The Sunday Diigo Links Post (weekly)

by Yule Heibel on January 9, 2011

    As behavioral economists—who use social, cognitive, and emotional factors to understand how people make choices—refine their understanding of what helps us stick to commitments, they are using this information to design new tools. Not surprisingly, money turns out to be a good motivator.

    Ian Ayres, a behavioral economist at Yale, developed a website called, on which users set a specific goal and then pledge a sum of money to forfeit should they fail to achieve it. Unlike other sites that track weight loss and fitness goals and offer support via social networking, StickK leverages another discovery from behavioral economics: our extreme dislike of losing money.

    “The specter of losing money is twice as motivating as the possibility of gaining the same amount of money,” says Rose.

    tags: mit_techreview behavioral_economics cognitive_function apps

    Cities face many challenges in the coming years: municipal debt, onerous taxes, the cost of living, and crumbling infrastructure, among others. But whatever the genuine threats to urban prosperity, human contact is more important than ever in the age of information technology, and people will continue to seek places where they can share ideas, make transactions, and pursue their dreams. There’s nowhere better to do these things than big cities.

    tags: urbanism city_journal mario_polese

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

ben ziegler January 10, 2011 at 1:00 pm

Timely post Yule. Profiling StickK coincides with Seth Godin’s post today re: managing your digital time; e.g., via product. All these tools to help us with our “self discipline” issues.

Yule January 26, 2011 at 5:24 pm

And Seth Godin is always timely, isn’t he?

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