December 29, 2016

Trump’s Cabinet Choices: Aggressive is Hard to Play Against

President-elect Donald Trump has now announced almost all of his choices for Cabinet positions. By any definition, many of his choices are much more aggressive than those of his predecessors. There are few “safe” or “compromise” picks among the appointees. Many, if not most, of Trump’s choices would be expected to draw fire and risk […]

November 4, 2016

Trump Might Be Smarter Than You Think

Philip Bump of the Washington Post wrote a piece published Saturday morning asking “Why was Donald Trump campaigning in Johnstown, Pennsylvania?” It’s an interesting question, given the obvious things pointed out in the article: Trump trails in Pennsylvania by 6 points”, and there are “currently 10 states where the contest is closer than Pennsylvania.” Swinging […]

November 1, 2016

Nate Silver on Prediction

With the election two weeks away, it’s difficult to focus on anything else. In addition to daily election news, there are dozens of fresh polls – national polls, state polls, Senate-race polls. It’s a flood of information and a puzzle to figure out what it all means. Nate Silver, of, is a master of […]

October 19, 2016

Hank Azaria and Annie Duke Host Sold Out Poker Ball

Philadelphia – On October 8, 2016, educational nonprofit How I Decide held its inaugural Poker Ball at The Union League in Center City. The one-of-a-kind event, which raised over $225,000.00 to support How I Decide’s programming, was hosted by actor Hank Azaria and Annie Duke, a World Series of Poker Champion and How I Decide […]

October 1, 2016

When Our Plans Don’t Work Out in the Grocery Line

Earlier this month, the New York Times featured an interesting article titled “How to Pick the Fastest Lane in the Supermarket.” You will be amazed at the depth and sophistication of research on grocery lines. For example, MIT professor Richard Larson (“who is considered the foremost expert on queues”) calculated that we spend 37 billion […]

September 22, 2016

Mistaking Odds for Wrong When the Underdog wins

Mistaking Odds for Wrong When the Underdog wins: Alan Dershowitz, the famous lawyer and law professor, is clearly a super-smart guy. He recently wrote an article in the Boston Globe, picked up by, titled “Why It’s Impossible to Predict This Election.” In supporting his argument, he used the surprise result of Great Britain voting […]

September 8, 2016

Making Better Predictions by Keeping It Simple

A few days ago, I heard a story on that offered a great tip about making predictions. I strongly recommend that you listen to the story, “Want to Make Better Predictions? Researchers Explore How.” In under three minutes, it provides valuable insights into predictions and acting on them. Shankar Vedantam, host of the Hidden […]

August 31, 2016

How Resets Predict When We Look for a New Job

Imagine overhearing this conversation: Person 1 asks, “Are you happy?” Person 2 responds, “Compared to whom?” If you are the first person, you probably think that response is not a good sign. If you are the second person, however, that response is actually pretty reasonable. For all the importance we place on happiness (or satisfaction […]

August 13, 2016

On the Olympic Medal Stand, It’s Easy to Confuse “Goals” with “Strategies”

Steve Martin’s stand-up comedy, some of which you can find on YouTube, put a brilliant twist on self-deprecating humor. Instead of presenting himself as a “suffering everyman” (think Rodney Dangerfield or Woody Allen), he created a suave, smug onstage persona. Then he became of the butt of the jokes as he repeatedly showed how he […]

August 3, 2016

Would You Risk Death for an Olympic Gold Medal? Temporal Discounting and the Zika Virus

In the run-up to the start of the Summer Olympics on Friday, a lot of stories have focused on the health risks from the Zika virus. Fear of the virus is fueled by every high-profile announcement of an athlete skipping the Olympics. Athletes are having to make a calculation about whether to participate, weighing the […]

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