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.

Out of Proportion: With Guests Damon Lesmeister & Kelly Shue

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: With Guests Jamie Wall, Mona Krewel & Alex Edmans

How can the general mood around us affect our behavior?

April 11, 2022

Second-Guessing First Impressions: With Guests Allen Sarven & Richard Nisbett

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: With Guests Ryan McFarland & Gabrielle Adams

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

March 14, 2022

The Power of Negative Thinking: With Guests Annie Duke, Mike Richard & Kelvin Wu

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

October 25, 2021

The Good Fight: With Guests Adam Grant & Tom Crouch

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

October 11, 2021

Expect the Unexpected: With Guests Abigail Sussman, Howie Jeon & Greg Golden

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? With Guests Robert Rydell and Don Moore

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: With Guests Carol Quirke & Deborah Small

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

August 30, 2021

Big Goals, Little Steps: With Guests Shannon Miller & Hal Hershfield

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

August 16, 2021

Scientist Mode: With Guests Adam Grant & Luca Parmitano

How can thinking like a scientist improve your everyday decisions?

June 07, 2021

Silver Linings: With Guests Annie Duke, Kassia St. Clair & Adam Grant

How can disappointing outcomes lead to surprising opportunities?

May 10, 2021

Hold That Thought: With Guests Sarah-Louise Miller, Warren Reed, Todd Rogers & Angela Duckworth

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: With Guests Jeff Elison & Ido Erev

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: With Guests Erik Vance & Alia Crum

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

March 29, 2021

Some Assembly Preferred: With Guests Mike Norton & Michael Ojo

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 ...: With Guests Stirling Hart & Colin Camerer

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: With Guests Amelia Boone & Emily Ho

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

September 28, 2020

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

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: With Guests John Thorn & Richard Thaler

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: With Guests Barry Schwartz & Jen Glantz

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: With Guests Alison Wood Brooks & Steven Osborne

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

August 03, 2020

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

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: With Guests Max Bazerman & Glenye Cain Oakford

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

May 11, 2020

A Choice Apart: With Guests Max Bazerman & Vivienne Wagner

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: With Guests Oleg Urminsky & Brian Zinn

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: With Guest Laurie Santos

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

April 06, 2020

The Simple Choice: With Guests Shlomo Benartzi & Eric Sink

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: With Guests Daniel Kahneman, James Hutchinson & G.M. Pucilowski

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: With Guests Dan Ariely & Dean Karlan

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: With Guests Wendy Wood, Angela Duckworth & Stephan Kesting

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

November 18, 2019

Invisible Failures: With Guests Emily Oster, Sendhil Mullainathan & Linda Rodriguez McRobbie

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

November 04, 2019

Take the Deal! With Guests Daniel Kahneman, Colin Camerer & Luis Green

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

October 21, 2019

Your Own Advice: With Guests Angela Duckworth, Lauren Eskreis-Winkler & Mike Mangini

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

October 07, 2019

Not Quite Enough: With Guests Howard Scott Warshaw, Sendhil Mullainathan & Anuj Shah

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: With Guests Peter Jordan, Trent Evans & Don Moore

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: With Guests Ken Bowersox, Robert Godwin & Bradley Staats

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

May 27, 2019

Boxed In: With Guests Sophie Morgan, Modupe Akinola & Dolly Chugh

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: With Guests Kathleen Vohs, Douglas Porch & Julian Jackson

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? With Guests Francesca Gino & Dr. Byers "Bud" Shaw

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: With Guests Jason Beck & Devin Pope

Round-number goals are arbitrary but effective.

April 01, 2019

Out of Focus: With Guests Dolly Chugh, Max Bazerman & Mark Pendergrast

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

March 18, 2019

Love the Mug You're With: With Guests Joel Platt, Sally Sadoff & Richard Thaler

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: With Guests Michael Kist & Cade Massey

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: With Guests Andy Marocco & Tom Gilovich

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: With Guests John Beshears, Richard Thaler & Ray Zahab

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: With Guests Scott Harrison & Mike Norton

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

December 10, 2018

Everybody's Doing It: With Guests Tyler Hamilton & Todd Rogers

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: With Guests Richard Thaler & Angela Duckworth

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: With Guests Hank Haney, Dolly Chugh & Maurice Schweitzer

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

October 29, 2018

Introducing Season 2 of Choiceology

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

The Big Impact of Small Changes

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

Introducing Choiceology with Dan Heath

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