Policy essays from a young nerd

Check out the new link to an early essay on my research page.  Apparently, I’ve been in this business too long…

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(research) Losing Face — Working Paper up! Qn. to reader. Ariely’s mis-use of “Yenta”.

The wait is over… the “Losing Face” working paper (co-author David Hugh-Jones) is up (click here).

In it, we ask the reader:

Which of scenarios below would likely cause you more psychological pain?
1. A friend or colleague to whom you have not expressed interest informs you, in talking about her tastes in men, that she wouldn’t go out with you because you are not “her type.” She gives no indication that she knows you are interested in her.
2. Without having the conversation in scenario 1, you ask this same person out on a date and she refuses because you are not “her type.”

Anyone want to volunteer an answer or humorous story on this note?

By the way, since in the paper we mention the connection  between internet dating and I will take this post as an opportunity to be persnickity about Dan Ariely’s “Upside of Irrationality.”  In chapter 8 he uses the Yiddish expression “Yenta” as synonymous with matchmaker. But this is straight from “Fiddler on the Roof” — Yenta was the *name* of the matchmaker there, not her profession.  The real Yiddish word for matchmaker (and I say this not as a linguist nor a speaker of this semi-living language, but as a skimmer of Leo Rosten’s “The Joys of Yiddish”) is “shadchen” (or “shadchan”).   This is akin to saying “English people used to have a woman who took care of their children, called a ‘Mary Poppins.” Or, “children of the early 21st century used to play with a stuffed animal, called an ‘Elmo.'” < Cringe>

Looking for charities for fundraising experiments

We (myself and several colleagues in economics and psychology) are currently planning and running experiments  involving social influences on giving, reputation effects,  and commitments to give “bonus income”. We may be able help you learn more about your donors, and improve your fundraising. If you think your organization might be interested in participating, please contact me at daaronr at essex.ac.uk.

For more information see: the science of workplace giving — experiments