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An Evolutionary View of Decision Making
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An Evolutionary View of Decision Making

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24 episodes in this series

Episode 1 Thinking Scientifically about Decisions
Have you ever wondered why people make the decisions they do? Using the metaphor of manufacturing, learn what science has revealed about human decision making: informational raw materials go in,…
Episode 2 The Two-System Model of Decision Making
What's going on in your cognitive machinery as you manufacture your decision? Delve into the two-system model of decision making: System 1 is your automatic and intuitive processor, your earlier…
Episode 3 The Role of Heuristics in Decisions
Heuristics are the decision shortcuts that people use every day. While too imprecise to lead to optimal decisions, they are powerful tools that allow you to make appropriate decisions fairly…
Episode 4 How Habits Make Decisions Easier
Habits are our immediate automatic responses - good and bad - to situations when we don't take the time to manufacture a purposeful decision. Decision science gives us the psychological…
Episode 5 Self-Regulation and Choice
Have you ever felt that your mind was so overworked you just could not make one more decision? Learn about the cognitive "fuel" needed for System 2 to rein in…
Episode 6 The Value Curve and Human Decisions
Prospect Theory reveals the ways in which our decision-making machinery values an item and why. Learn how to make better decisions by understanding appropriate reference points, sensitivity to changes in…
Episode 7 Emotional Influences on Decision Making
Have you ever driven a bit recklessly when you felt angry or frustrated? If so, you know that emotions affect our decisions. Recently, scientists have discovered that our emotions play…
Episode 8 How Goals Guide Our Decisions
Can you influence the cognitive machinery that manufactures your decisions? Absolutely. Learn why and how our goals motivate us, which goals inspire our greatest effort, and how best to motivate…
Episode 9 Reason-Based Choice
Even when manufacturing the seemingly simplest of decisions, our control panel can steer us in the wrong direction. Learn why our cognitive machinery often over-weights attributes, considers information that really…
Episode 10 Mental Accounting as a Factor in Decisions
Mental accounting is a powerful decision-making tool we can employ to improve our lives. Learn how the process of partitioning objects and experiences in purposeful ways - everything from money…
Episode 11 The Role of Mindsets in Decision Making
We don't make decisions in a vacuum. Before we even have the opportunity to decide our next action, before a stimulus even comes our way, we are mentally prepared to…
Episode 12 How Consistency Drives Decisions
Learn how the strong desire for consistency - between beliefs and actions, and between current and past actions - drives both our decision making and our judgment of others' actions.…
Episode 13 Social Influences on Decision Making
Our relationships with others and broader societal pressures influence our decision making, whether or not we're aware of it. Learn how we look to others for guidance in the most…
Episode 14 Nonconscious Influences on Decision Making
Can subliminal messages cause us to make decisions almost against our will? Although a major hoax perpetrated on a panicked public caused us to believe just that for a while,…
Episode 15 An Evolutionary View of Decision Making
You might never have thought to blame a bad decision on your ancestors' development millennia ago, but there just might be reason to. Learn about the often surprising and unexpected…
Episode 16 Regulatory Focus and Human Motivation
For centuries, decision-making motivation was seen in the context of maximizing pleasure and minimizing pain. But recent scientific research reveals a more complex framework. Regulatory Focus theory shows that we…
Episode 17 Decision Rules
How much information do you collect before making a decision? How much is optimal? Do you focus on the pertinent data or let extraneous information affect your choices? Discover the…
Episode 18 How Context Influences Choice
Uncover the many unexpected ways in which information context affects our decisions. What happens when our mind acts like a big shovel, scooping up all the data in its path…
Episode 19 How Framing Effects Guide Decisions
Even as children, we learned that the way in which we presented a choice to our parents was often as important as the specific question we asked. Decision science reveals…
Episode 20 The Role of Memory in Decisions
In addition to the new information your brain is constantly acquiring, you use memory in your decision-making process. In fact, the quality of any decision often depends on accessing the…
Episode 21 Assortments, Variety, and Choice
Although consumers almost always say they want more options, research shows that when faced with too many choices, consumers are sometimes unable to make any decision at all. Decision science…
Episode 22 How Evaluability Affects Decisions
Research shows that when evaluating options, we tend to place more importance on attributes we understand and less importance on those we don't - without considering relevance to the decision…
Episode 23 Halo Effects and Choice
Can a marketing campaign affect how a food tastes? Even though you know the ad hasn't changed the food itself, medical imaging reveals that your brain reacts as if it…
Episode 24 The Four Rs of Decision Making
Scientists don't anticipate developing one unified theory to model decision making; human beings are just too complex. But you can improve your own decision making - as well as your…

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