Freakonomics By Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner is based on these fundamental ideas: Incentives, conventional wisdom, “Experts”-use their informational advantage
Incentives are the cornerstone of modern life. And understanding them or, often, ferreting them out—is the key to solving just about any riddle, from violent crime to sports cheating to online dating.There are three basic incentives economic, moral and social. How do we profit and what incentives drive us to act unethical? The author describes the research he used to identify a number of Chicago public school teachers who helped their students cheat on standardized tests. According to Levitt & Dubner “In 1996, the Chicago Public School System implemented high-stakes testing and the schools that received the lowest scores would be placed on probation or shut down.”(23) would take all the test and change a few answers privately. Like many other professions teachers want to be the best. According to Levitt & Dubner People cheated more often during bad weather and around stressful holidays like Christmas, Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day. “Free holidays” like Independence Day and President’s Day produced the opposite behavior. I strongly believe that People will cheat and steal with the right incentives.
The conventional wisdom is often wrong. Crime didn’t keep soaring in the 1990s, money alone doesn’t win elections, and—surprise—drinking eight glasses of water a day has never actually been shown to do a thing for your health. Conventional wisdom is often shoddily formed and devilishly difficult to see through, but it can be done… The massive crime drop in 1990s was believed to be an affect of conventual wisdom when in reality it had nothing to do with conventual wisdom but another factor played a huge role in the massive crime drop. According to Levitt & Dubner “Norma McCorvey dramatically altered the course of events without intending to. All she wanted was an abortion”.(3) McCorvey knew she...
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