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Each day we’re faced with seemingly humdrum decisions that reflect subconscious biases — and shape our personal, professional, and financial futures. Joining in a group sing-along, even if you don’t know the song’s lyrics?Most people, by contrast, are more motivated by the prospect of avoiding a loss.Loss Aversion refers to our tendency to be roughly twice as motivated by the prospect of losing something as we are by gaining something of equal value*.We don’t suspect that these biases could be working against our own best interests, as we consider deals, discounts, penalties, suggested prices, and bandwagon offers.That’s why we collaborated with Charles Schwab and the Wharton School’s Katherine Milkman — a noted professor, behavioral economist, and the new host of Charles Schwab’s “Choiceology” podcast — to create a quick assessment test.Like most people, your answer suggests you’re somewhat loss-averse.You have a “rational” response to the BYOB incentive. Loss Aversion refers to our tendency to be roughly twice as motivated by the prospect of losing something as we are by gaining something of equal value*. doi:10.1111/1467-8721.01242Your answer suggests that, like most people, you sometimes over-weight present rewards relative to future ones.

You’re a bit atypical, as your answer suggests you’re somewhat more motivated by gaining a discount than avoiding an equivalent fine.

Research dating back to the 1950s by Solomon Asch demonstrated the power of social norms*. Learn how decision biases may affect you at Schwab.

And Robert Cialdini** (an expert in persuasion, compliance, and negotiation) undertook pioneering studies to show how we follow the crowd in various ways and settings, ranging from hotel towel re-use, to energy conservation, to littering. Your answer suggests that, like most people, you may be swayed by anchors.

Our innate tendency to follow social norms can be a bias, or it can be a useful tool of influence, depending on how it’s harnessed. Present Bias: If you ask most people if they would rather start a new diet today or next week, they’ll choose next week. Anchoring describes our tendency to stick to any arbitrary number that crosses our path when making an estimate or judgment. Next, the same people were asked to estimate the number of African countries in the U. Their guesses were substantially influenced by the random “anchor” number.

Learn how decision biases may affect you at Schwab. The problem is, when next week becomes today, they’ll put it off again. The 2017 Nobel Prize for economics was awarded to economist Richard Thaler in part for his work on present bias and self-control failures**. Psychologists Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman ran an experiment*, decades ago, in which people saw a random number on a roulette wheel and were then asked to state if the number of African countries in the U. This “anchoring” effect is stronger when we make estimates that don’t feel arbitrary.

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