If you only made it through a few chapters of Thinking Fast & Slow, sit back and enjoy our collection of 5 must-watch TED Talks on behavioural economics, psychology and decision making biases.

Dan Ariely: Are we in control of our own decisions?

A good breakdown of some of the basic pillars of behavioural economics. In his famously humorous style, Dan Ariely makes the case that our decision-making is irrational, our cognitive perception is flawed, and that we can benefit from becoming more aware of psychological biases.

Key learning: If we understood our cognitive limitations in the same way as our physical limitations, we could design a better world.

Dan Gilbert: Why we make bad decisions.

This talk is a brilliant 30-minute assessment of the flaws behind our decision making from a very charismatic speaker. Dan Gilbert discusses the big role context and relative comparisons have on influencing our day-to-day choices. This includes fun anecdotes and examples around why we play the lottery, the attraction of gambling and why impatience costs us.

Key learning: Present choices are sabotaged by our failure to accurately predicting how we’ll feel in the future.

Barry Schwartz: The Paradox of Choice.

Being offered too many choices can actually stop us making any choices at all. Barry Schwartz explains how in our world of increasing autonomy and pressure on individual decisions, there is a growing problem of choice paralysis. He argues that too many choices and exponentially growing expectations can result in huge dissatisfaction and increase our level of personal blame. Important learnings for marketing and product management!

Key learning: Maximising our personal freedom and choice does not maximise our happiness!

Tali Sharot: The Optimism Bias.

Contrary to the belief that our harsh modern world has turned us into cynics, it seems that the human race is essentially optimistic. With 80% of us overestimating our personal likelihood of experiencing good events, and underestimating our likelihood to experience bad events, Tali Sharot looks at how this affects our general mood and behaviour.

Key learning: While optimism bias stops us from being depressed, it can also cause us to make risky decisions about our future.

Daniel Kahneman: The Riddle of Experience vs Memory.

The (arguable) founder of Behavioural Economics looks at the impact of memory on happiness. He explores the conflict between our “experiencing self” and “remembering self”, i.e. how our experience of the world is not the same as our memory of these experiences. This has a big impact on our personal choices, life satisfaction and even public policy – and should resonate with customer experience practitioners.

Key Learning: What happens at the very end of experiences, colours our memory and our ultimate sense of satisfaction with the entire event.

Want to put some of this knowledge into practice? At Prime Decision we use behavioural insights and behavioural economics to help our clients change customer and employee behaviour. Find out more on our services page, or drop us a line to see some case studies!