TEDxBoston 2012

Jodi Beggs

Context is King

We're biased by what we expect

Curator’s Pick: “What’s the problem with being influenced by all that? After all, isn’t blissful part of being blissfully ignorant?”

Billboard charts, restaurant reviews, and word-of-mouth recommendations have been around for decades, but indicators of popularity and perceived quality have never been as pervasive as in our current environment. Economists traditionally assume that more information enables people to maximize their utility or happiness, but behavioral economists and social psychologists have identified a number of ways in which context and perceived social preferences systematically bias our choices and experiences in potentially unproductive ways.  Being aware of the powerful effects our preconceived notions have on our actual experiences can help to mitigate our biases and lead to better choices.



Jodi is best known as the creator of Economists Do It With Models, an educational blog and portal to various multimedia resources for economics students and instructors.  Jodi is also the economics writer for About.com and a lecturer in both the economics and music departments at Northeastern University, where she teaches courses on behavioral economics and consumer behavior.  Jodi’s current focus is on applying the insights of behavioral economics to the music industry in order to help musicians and music professionals navigate their rapidly changing competitive landscape.  In general, Jodi is passionate about economic education because she believes that understanding basic economics can help people be more informed voters, make better choices as consumers, and generally not suck at life.

For more information, visit:  www.economistsdoitwithmodels.com

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