Pragma Synesi – interesting bits

Compendium of interesting bits I come across, with an occasional IMHO

The psychology of scarcity

I’ve read about how a lack of money alters people’s thinking and behaviours.  The book reviewed below in a The Economist article points out that any scarcity, not just of money, changes thinking and behaviours, in a way that is hard for someone not experiencing that scarcity to understand. If you can’t get the book, at least read the review:

The psychology of scarcity: Days late, dollars short

Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much. By Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir. Times Books; 288 pages; $28. Allen Lane; £20. | The Economist | 8/31/2013

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May 27, 2014 Posted by | behaviour, psychology | | Leave a comment

Scarcity lowers IQ and self-control

Having read the article below, which is adapted from the book Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much, by Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir, I was struck by several points. For one, it is amazing how much scarcity affects our decisions and actions, on a level we don’t even notice.  But more importantly, the effect scarcity has on IQ and self-control sheds new light on the plight of the poor.  If you don’t have time to read the whole book, makes sure you read these articles highlighting different aspects of the book: Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much and Scarcity changes how we think.

If you are really pressed for time, below is an excerpt from the first article:

Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much (excerpts)


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December 31, 2013 Posted by | behaviour, decision making, economics, psychology | , , , , , , | 1 Comment