices for Future Us.
Daniel Goldstein studies how we make decisions about our financial selves — both now and in the future,
Why you should listen to him:
Daniel Goldstein studies decision-making — especially how humans make economic and social decisions over the course of our lives, and how we can give ourselves the right incentives, reminders, and rules of thumb to make long-term smart choices rather than short-term fun choices. He runs the blog Decision Science News. He’s a Principal Research Scientist at Yahoo! Research, on leave from a post at the London Business School.
“Goldstein is part of a really fascinating band of psychologists interested in heuristics — that is, mental shortcuts that have the effect of helping us better navigate the world.” Malcolm Gladwell