Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

Behavioral Economics is applying knowledge of human behaviour to economics. There is need to go to the opposite direction. Economics analysis of applied to human behaviour.

Biases are are not always errors. They can be cognitive shortcuts and optimizations that may be reasonable heuristic.

There Is More to Behavioral Economics Than Biases and Fallacies http://behavioralscientist.org/there-is-more-to-behavioral-s...

> A widespread misconception is that biases explain or even produce behavior. They don’t—they describe behavior. The endowment effect does not cause people to demand more for a mug they received than a mug-less counterpart is prepared to pay for one. It is not because of the sunk cost fallacy that we hang on to a course of action we’ve invested a lot in already. Biases, fallacies, and so on are no more than labels for a particular type of observed behavior, often in a peculiar context, that contradicts traditional economics’ simplified view of behavior.

>The conversation around biases is almost uniformly negative: they screw up our decision making, or undermine our health, wealth, and happiness. However, biases evolved with us, and for good reasons...

It's widely acknowledged in behavioral economics that biases have their uses. In fact, usually the phrase used to describe them is "Heuristics and Biases"[1].

It's first and foremost a heuristic -- a reasonably good way to generate good behavior. Secondarily, in certain specific situations, it causes non-optimal behavior.

[1] ( https://www.amazon.com/Heuristics-Biases-Psychology-Intuitiv... )

Exactly, discovering economic biases is like discovering optical illusions. The existence of optical illusions doesn't mean that human sight is always flawed, only flawed in certain edge cases.

"All models are wrong, but some are useful." -- statistician George E.P. Box

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact