|Born||1969 (age 47â€“48)
|Residence||New York City, New York, U.S.|
London Business School
Max Planck Institute
|Alma mater||University of Chicago|
|Doctoral advisor||Gerd Gigerenzer|
|Known for||Decision making
|Notable awards||Max Planck Institute Otto Hahn Medal (1997)|
One of the primary reasons why the human brain has evolved to look so far into the future is so that we can take actions in the present that will bring us to a better future rather than a worse one.
If you set goals for yourself, and you're like a lot of other people, you probably realize it's not that your goals are physically impossible that's keeping you from achieving them; it's that you lack the self-discipline to stick to them. It's physically possible to lose weight. It's physically possible to exercise more.
My history is pretty different from the history of most professors. I was a high school dropout. I dropped out and became a science fiction writer.
Psychology, unlike chemistry, unlike algebra, unlike literature, is an owner's manual for your own mind. It's a guide to life. What could be more important than grounding young people in the scientific information that they need to live happy, healthy, productive lives? To have good relationships?
When a number of crimes – for instance, burglaries – can be linked to the same offender, police often plot the locations on a map. The art of finding the location of the criminal's home based on the crime sites is a key objective in what is known as geographical profiling.
Psychologists and economists love to talk about the notion of two selves: present self and future self. It's a nice way to explain the tendency to have one preference about the future, but a very different preference when the future becomes the present.
Let's face it: the present self is present. It's in control. It's in power right now. It has these strong, heroic arms that can lift doughnuts into your mouth. And the future self is not even around. It's off in the future. It's weak. It doesn't even have a lawyer present.
I think self-discipline is something, it's like a muscle. The more you exercise it, the stronger it gets.
I think the problem with the word 'happiness' is that it sounds fluffy. It sounds like something trivial that we shouldn't be concerned with.
I was creating commitment devices of my own long before I knew what they were. So when I was a starving post-doc at Columbia University, I was deep in a publish-or-perish phase of my career. I had to write five pages a day towards papers, or I would have to give up five dollars.