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Science & Environment

Are We Wired To Be Bad With Money?

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Money Paradox.

About Laurie Santos's TEDTalk

Psychologist Laurie Santos studies human irrationality by observing how primates make decisions — including some not-so-savvy money choices their human relatives often make.

About Laurie Santos

Maybe it's not our environments that are messed up. Maybe it's actually us that's designed badly.

Laurie Santos runs the Comparative Cognition Laboratory at Yale, where she explores the evolutionary origins of the human mind by studying lemurs, Capuchin monkeys and other primates.

Santos looks not only for positive human-like traits, but irrational ones, like biased decision-making, jealousy, frustration, and risky economic choices. As humans search for clues to our irrational behavior, Santos's research suggests that the source of our genius for bad decisions might be our monkey brains.

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