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Moral foundations: how and why do moral judgments vary across the political spectrum?

In recent years, a growing body of research has been investigating the role of morality in the formation of political attitudes and the association between individuals’ moral beliefs and political ideology.   In particular, Jonathan Haidt’s thesis allowed us to discover the importance of moral intuitions in building our political identity: by constructing his Moral Foundations Theory, Haidt detected the six underlying moral principles that shape our politics.   Intuitions come first   Using […]

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Mastering diplomacy: how to get what you want when agreement looks like a mirage

Diplomacy has deeply ancient roots: historians and anthropologists found traces of it in the Middle East, China, and India in the first millennium BCE. Chinese diplomatic apparatus included leagues, missions, a system of polite discourses between “warring states”, and even resident envoys who served as hostages to guarantee the good behavior of those who sent […]

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Behavioral urban planning: how cities affect our biases

The Greek city-states, the “pòleis”, were designed, starting from the VIII century BC, with the aim of fostering the communal decisions and the sharing of philosophical knowledge. Almost thirty centuries later, our cities do not always seem to be planned to be people-oriented. On the contrary, our urban areas, which are home to more than […]

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Into the mind of Mr. X

The idea for this article was born scrolling through my Facebook home page during the last months. Without doing it on purpose, my attention was captured every time by the posts of one of my Facebook contacts, who will be called Mr. X for privacy reasons. Mr. X is an avid Facebook user, publisher of […]

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The hidden power of stories: how narratives shape the world

Throughout the history of humankind, stories have always played an essential role: they shaped people’s traditions, defined their religious beliefs, gave birth to their common wisdom and their profound values. Perhaps most importantly, storytelling allowed  cultural heritage to be transmitted across generations through a series of alterations or exaggerations. Our daily lives are pervaded by […]

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Too good to be true?

As behavioral economics becomes the hottest economic theory for firms and policymakers promising easy and cheap fixes, it becomes crucial to remember that it also has its dark side. Over the past decade, behavioral economics has become the whiz kid of economic research. Suddenly, traditional models which relied on unrealistic assumptions were criticized and modernized. […]

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Our Work Politics

Elections Special

Are we really in control of our voting behaviour? A behavioral insight on voting preferences and media influence by Valentina Saponara and Enrico Grassi The upcoming US election has the world holding its breath: soon American citizens will cast their vote and shape the future of one of the most relevant actors on the international […]

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Fighting Coronavirus with Behavioural Economics

Why cant people just follow the rules? A look at the biases behind irrational behaviour in the midst of a pandemic Over the past few decades, behavioural economics has exploded as a field of study, not only enriching basic economic models, but also yielding novel insights into the cognitive predispositions of humans. In fact, these […]

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Irrational Investments Our Work

Behavioural insights into financial bubbles

Financial bubbles is one of the topics in economics that are intuitive to most people, except for economists. A financial, or speculative bubble, is characterized by a rapid increase in prices of an asset, without much consideration for its intrinsic value, followed by a burst, that is, a sudden reduction in prices. Seems simple enough, […]

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This can’t be happening to me

Think back to any movie you’ve seen involving a disaster, whether it was a tsunami or a plane crash. More than likely, the footage of the actual disaster was accompanied by hordes of people screaming and running for their lives. As with many Hollywood depictions of various events, however, the reality of things is quite […]