David Brooks on “The Unexamined Society”

In a recent Opinion piece for the New York Times, columnist David Brooks argued for the value of behavioral studies and critiqued a bill working through Congress that would eliminate the National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences.

As an example of the value of behavioral research, Brooks discussed a new book pending from Princeton professor Eldar Shafir and Harvard professor Sendhil Mullainathan. Brooks describes the book as an exploration of “how scarcity — whether of time, money or calories (while dieting) — affects your psychology. They are also studying how poor people’s self-perceptions shape behavior. Many people don’t sign up for the welfare benefits because they are intimidated by the forms.”

Click here to read David Brooks’ column in its entirety.

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