October 28, 2010

Question: Income Distribution

Posted in Behaviour at 21:43 by graham

Perform the following thought experiment. Remove yourself for a moment from your present socioeconomic circumstances and imagine that you are to be replaced randomly into society at any class level. Now, before you know your particular place in society you are told that it is within your powers to redistribute the wealth of that society in any way that you choose. What distribution would you choose?

Read more on Dan Ariely’s blog

October 16, 2010

Quote of the day: Materialism

Posted in Behaviour at 00:18 by graham

Materialism and the behaviors that go with it – desiring and buying brand-name clothes and luxury items – are symptoms of insecurity and a coping strategy used to alleviate feelings of self-doubt or bolster a poor self-image. But if what [we] are really seeking is greater happiness and fulfillment, materialism is a terrible coping method. At best it provides only short-term relief; in the long run it is likely to deepen feelings of insecurity.

From Christine Carter in Raising Happiness, referencing research in The High Price of Materialism

If you read Raising Happiness (and if you are a new parent, I recommend it), skip the first chapter, because it will put you off. The other chapters are very good, and cover key Positive Psychology research.