Predictably Irrational


I’ve been reading Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely.  This is an introduction to behavioral economics explained through experiments Ariely has run.

So far the most important chapters for me as a teacher have been the chapter on procrastination and the chapter on cheating. While it’s not surprising, students tend to do best with firm, regularly spaced deadlines rather than with student chosen deadlines, or end of semester deadlines. A more surprising result is that something as simple as signing an honor statement reduced cheating in experiments.

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