Issue 136 - 01 | A New Mirror

By Shlomo Benartzi
Published Dec. 17, 2015 10:00 a.m.
“In the 21st century, human nature has discovered a new mirror. Thanks to the rise of smartphones and wearables, such as the Apple Watch, we can now monitor our body and behavior in exquisite detail, tracking everything from the amount of sleep we get to the number of calories we swallow. We can count our steps and resting pulse, compare our social network and spending habits. (There’s even a smartphone app that can tell you how often you check your smartphone.) Only a few years before, quantifying these aspects of life would have required a trained team of professionals. Now we can do it with the slim computer in our pocket.

Unfortunately, it’s not clear that this new feedback is helping us make better decisions. … These new digital mirrors are certainly cool. I want to make them useful.”

About Shlomo Benartzi | Shlomo Benartzi is a professor and co-chair of the Behavioral Decision-Making Group at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. He is the author of Save More Tomorrow and Thinking Smarter. His latest book is The Smarter Screen: Surprising Ways to Influence and Improve Online Behavior. He has extensive experience applying behavioral economic insights in the real world, having increased the saving rates of millions of Americans through his work with Richard Thaler, and has advised many government agencies and businesses.

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