Hey party people,
Some of you may remember that I hauled my rear end to Canada last year to give a talk at a TED event that was organized by one of my former students. I got to talk all about how economists use both randomized and natural experiments to study the impacts of various policies and programs, if you are so inclined, you can check out the video here.
Since then, I’ve moved…well, down in the world, geographically speaking (or with respect to latitude coordinates), since I am giving a talk at TedxBoston tomorrow. This talk is very short- 6 minutes, give or take (actually, only take since I’m not allowed to go over)- and I both get to embarrass my musician friends and talk about how context and expectations influence our perceptions and choices. The official summary:
Billboard charts, restaurant reviews, and word-of-mouth recommendations have been around for decades, but indicators of popularity and perceived quality have never been as pervasive as in our current environment. Economists traditionally assume that more information enables people to maximize their utility or happiness, but behavioral economists and social psychologists have identified a number of ways in which context and perceived social preferences systematically bias our choices and experiences in potentially unproductive ways. Being aware of the powerful effects our preconceived notions have on our actual experiences can help to mitigate our biases and lead to better choices.
The in-person event is sold out, but there are various options for virtual participation. I am told that my talk is scheduled for 10:51am (nothing like being unreasonably precise), so you can tune in sometime around then. You know you don’t want to miss a presentation with this as a slide: