Empowering People through Behavioral Science

Purpose & Wealth

In exploring the human experience of purpose, the NPP project has identified several core themes that are particularly significant, and which provide a useful framework for organizing our activities.  This page displays the content from this website tagged for one of those themes: Purpose & Wealth.

Work on Purpose & Wealth is grounded in the question of how one’s pursuit and achievement of purpose is affected by wealth. How does one decide how much wealth to devote to different kinds of significant activities, and how might the investment of money or other resources in the self vs. others relate to the experience and fulfillment of purpose as well as to well-being and happiness? How does wealth relate to the pursuit of personal and prosocial goals? How are personal and prosocial goals affected when one has great wealth, compared to little wealth? See below for content related to our emerging insights.

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Sep 29 2015
Practical Tools for Purpose

Behaviorists Show the U.S. How to Improve Government Operations

(New York Times) The federal government found a clever way to make a little extra money last summer.

In the News
Sep 25 2015
Practical Tools for Purpose

Using Science to Make Government Work Better

(Scientific American) On September 15th, President Obama issued an executive order that acknowledges something we have known for a long time: Human beings are not rational creatures who reliably fill out tax documents, enroll in savings programs, or apply for loans, as economic models assume they do. Instead, they systematically and predictably make decisions that run counter to their best interests, as centuries of observations suggest and behavioral science research now empirically confirms.

In the News
Sep 24 2015
Practical Tools for Purpose

Behavioural economics for better decisions

(ABC) Humans 'misbehave'—we're irrational, indecisive and passionate, yet conventional economics assumes that we will always act logically. Can using a more realistic understanding of human behaviour nudge us to change our way of thinking? 

In the News
Sep 20 2015
Practical Tools for Purpose

This will really make Americans save

(USA Today) Can a doctored webcam photo save your retirement?

In the News
Sep 18 2015
Practical Tools for Purpose

Why the U.S. Government Is Embracing Behavioral Science

(Harvard Business Review) For anyone interested in human behavior and decision making, September 15 will likely be a day to remember. On that day, President Obama ordered government agencies to use behavioral science insights to “better serve the American people.” In his executive order, Obama instructed federal agencies to identify policies and operations where applying findings from behavioral science could improve “public welfare, program outcomes, and program cost effectiveness,” design strategies for using behavioral science insights, and recruit behavioral experts whenever considered necessary or helpful. 

In the News
Sep 16 2015
Practical Tools for Purpose

Can a doctored photo save your retirement?

(CNBC) Can a doctored webcam photo save your retirement?

In the News
Sep 07 2015
Purpose & Wealth

Giving to charity makes us happy, but most miserable time is our 40s: experts

(The Globe and Mail) Giving to others not only makes us happier but can help lower our blood pressure, while humans are most miserable in their 40s for deeply rooted biological reasons, researchers told a conference in London last week. Experts from Britain and Canada were debating the latest research on happiness and altruism, as part of a conference on “nudging” – using psychological insights into human behaviour to get people to make good decisions.

In the News
Sep 05 2015
Practical Tools for Purpose

Americans made this absurd decision the last time gasoline prices crashed

(Business Insider) The last time oil prices crashed and brought down the price of gas, US consumers spent more money on gas. 

In the News
Aug 25 2015
Purpose & Wealth

The No-Stress Way to Survive a Stormy Market

(TIME) Sometimes the best investing move you can make is to just take a walk.

In the News
Aug 24 2015
Purpose & Wealth

How Emotion Hurts Stock Returns

(New York Times) As investors watched global stock markets tumble, the behavioral economist Richard Thaler, who is also an occasional contributor to The New York Times, offered the following advice: “Inhale, exhale. Repeat. Then watch ESPN.”

In the News

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