David Halpern Quotes

Best 9 Quotes by David Halpern

“For whatever reason, architecture and planning does not have an empirical, evidence-based tradition in the sense that psychologists or the social sciences would understand. There are very few studies that ever go back to look at whether one type of dwelling or another, or one type of office or another, has a systematic impact on how people behave, or feel, or interact with one another.”

“Frederick The Great is sometimes credited with encouraging Europeans to eat potatoes. First of all he tried to pass laws and threaten people. He realized that wasn't working well and he changed the tactic.

He got his guys to plant a field of potatoes outside the palace and he put some of his guards on and says "Don't do a very good job." People started stealing the potatoes and planting the everywhere.”

“I know everyone likes to say, ‘We’re sick of experts’, but it doesn’t appear to be the case.”

“In India it has been found that if you give workers their money in two tranches they are more likely to save. It’s even more effective if you give them the envelopes with pictures of their kids on it, or if they have to tear that picture in order to get the money.”

“It's worth noting that our environment is full of nudges that, for the most part, make our lives safer, easier and more comfortable. Most people don’t feel that it’s a deep infringement on their rights that we have rumble bars on motorways – but we’re pretty glad someone put them there if we lose our focus or fall asleep at 70 miles an hour. Of course, if you’re really determined to crash your car into the central reservation, the rumble bar won’t stop you. It’s difficult to see why we should not, as a matter of principle, have the rumble bar.”

“Often the role of government may be not to introduce new nudges, but to help reduce some that are already out there. The decision to cover-up cigarette displays is a recent example.”

“One can never convince everyone. Now that would be scary!”

“Take someone trying to decide where to work. They can get info about what they might earn, but not much else. Will you be happy? Do you have progression opportunities? Is the boss an *sshole?

There are websites like Glassdoor, but imagine you had something more like TripAdvisor that was filled out and really rich in information about firms.

What then happens is that good firms get the best candidates because they go there, and the worst firms have to start paying the market premium because you have ‘de-shrouded’ their attributes.”

“Wouldn’t it be a good thing if people were more aware of how they are influenced, of the short-cuts in our heads that sometimes get them into trouble? After all, most of the nudges in the world aren’t from government, but from businesses, from other people, or sometimes just in the environment around us.”

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“Science is the only news. When you scan a news portal or magazine, all the human interest stuff is the same old he-said-she-said, the politics and economics the same cyclical dramas, the fashions a pathetic illusion of newness; even the technology is predictable if you know the science behind it. Human nature doesn't change much; science does, and the change accrues, altering the world irreversibly”

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