A Princeton Economics Ph.D. student and a Yale Law student write on a wide-range of topics, including neuroeconomics, the ethics of genetic enhancement, fairness in sports, and what we look for in candy bars.

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Latest Blog Posts for The Traiberman-Li Blog

  • The Reasons Behind Our Decisions (Li)
    on Jun 13, 2010 in decision making psychology
    When pressed, people usually have no trouble giving reasons for their decisions. Q: "Why did you buy that t-shirt over the others?"A: "Well, I took a bunch of factors into account. It was (1) $5 cheaper than the next cheapest shirt, (2) I really...
  • Don't Forget the Denominator (Li)
    on Jun 5, 2010 in decision making psychology judgment
    Suppose I made you the following wager:1) If you pay me $5, I will toss a six-sided die. 2) If the die lands on 6, I will pay you $18; otherwise, I will pay you nothing. Now suppose that you take me up on this offer. I toss the die, and it...
  • Wealthier, But Not Happier? (Li)
    on Jun 2, 2010 in happiness psychology public policy
    Studies across individuals and across countries suggest that above a certain point, more money doesn't make you much happier (if at all). Here are some examples, all of which are mentioned in a recent New Yorker article:First: In a landmark study in...
  • More on Kahneman's Peak-End Effect (Li)
    on May 29, 2010 in happiness psychology
    As Sharon's previous post explains, Kahneman's peak-end hypothesis posits that when we look back on an experience, we judge it not based on the integral of our happiness over the experience, but on how we felt at our emotional peak (positiv...
  • Some Thoughts on Happiness (and a TED Video!)I recently watched a great TED video of Daniel Kahneman speaking about happiness. I felt like writing about it. This won't be the most cerebral post; it's mostly just a compendium of reactions and an attempt to share a fun talk with [the infinitesima...
  • The Flynn Effect and General Intelligence (Li)
    on May 4, 2010 in IQ psychology intelligence
    IQ scores have been rising - in a near-linear and rapid fashion - since at least the 1940s (that's how far the data go back). First documented by James Flynn (now Professor Emeritus of Political Studies in New Zealand) in the early 1980s, this so-cal...
  • Some Thoughts on Neuroeconomics (Traiberman)In a 2005 paper Faruk Gul and Wolfgang Pesendorfer wrote a lengthy critique of Neuroeconomics that touched some on behavioral economics as well. My own knowledge of neuroeconomics (and behavioral in general) is fairly limited. However, from what I've...
  • Cognitive Differences Between the Sexes (Li)
    on Apr 18, 2010 in psychology intelligence
    8.3% in mathematics. 12.1% in chemistry. 6.6% in physics. Women compose a stunningly low percentage of the tenure-track faculty in elite universities. What accounts for their underrepresentation?At a conference on workforce diversity in early 2005, L...
  • Dennett on Free Will (Li)
    on Apr 11, 2010 in Free Will Philosophy
    The Traditional Problem Suppose I commit some grievous crime - a murder, say - at time T. If the universe is deterministic, then my committing the murder at T was but the final link in a long chain of causation, a chain composed of every genetic...
  • The Ethics of Brain Boosting (Li)
    on Apr 4, 2010 in Biotechnology Fairness Ethics
    A couple of posts back, I wrote about fairness in sports. At the end of that post, I asked how much fairness matters relative to other considerations. Should we, for instance, allow for the sale of cognitive enhancers - drugs that boost cognitive per...
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