Dr. Adam Alter (Associate Professor of Marketing and Psychology at New York University, Stern School of Business) will give our spring DSC colloquium on April 6th at 4pm.
Title: Exceptions are the Rule: Why We Overeat and Overspend on "Exceptional" Occasions
Abstract: People readily make excuses when they overspend and overeat, pointing to the "exceptional" nature of the expense or the food. It's okay to eat two pieces of birthday cake, for example, and to spend more on birthday gifts than planned because birthdays are exceptional occasions. Though this logic holds for isolated exceptions, in truth people have a relaxed definition of "exceptional," and in aggregate these exceptions are remarkably common. Consequently, we regularly overspend and overeat, blowing our caloric and financial budgets because we bracket consumption occasions too narrowly. In this presentation, I give evidence for this phenomenon, try to understand why it occurs, and suggest some remedies.