Losses Loom Large: With Guests Hank Haney, Dolly Chugh & Maurice Schweitzer

October 29, 2018
From ethical behavior to athletic competition, the disproportionate drive not to lose can lead to major mistakes.

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After you listen

Wondering how cognitive or emotional biases may be affecting your financial decisions?

  • Choiceology's new sister podcast, Financial Decoder, is coming soon. Subscribe for free today to get the first episode when it launches November 5.

Wondering how cognitive or emotional biases may be affecting your financial decisions?

  • Choiceology's new sister podcast, Financial Decoder, is coming soon. Subscribe for free today to get the first episode when it launches November 5.

Winning feels good. Whether it's nailing a tricky golf shot or landing a big client for your firm, it's nice to come out on top. But is it the thrill of victory that pushes you to sink that 10-foot putt or compels you to put in a few extra hours at work? Or is it the fear of losing that motivates you more?

In this episode of Choiceology with Katy Milkman, we examine a bias that affects the irrational way people often react to gains and losses.

  • The episode begins with the heartbreaking story of Robbie Powell. A missed medical diagnosis and an elaborate cover up expose the lengths to which some people are willing to go in order to avoid a hit to their reputations.
  • You'll hear from professor Dolly Chugh from New York University's Stern School. Dolly and collaborator Molly Kern have done some great research demonstrating how people behave differently when making ethical choices in the face of a potential loss versus a potential gain. You can learn more about this phenomenon in her book How Good People Fight Bias: The Person You Mean to Be.
  • Then renowned golf coach Hank Haney describes how Tiger Woods and other golf pros seem to work harder to avoid bogeys on the putting green than they do to make birdies. According to Wharton School professor Maurice Schweitzer, professional golfers may be missing out on hundreds of thousands of dollars in winnings because of this tendency. And he's got research to prove it.
  • Finally, Katy will leave you with practical tips on how to limit the influence of this bias in your own decisions.

Choiceology is an original podcast from Charles Schwab.

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