That’s The Funny Thing About Going Against Common Sense

Scientists make a living out of disputing common sense (or at least putting it through the ringer):  publishing papers that indicate that bears use the woods as waste disposal grounds tend not to excite people and get those professorships at Harvard.  So instead, they try to find interesting paradoxes, like the paradox of choice.  Unfortunately, it seems that those studies don’t stand up to robustness checks.

Interesting points:

  1. This does damage to the New Paternalism argument.  If it turns out that there isn’t really a paradox of choice, a large part of their theory—that it’s better to have government restrict choices because individuals will have difficulty making the “right” choices—goes away.
  2. It’s funny reading all about the commenters’ neuroses.  Ketchup?  Catsup?
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