The Recruitment Interview

A fascinating area of (ir)rationality is recruitment. I recently rediscovered my notes from Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior, written by the Brafman brothers. 

Much of this has been written about extensively, but is worth a reminder.  The evidence they focus on primarily comes from 20 years of research by professor Allen Huffcutt. He states that the typical job interview is unstructured, and easy to compare with a first date. However, these tend not be to very successful Continue reading “The Recruitment Interview”

Nutritional Nudges – the Why?

When thinking about nutrition the default tends to be the relationship between nutrition and weight loss – it is typically a desire or motivation to eat less, which materializes through a diet routine. The motivation for, and benefits from, a ‘better’ diet is therefore associated with weight loss, rather than the consequences of a healthy daily dietary routine itself.

This seems rational – Continue reading “Nutritional Nudges – the Why?”

Good in concept, bad in practice

Why knowledge, by itself, is not very effective for behavior change

A picture says a thousand words. This is the often referred to example of why knowledge, by itself, is not very effective in behavior change. Evidence of the devastating impact of smoking on nurses is captured by the team at UCLA in the well known Nurses Health study. There are many other great insights on why education (knowledge) in isolation is not effective in facilitating behavior change. It’s a pristine lesson in (ir)rationality. Continue reading “Good in concept, bad in practice”

Half the picture?

The problem with survey data is that it often times focus on a specific issue in absence of the full picture. I recently revisited Aon’s 2016 retirement and investment survey, summarized well in this infographic, stating Expanding financial well-being is the top employer initiative for 2016.  Continue reading “Half the picture?”

The why? of work

In this heleo conversation Barry Swartz shares an important lesson he learned the hard way about the importance of grades at college and what happens in the absence of grade variation. In effect, and unfortunately, grades have become the ‘why’ of learning.

The moral risk with traditional incentive structures is that inevitably people find ways to meet the incentives without fully doing the work required.This idea was well captured by Steven Kerr in his updated 1995 paper Continue reading “The why? of work”