Is making better choices making you unhappy?
Homo Economicus, or ‘economic man,’ is someone who always makes the most rational financial decisions based on self interest. This idea forms the basis of many theories about how we consume.
If we always make the most rational decision, then having more options to choose from will allow us to maximise our decision in order to achieve the best outcome. But what if we don’t behave like homo economicus and prefer to choose the option that is ‘good enough?’
On this episode, we speak with early career researcher, Alex Belli, about choice and consumer well being.
- You can read more about Alex’s research here.
- Barry Swartz is a professor of psychology and economics at Swarthmore College and the author of The Paradox of Choice.
- You can read Iyengar and Leppar’s famous ‘jam study’ here.
- Alain De Botton’s Status Anxiety examines the psychological impacts of consumption.
- You can read Jennifer Aaker’s article How Happiness Affects Choice in the Journal of Consumer Research
Johannes Bornlof- Aqueous
Martin Gauffin- Southern Flavors
Aiolos Rue- Unscrambler
Rubik’s Cube- From Now On
Magnus Ringblom- 1970’s Cinema Era 2
In the commercial context, research and development, or R&D, is a strategic choice made by a business in the pursuit of competitive advantage. But what does this for governments funded R&D? Should society expect an immediate return on investment in the same way?
On this episode of Think Business Futures, we turn the tables on our co-host Nicole Sutton, to ask why a society would choose to fund R&D with taxpayer money.
- You can read more about the CSIRO’s early history here
- David Thodey (@davidthodey) is the current chair of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation or CSIRO
- The Science and Industry Research Act (1949) established the CSIRO. You can read the act here.
- Australia 2030: Prosperity Through Innovation
- Oliver Williamson developed Transaction Cost Economics, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize.
- You can read Nicole’s research on the Australian cotton industry here
How would the finance industry and society as a whole benefit from a stronger ethical framework? After the fallout from the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, many people would say that ethics and finance are an oxymoron.
On this episode, we speak to Gerhard Hambusch, Senior Lecturer in finance at the University of Technology Sydney, about teaching ethics to finance students. Gerhard believes the finance industry can work to instill a public trust in the fairness of markets through ethical training and practice.
- You can find Gerhard on Twitter @GerhardHambusch, LinkedIn or on the UTS website.
- Still not clear on the legal definition of insider trading in Australia? You can find the relevant legislation in the Corporations Act 2001 Section 1043A
- Dr Simon Longstaff is the Executive Director of The Ethics Centre
- For more information on the Chartered Financial Analyst Program, visit The CFA Institute
Music: Michael Meem, Peter Sandberg and Matt Haik
On this episode, we speak to Peter Siminski, professor of economics at the University of Technology Sydney, about income mobility in Australia.
Plus, Nicole speaks to former New South Wales Premier and Foreign Affairs Minister, Bob Carr about the importance of equality of opportunities in Australia
- Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey
- Bob Carr’s new book Run For Your Life is available in bookstores now. All proceeds go to UNHCR to children displaced by the Syrian War.
- Professor James Heckman on the ‘ returns on early childhood education’
- More information on Peter Siminski’s research can be found on the UTS website
With obesity on the rise in many western countries, researchers have tried to understand why we’re overeating. Despite the large volume of research, there seems to be no simple solution. On this episode, we speak to Natalina Zlatevska, Senior Lecturer in Marketing at the University of Technology Sydney, about how plate and portion sizes affect the amount we eat.
- For more information on Natalina’s research, visit her website
- The Small Plate Movement is an initiative to encourage people who want to be healthier and lose weight to reduce the size of their plates.
- Mindless Eating:Why We Eat More Than We Think by Brian Wansink
- Since 2014, food manufacturers and retailers have been voluntarily implementing the Health Star Rating System. Displayed on the front of food packages the star rating helps you to compare similar products.
- For more information on Nudge theory, we recommend- Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein
- Former New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg discusses a ban on sugary drinks