About Dan

Bio

About Dan
Despite our intentions, why do we so often fail to act in our own best interest? Why do we promise to skip the chocolate cake, only to find ourselves drooling our way into temptation when the dessert tray rolls around? Why do we overvalue things that we’ve worked to put together? What are the forces that influence our behavior? Dan Ariely, James B. Duke Professor of Psychology & Behavioral Economics at Duke University, is dedicated to answering these questions and others in order to help people live more sensible – if not rational – lives. His interests span a wide range of behaviors, and his sometimes unusual experiments are consistently interesting, amusing and informative, demonstrating profound ideas that fly in the face of common wisdom.
He holds appointments at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, the Department of Economics, the School of Medicine, and is a senior fellow at the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke.
He is a founding member of the Center for Advanced Hindsight and the author of the New York Times bestsellers Predictably Irrational, The Upside of Irrationality, and The Honest Truth About Dishonesty. In 2013 Bloomberg recognized Dan as one of Top 50 Most Influential thinkers. He also has a bi-weekly advice column in the Wall Street Journal called “Ask Ariely.” Dan can be found at www.danariely.com.

Languages

English, Hebrew

TED Conferences

TED2013, TED2011, TED2010, TED2009

Areas of Expertise

Decision Making (normative, prescriptive), Psychology (general) , economics and business management, Behavioural Economic

An idea worth spreading

People are irrational, often in unexpected ways

I'm passionate about

Applications of behavioral economics for better decisions and better policies

Talk to me about

Experiments about anything

People don't know I'm good at

Cooking, Squash

My TED story

I won the IgNobel prize in medicine

Favorite talks

Comments & conversations

26304
Dan Ariely
Posted over 3 years ago
What are the effects of taxes on motivation and productivity?
It is interesting that in general, people have less aversion to consumption tax, and I think that it is because consumption tax seems more discretionary and at the control of the individual. But as Bill Cromie points out, there are a few things that people have to get (some heat, food, transpiration, education etc) which makes it much less discretionary and much less appealing. One approach is to have consumption tax only on luxury goods, but this seems much less appealing.
26304
Dan Ariely
Posted over 3 years ago
What are the effects of taxes on motivation and productivity?
One one thing that I wonder about is the effect of a step tax rates vs a continuous one. Right now all progressive tax rates get contributions up to a certain amount to be without taxes (for example the first $10,000 are exempt), then there is a low marginal tax on the next amount (between 10,000-20,000), then the tax rate increases. Such systems create very clear steps and maybe stopping rules (I don't want to get to the next tax bracket), but what is the tax rate was continuous and slightly increased with every amount earned? Would this make the motivation to work higher or lower?
26304
Dan Ariely
Posted over 3 years ago
What are the effects of taxes on motivation and productivity?
Sadly this is not the reality in the US. The US has one of the lowest effective marginal tax rate in the world (given all the incentives and loopholes) and yet businesses work very hard to hide income. David Cay Johnston (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Cay_Johnston) who won many awards for tax reporting describes some of the shenanigans that US businesses engage in -- and I highly recommend his books and blog
26304
Dan Ariely
Posted over 3 years ago
What are the effects of taxes on motivation and productivity?
This is a common argument about taxes, but it is not clear to me that governments make worse decisions than individuals. In particular, if you take into account the amazing force of "economies of scale" it suggests that even with a very high level of waste that governments can have a very efficient outcome compared with lots of individuals making decisions.