A Word on Titles

July 22, 2016 BY danariely

Currently I am working on a graphic novel with the lab illustrator, Matt Trower. We are playing with titles and trying to decide what will be the best fit. If you’re willing to help us choose our favorite title, please follow the this link to weigh in.

Thank you!

A Survey about Spending

June 13, 2016 BY danariely

As spending money becomes easier (think of credit cards, Apple Pay, and Google Wallet, among others), we have more opportunities to spend our money well, and to spend it not so well. In collaboration with Qapital, we have made a survey to learn about what kinds of purchases people feel good about, and what kinds they regret. Note that this link and survey is secured by the highest possible internet and bank standards.

Please help us by participating in this short study and reflecting on your past transactions. We will randomly choose some participants to get the chance to have a 30-minute chat with me. You have our immense gratitude.

Click on the following link to begin: https://duke.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_bNNOX3E1I4HLI2h

Now Accepting Startup Lab Applications

June 7, 2016 BY danariely

SL_Logo1The Center for Advanced Hindsight at Duke is now accepting applications for its second cohort of the Startup Lab, which begins October 2016.

Health and Finance startups with a keen interest in applying behavioral insights to their products and exploring original research opportunities in collaboration with our world-class researchers are invited to apply.

We are looking for startup teams of 2-4 who are willing and able to be in Durham, NC for the duration of the program (October 2016-June 2017).

For details on the Startup Lab’s timeline, structure, and investment model, click here and check out the illustration below.

Strong applicants are health or finance startups committed to changing behavior for good. We are looking for teams who are passionate in their pursuit of well-researched solutions and validation through experimentation. We want to partner with teams who are intensely interested in learning more about behavioral economics and who see the implementation of behavioral insights into their product as being vital to their success.

Have we found each other? Apply for the Startup Lab here by Sunday, July 3, 2016 at 11pm EST.


A survey about your apps

May 19, 2016 BY danariely

Dear friends,

There’s no question that we are becoming more and more dependent on our phones as a society. It’s less clear to me, however, what exactly we are doing on our smartphones, and how much time we are spending on each of these activities. If you would like to participate in a brief study, please answer a few questions about your app usage.

Take the survey.

Or copy and paste this link into your browser: https://duke.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_7Ny8PvEN8J15E8d

Thanks very much,

Research report on email use

May 18, 2016 BY danariely

First, I want to thank everyone who participated in this research.  Thanks

And now, for the results….

Email has become a mix of blessing and evil in our lives. Blessing because it has become a broad communication channel for everything—for our friends, family, work and businesses. Evil because it constantly interrupts us in our daily lives. Moreover, we end up at the mercy of other people’s timelines. It’s your list on your computer, but the order of that list and when it comes depends on when somebody else decides to send you something.

What if we could put emails on our own timeline? What if we could decide which and what kinds of emails we should receive at times that match our own schedules?

To find out, we asked over 1500 of your fellow readers to determine the ideal email timeline.

Currently, people receive 100% of emails immediately upon arrival with distracting notifications. So we asked people what percentage of their emails they wanted to see that quickly. It turns out only 11% of emails need to be shown immediately upon arrival with a notification to interrupt you.

What about the other 89% of emails? We took it a step further and asked when people needed to see the rest of their emails at various points in time: from increments of hours, the end of the day, week and month. In addition we asked what percentage of emails they would want automatically deleted and automatically archived.

We found that 31% of emails can handle a delay of 1 to 8 hours and importantly, without notifications. People need to see an additional 20% of emails by the end of the day, 11% by the end of the week and 3% by the end of the month. The remaining 24% of emails could simply be trashed or archived. 

With these email preferences in mind, imagine there was a magic email genie that would automatically categorize your messages into these various time categories. Which categories would be the most useful for everyone?

When we asked our participants, the top 4 categories people would want were emails to be divided by being send immediately (with notifications), by the end of the day, by the end of the week and — you guessed it — automatically deleted.

Right now the default of every major email service is to send notifications for emails immediately upon arrival. Roughly speaking, people only want to be interrupted for about 10% of their emails immediately upon arrival. This means that email services are hurting peoples’ attention in a counter productive way the remaining 90% of the time. How do we solve this conundrum? How can we get all the emails that people never want to see—out? Our results show that having a classification of different time frames and durations of when people need to deal with emails seem to be a useful idea. Instead of having one inbox that puts us at the mercy of other people’s timelines, maybe we need multiple inboxes that are sensitive to when something needs to be dealt with.

A Summer internship at CAH

March 29, 2016 BY danariely

If you are a student and want to try something different this summer, check this out:


Help with an email study

March 4, 2016 BY danariely

Dear friends,

For many of us, email is a source of joy and stress –  we learn a lot from it, but we also never seem to be able to keep up with our inboxes.  And in today’s world, it’s likely that we’ll be using email more and more.  A project I’m working on right now is to try to better understand how we work with email, with the hope of figuring out what is broken and what we can do about it. 

My first step is to research how we currently use email.  If you’d like to help me by completing a 5-minute survey, please contact me at dan.ariely@gmail.com.  Survey participants will not only receive my gratitude, but will also be entered for a chance to win any of my books, a 30-minute chat with me, or $500. 

Irrationally yours,


Help us test a new email app

February 19, 2016 BY danariely

There is no question that email is one of the most important communication tools. It is also clear that it is a monster that is taking over our life and attention.


A few years ago in an attempt to reduce my own communication overload, we created Shortwhale (www.shortwhale.com), which asks the sender to classify the email before it reaches my inbox. Now, I am attempting to reduce email load and increase productivity further. Together with a fantastic team we created an email app (iPhone only at this point) that is aimed at helping people better manage their email-life and the related stress.


So far I have used an early version of the app for a few months and I find it very useful. We are now ready to open this app for a few more beta testers who are interested in helping us figure out ways to fight the email challenge.


Below is a short video of the email problem and our approach, as well as a way to sign up to test the app (link: http://newemailapp.com/).


If you are struggling with email and want to help us, please sign up – and thanks in advance .



Join us for better health

January 19, 2016 BY danariely

Did you make a New Year’s Resolution to get fit in 2016?


I want to help you keep it – I’ve partnered with the podcast Only Human on an exciting new project called Stick to It! My colleagues at the Duke Center for Advanced Hindsight and I have designed a study running through the end of February that uses your smartphone to implement different approaches to get you exercising more and hopefully enjoy it. To sign up for the study, click here.

Last chance?

November 17, 2015 BY danariely

Our Kickstarter campaign ends very soon.

This might be your last chance to get the game:) 

And if you participated already, thanks, and we are looking forward to the next steps.