Where pegs grow legs: hanging ideas on words

“I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” ~ Albert Einstein

Joshua Bell & Social Psychology

I was reading one of the posts in my blog roll today and stumbled on a nugget that I found really interesting and wanted to share. It shows how irrational we really can be! The post was talking about a new book entitled Sway, and how social psychology can help explain irrational financial behavior. From his blog:

Why D.C. subway passengers walked past Joshua Bell’s free violin concert, when he normally charges over $1,000/minute to play. In a beautiful example of social psychology, the Washington Post asked famous violinst Joshua Bell to bring his $3.5+ million Stradivarius to L’Enfant Plaza in Washington D.C. and play like a normal panhandler. We like to think we can recognize quality when we see it, but we’re more influenced by external factors than by how we think we’d behave. Take a look at the video to change your mind (hint: People didn’t just walk by because they were late to work.)

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