Life in Pieces — Thank You Cards

 

Colleen and Matt are back from their wedding, but they haven’t written any thank you cards. Joan tries to drop hints by buying them thank you cards, but now she’s gotten to the point of just telling them they need to write thank you cards. Colleen realizes they need to do this because they want gifts later for their baby shower. This self-interest has sparked an idea! While it may be fair to write each person an individual card, Colleen and Matt realize it’s much more efficient to make a thank you video that people can share. The gesture isn’t well received at brunch. Often, improvements in efficiency (in this case making a video and saving the couple time) come at the cost of equity (many family members feel this isn’t fair).

Life in Pieces — Flight Vouchers

 

Colleen and Matt are at the airport waiting for their flight, but it’s overbooked. They realize that they can receive flight vouchers for volunteering to wait for the next flight. Throughout the day, they continue to volunteer to be moved to the next flight until the last flight of the day is cancelled. The two end up missing their own wedding, but they are compensated with the “free hotel.” The scene outlines the value of time that people have in their willingness to delay their travel, but it also shows the potential risk of not making it somewhere.

Thanks to Peach for the clip suggestion!

Brooklyn 99 — Monty Hall Problem

 

Kevin and Ray haven’t seen each other in a while because of their scheduled change and come to a disagreement on the famous Monty Hall problem. Captain Holt believes the probabilities should only be 50/50 since there are two doors remaining, but Kevin, correctly, informs him the odds are 1/3 that you selected the correct initially and 2/3rds that it’s in the other door.┬áThe Monty Hall problem has also been covered in the movie 21 and the TV show Numb3rs.

Thanks to James Tierney for the recommendation:

Broad City — Social Cause Drinking

 

The girls go out drinking at a new bar that focuses on large social causes, like childhood hunger and sex trafficking. From a behavioral standpoint, highlighting the important of social causes can cause people to pay more for their goods and services because they feel like they are making a bigger impact. The girls aren’t as impressed with the framing.

Thanks to Alex Witowski from Course Hero for the reference

Speed Camera Lottery

How can we convince people to drive a safer speed? Kevin Richardson proposed setting up a speed camera (which are common across Europe) and take some of the money that is spent on ticketing speeders to redistribute to drivers who were driving the correct speed. Instead of using the potential fine as an incentive to discourage bad behavior, it cane be re-framed as an opportunity to be rewarded for good behavior.

Straight Talk — Income Effect

Cut your cell phone expenses in half and all of a sudden you feel a bit richer, but does that mean you think you should be driving a significantly more expensive car? When incomes increase, we tend to purchase more items, but luxury goods require a pretty substantial increase.

Qwest Communications — Free Wifi

People will go to great lengths to get “free” wifi even though they may not realize the cost associated with the decision. In this commercial for Qwest Communication, they try to offer wifi where people actually want to go.

Moneyball — Prospect Theory

 

In his attempt to transform the Oakland Athletics, Billy Beane tries a revolutionary new approach to scouting players based on their productivity rather than purely on how they look on the field. During one of the montages, Beane expresses that his desire to win is dwarfed by his hatred of losing. He keenly tells his player that there is a difference between the two. His attitude is the mindset of prospect theory and loss aversion.

Life in Pieces — Property Rights

 

Joan and John want to build a gazebo in their backyard, but it turns out the surveyors messed up the property lines and part of what they believed was their property actually belonged to their neighbors, Daryl and Pam. The easiest solution is to ask the neighbors for an easement, which would allow them to take over a portion of their property. The neighbors try to bargain and offer a price of $5000, but it seems past bad blood makes the exchange more difficult.

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