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Episode 445

Why Do We Seek Comfort in the Familiar?

In this episode of No Stupid Questions — a Freakonomics Radio Network show launched earlier this year — Stephen Dubner and Angela Duckworth debate why we watch, read and eat…

Episode 323

Why Your Projects Are Always Late — and What to Do About It (Replay)

Whether it’s a giant infrastructure plan or a humble kitchen renovation, it’ll inevitably take way too long and cost way too much. That’s because you suffer from “the planning fallacy.”…

Episode 21

Bring on the Pain!

Bring on the Pain! It’s not about how much something hurts — it’s how you remember the pain. This week, lessons on pain from the New York City subway, the…

Episode 34

Maya Shankar Is Changing People’s Behavior — and Her Own

She used to run a behavioral unit in the Obama administration, and now has a similar role at Google. Maya and Steve talk about the power (and limits) of behavioral…

Episode 98

Searching for Our Aquatic Ancestors

Neil Shubin hunts for fossils in the Arctic and experiments with D.N.A. in the lab, hoping to find out how fish evolved to walk on land. He explains why unlocking…

Episode 136

Is Sloth a Sin or a Virtue?

How can we distinguish between laziness and patience? Why do people do crossword puzzles? And how is Angie like a combination of a quantum computer and a Sherman tank? Take…

Episode 160

How Do You Like Me Now?

Why would a successful person feel the need to stick it to the little guy? Is Angela a name-dropper? And why do rappers grab their crotches?

Episode 45

How Much Better Do You Really Want to Be?

Also: why do we pad our speech with so much filler language?…

Episode 58

Why Is Richard Thaler Such a ****ing Optimist?

The Nobel laureate and pioneering behavioral economist spars with Steve over what makes a nudge a nudge, and admits that even economists have plenty of blind spots….

Episode 63

How Contagious Is Behavior? With Laurie Santos of “The Happiness Lab.” (Replay)

Why do we mirror other people’s accents? Does DJ Khaled get tired of winning? And also: life is good — so why aren’t you happy?…

Episode 63

How Contagious Is Behavior? With Laurie Santos of “The Happiness Lab.”

Also: life is good — so why aren’t you happy?

Episode 140

How to Think About Money, Choose Your Hometown, and Buy an Electric Toothbrush

Dubner and Levitt field your queries in this latest installment of our FREAK-quently Asked Questions….

Episode 67

How Can You Escape Binary Thinking?

Also: why is it so satisfying to find a bargain?…

Episode 70

In a Job Interview, How Much Does Timing Matter?

Also: Why is it smart to ignore what your podcast hosts look like?…

Episode 125

Should We Replace Umpires With Robots?

What do gamblers and referees have in common? When do machines make better decisions than people? And has Stephen been replaced by a computer?

Episode 13

How Can You Stop Comparing Yourself With Other People? (Replay)

Also: how can we stop confusing correlation with causation?

Episode 147

Is Nudging Enough?

Is it enough to toss a soda can in the recycling? Why is Maria obsessed with Nobel Prize lectures? And wait — is that a news alert or a tiger?…

Episode 98

Is Having Children Worth It?

Why have fertility rates dropped so dramatically? Do fathers or mothers get more happiness from parenting? And how does birth order affect a child’s future?…

Episode 59

Do Dreams Actually Mean Anything?

Also: why is music so memorable?…

Episode 72

If Everyone Hates Meetings, Why Do We Have So Many of Them?

Also: Why do so many people feel lost in their 20s?…

The Politics of Happiness, Part 3

…world views to explain the rest. Before I turn to my own explanations, here are two that I got from people I admire. Nobel laureate and Princeton professor Daniel Kahneman

A Great Example of Bias Within Academia

It is amazing how good we are — even the smartest, most rational people among us — at not recognizing our own biases. (Danny Kahneman memorably calls this being “blind…

It's No Major Major Major Major, But …

…minute when it read those words, or did it quickly skip ahead and fill in a blank? (Danny Kahneman writes nicely about this phenomenon in Thinking, Fast and Slow.) Once…

The Magic Income Number

What’s the magic income number? According to Angus Deaton and Daniel Kahneman, it’s about $75,000, at least when it comes to day-to-day happiness. “As people earn more money, their day-to-day…

Loss Aversion in the N.F.L.

…can get you fired. In the jargon of behavioral economics, coaches are “loss-averse”; this concept, pioneered by Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman, holds that we experience more pain with a…

Should We Hope Congestion Gets Worse?

…you. I know this sounds fishy. Don’t drivers complain about traffic in poll over poll? Isn’t congestion a huge drain on our economy? Haven’t Daniel Kahneman (a Nobel laureate) and…

Radio in Progress: One Upside of Aging

We’re working on a Freakonomics Radio episode about pain. One component is the very interesting research by Daniel Kahneman and Donald Redelmeier about how colonoscopy patients remember the pain of…

Episode 483

What’s Wrong With Shortcuts?

You know the saying: “There are no shortcuts in life.” What if that saying is just wrong? In his new book Thinking Better: The Art of the Shortcut in Math…

Episode 13

How Can You Stop Comparing Yourself With Other People?

Also: how can we stop confusing correlation with causation?