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Behavioural economics on Valentine’s Day

A joke blog today.  Slightly better than the dreadful economics valentine’s jokes here.

Sorry to seem so hopelessly unromantic.  Economists struggle a bit with love and romance, since it can very often come across as irrational.  But economists don’t know everything, and love is all that really matters.

See if you think some Valentine lovers may actually be the victims of one or more of these cognitive biases, all of which regularly crop up in behavioural economics:

  • Choice supportive bias: when you choose something, you tend to feel positive about it, even if that choice has flaws.  Like a dodgy girlfriend or boyfriend.
  • Confirmation bias: Only listening to information that fits your pre-conceived view.  You hear the nice things people have to say about your romantic partner.  You choose to be deaf to any other view.
  • Conservatism bias: favouring old information, rather than newer information that has come to light.  He or she used to be nice.  Once, at the start of the relationship.  You’ve stopped noticing how consistently horrible they have been over the last few months.
  • Ostrich effect: ignoring negative information by ‘burying your head in the sand’.  Because things will get better…
  • Selective perception:  since our expectations influence how we perceive the world, you may have stopped noticing how annoying your partner really is.  You perceive what you want to perceive.  The reality can be different.
  • Blind spot bias: failing to spot your own biases….

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