Choiceology

Wharton professor Katy Milkman shares true stories involving high-stakes moments, and explores the latest research to help you make better judgments and avoid costly mistakes.

Under Pressure

How can we make important decisions when time is scarce and the stakes are high?

May 23, 2022

Out of Proportion

Non-proportional thinking, or focusing on absolute numbers rather than percentages, is just one way we get mixed up when we should be carefully calculating and comparing ratios.

May 09, 2022

Choiceology's Guide to Nudges

Nudges are small but powerful parts of choice architecture.

April 25, 2022

More Than a Feeling

How can the general mood around us affect our behavior?

April 11, 2022

First Impressions

When we judge someone, rarely do we stop to consider how their particular situation likely played a large role in guiding their actions.

March 28, 2022

Less Is More

When attempting to solve a problem, why do people tend to add something rather than subtract?

March 14, 2022

The Power of Negative Thinking

Anticipating and planning for obstacles can sometimes be more powerful than adopting a positive mindset.

October 25, 2021

The Good Fight

How can you leverage constructive conflict without feeling like disagreements are personal?

October 11, 2021

Expect the Unexpected

Despite their regularity, we don't tend to budget well for the high frequency of unexpected events that predictably arise when it comes to our time, our diet, or our money.

September 27, 2021

What's the Big Idea?

We often overestimate our abilities and the accuracy of our predictions. Is it better to have well-calibrated confidence beliefs?

September 10, 2021

Not Just Another Statistic

Why are we more motivated by individuals and their stories rather than large numbers or statistical information?

August 30, 2021

Big Goals, Little Steps

Breaking down a goal into smaller steps could help you achieve your goals.

August 16, 2021

Scientist Mode

How can thinking like a scientist improve your everyday decisions?

June 07, 2021

Silver Linings

How can disappointing outcomes lead to surprising opportunities?

May 10, 2021

Hold That Thought

Forgetting can be a significant barrier to achievement with real consequences. How can reminders help improve our memory?

April 26, 2021

In the Face of Risk

The way we perceive the probability of rare events often changes as we acquire direct experience—but are the new perceptions more accurate?

April 12, 2021

Mindful of Mindsets

How can our expectations and mindset have a positive effect on our health and our lives?

March 29, 2021

Some Assembly Preferred

There is a real sense of satisfaction that comes with building something yourself. But can that lead to us overvaluing what we create?

March 15, 2021

If Only …

You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t have at least some regrets. The trick is knowing when (and how) to let things go—and when to use regret productively.

October 12, 2020

I Don’t Want to Know

Have you ever ignored unpleasant information, hoping it would just go away?

September 28, 2020

A Successful Failure

Using a checklist—it's such a simple idea, but it's one of the best ways to bring order to complexity and achieve results.

September 14, 2020

Fair Is Fair

It's hard to be objective about fairness—because what seems fair so often depends on your reference points.

August 31, 2020

Spoiled for Choice

While having a myriad of options is a privilege consumers increasingly expect, too much choice often leads to dissatisfaction and regret.

August 17, 2020

A Bundle of Nerves

Can adverse emotional reactions be reframed to diminish their negative consequences?

August 03, 2020

A Spoonful of Sugar

Conventional wisdom is that you should just buckle down and do what's in your long-term best interest, right? It's a lot easier if you make it appealing in the short term, too.

May 25, 2020

Bidder Beware

Suppose you just won a hotly contested auction. How likely is it that you got a good deal?

May 11, 2020

A Choice Apart

Making a decision in isolation—versus in a comparison—relies on different processes and tends to produce different results.

April 27, 2020

So Close to the Prize

Whatever the goal, we often increase our level of effort when the finish line seems near. How can we make the most of this tendency?

April 13, 2020

Coping Amid the Crisis

What can behavioral science teach us about managing the emotional toll of the coronavirus pandemic?

April 06, 2020

The Simple Choice

Making the beneficial choice the easiest choice can streamline decision-making. But be aware of exactly who's benefitting.

March 20, 2020

Judge the Judges

The chance variability of human judgment is a widespread, costly problem—and one that can be measured even when the supposed correct answer isn't known.

March 16, 2020

The Price of Your Vice

Giving in to temptation is all too easy in the moment. But raising the stakes just might bolster your resistance.

December 02, 2019

Creatures of Habit

Small repeated behaviors can have an outsize impact on your success, health, and happiness.

November 18, 2019

Invisible Failures

Concentrating only on successes—the things that survive some selection process—often leads to faulty conclusions.

November 04, 2019

Take the Deal!

Risky propositions tend to look different when you're already behind.

October 21, 2019

Your Own Advice

When it comes to advice, it just might be better to give than to receive.

October 07, 2019

Not Quite Enough

A lack of resources can constrain your ability to make the best choices in life. But surprisingly, there are advantages to scarcity in some contexts.

September 23, 2019

The Lucky Loonie

Some things are simply beyond our control. And while a little luck never hurts, it’s best to understand what your behaviors can truly affect.

September 09, 2019

Best-Laid Plans

Why do we forget the lessons of past projects and underestimate the time, costs and risks of future actions?

May 27, 2019

Boxed In

One of the most common mental shortcuts we commit is making snap judgments about people and things based on limited information.

May 13, 2019

Knew It All Along

Hindsight is 20/20, the saying goes. But occurrences that appear inevitable after the fact rarely seemed so in real time.

April 29, 2019

No Harm, No Foul?

It makes some intuitive sense to judge a decision based on its results. But is it always true that a good decision leads to a good outcome, and vice versa?

April 15, 2019

Hitting Your Number

Round-number goals are arbitrary but effective.

April 01, 2019

Out of Focus

People overlook important information—even when it’s easily accessible or, in hindsight, downright obvious.

March 18, 2019

Love the Mug You’re With

It's a bias that’s been observed for perhaps thousands of years, a tendency to overvalue what we already possess.

February 18, 2019

Data for the Win

Where analytical models and algorithms outperform human judgment, it's still so tempting to just go with your gut.

February 04, 2019

The Mystery of Chance

We're wired to search for order in the world. It's how we learn and construct meaning. But often we see patterns in mere happenstance.

January 21, 2019

A Clean Slate

How you divide your money and time is influenced by a cognitive bias—but it's one that you can put to good use.

January 07, 2019

Happiness

Giving: It's one simple behavior that's been shown to increase happiness.

December 10, 2018

Everybody's Doing It

You're an independent-minded person. You make choices for yourself based on the best information available. You own your decisions, right or wrong. Right?

November 26, 2018

The Temptation of Now

Why is it so tempting to make short-sighted decisions? And what we can do to exert more self-control?

November 12, 2018

Losses Loom Large

From ethical behavior to athletic competition, the disproportionate drive not to lose can lead to major mistakes.

October 29, 2018

Choiceology Season 2

Choiceology returns with a new season and a new host—Katy Milkman. Subscribe for free today to get the first episode of season 2 when it launches October 29.

October 15, 2018

How Tomorrow Feels Today

Whether expecting joy or despair, we tend to overestimate the long-term emotional impact of life events.

May 15, 2018

A Number in Mind

Focusing on a single data point to the exclusion of other information: It's a tried-and-true negotiating strategy, and it can quickly skew your judgment.

April 23, 2018

Swimming with Sharks

News reports sometimes make it seem as if danger lurks around every corner. And while there's no doubt that risk is a part of life, do we worry more than we should?

April 09, 2018

The Devil's Advocate

In a world awash in data, you'd think it would be relatively easy to make informed, objective decisions. But not if you only see what you want to see.

March 26, 2018

Summit Fever

Imagine that you've put in effort toward a goal, but things haven't quite worked out the way you hoped. How do you know when it's time to let it go?

March 12, 2018

Small Changes, Big Impact

It's not always about life-changing decisions—sometimes small changes can make a big impact.

February 26, 2018

It's Hard to Be Humble

We can't all be above average. So why, in certain situations, do we think we're so special?

February 12, 2018

Choiceology Trailer

You're not as rational as you think. In this new podcast, bestselling author Dan Heath performs forensic analysis on decision making. You'll hear real stories, learn from top experts, and witness informal experiments that demonstrate the mistakes we too often make.

January 19, 2018