A while back I was in the Midwest for a visit and went out with a friend. My friend brought another friend, a guy I know, but not very well. Since I was last home, he had become a psychiatrist. So as we sat in a bar in south St. Louis I told him that I was reading a lot about behavioral economics. As I had hoped, he took the bait and asked what that was. So I gave him my canned response: “a cross section between economics and psychology,” which I thought might have intrigued him. I added that it focuses on the issue of irrational decisions.

He seemed rather unimpressed and replied that people rationalize their actions.

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