CHIBE in the News

Knowledge at Wharton: How Language Boosts Customer Satisfaction

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From Knowledge @ Wharton: Great customer service is the holy grail of sales. When customers feel satisfied, they spend more money and are more likely to come back. Happy customers write positive reviews online and share their experiences through word of mouth. But great customer service is also really hard. Shoppers complain that sales associates aren’t listening to them or are just going through the motions. There is a simple and cost-effective way to fix that, and Wharton marketing professor Jonah Berger has new research that explains how. He found that when sales agents use concrete language, they make customers feel seen,…

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The Philadelphia Inquirer: Guess which states are best at requiring vaccines? Not the ones you might think

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From The Philadelphia Inquirer: The term mandate may sound clear-cut, with no wiggle room. But the success of such policies can vary widely depending on how they are implemented, said Alison Buttenheim, an associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, who studies the behavioral aspects preventing infectious diseases. And as the showdown in New Jersey illustrated, the vaccine issue transcends party lines. The state’s Democratic lawmakers generally supported the move to eliminate religious exemptions and Republicans opposed it, but there were exceptions. And each year, New Jersey and many other blue states fall well short of getting…

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The Daily Pennsylvanian: ‘Warming is human activity’: Penn experts urge climate action on campus and beyond

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From The Daily Pennsylvanian: Penn experts on climate action, some of whom contributed to the groundbreaking Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published this summer, are emphasizing the urgency of climate action and reaching net-zero carbon emissions, particularly after the recent severe flooding and tornadoes that tore through Philadelphia. Howard Kunreuther, ​​a professor in The Wharton School who also serves as co-director of Wharton’s Risk Management and Decision Processes Center, identified three major takeaways from the report. First, he said humans are witnessing climate change and carbon emissions creating more serious problems than anyone had anticipated even one or two years ago. Second, he advised…

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VICE: Against the Pursuit of Happiness

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From VICE: Anyone who has looked forward to special days like birthdays, vacations, holidays, or, say, “hotvax summers,” knows these anticipated delights can be a letdown. The happiness, pleasure, and fun we expect to have doesn’t measure up to reality. This phenomenon has a name: the paradox of hedonism, or, sometimes, the paradox of happiness. It’s the strange but persistent observation that pleasure often vanishes when you try to pursue it directly. Simply put, if you try too hard at happiness, the result is unhappiness. “Happiness is something that generally tends to creep up on us when we’re not thinking…

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Bloomberg Law: As Vaccine Incentives Flounder, Messaging Revamp Called Critical

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From Bloomberg Law: A Biden administration push for states to pay low-income residents to get the Covid-19 shot is clashing with research findings that certain financial incentives are largely ineffective—leaving government officials on the line for new ways to bolster vaccination numbers. States across the nation have offered up gift cards, lottery tickets, and other perks to nudge the vaccine hesitant to get the jab. The Medicare agency is encouraging states to do more, greenlighting funds to create incentives for recipients of the Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Programs. But research from academics at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Chicago shows…

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Persuasion: How to Boost Vaccine Uptake

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From Persuasion: My attitude toward vaccine reluctance has gone through something like Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’s five stages of grief: denial (“They’ll come around”), bewilderment (“How could people believe so much nonsense?”), frustration (“Seriously, what are these people thinking?”), anger (“It’s an epidemic of idiocy!”), and finally, acceptance (“Calm down, take a breath, this is complicated”). Acceptance does not mean moral acceptance. Nothing in this column suggests that people who choose to endanger themselves, their families, and their communities are doing something admirable. In a sober, sane, science-minded, non-polarized, high-trust, data-driven country, everyone without a compelling medical or religious reason would be rushing…

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UChicago News: The science behind forming better habits, with Katy Milkman

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From UChicago News: Why is it so hard for us to form good habits—and so easy to form bad ones? Most people turn to the self-help section to find answers, but this is really a question for behavior science. Katy Milkman: The lens is really grounded in some of the basic tenants of economic theory, which say people are rational decision makers and can weigh costs and benefits and come up with the right calculus to make their choices. What behavioral science adds to that mix is really a recognition that people sometimes make mistakes and that this can happen…

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The Guardian: Study Links Too Much Free Time to Lower Sense of Wellbeing

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From The Guardian:  Researchers have found that while levels of subjective wellbeing initially rise as free time increases, the trend does not necessarily hold for very high levels of leisure. “The sweet spot is a moderate amount of free time,” said Dr Marissa Sharif, a co-author of the study from the University of Pennsylvania. “We found that having too much time was associated with lower subjective wellbeing due to a lacking sense of productivity and purpose.” Writing in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Sharif and colleagues reported how they analysed results from two large-scale surveys, involving a combined…

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FiveThirtyEight: Vaccines Mandates Work, But They’re Messy

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From FiveThirtyEight: In fall 2019, before anyone had ever heard of COVID-19, California legislators were trying to pass a bill aimed at increasing childhood vaccination. Five years previously, someone at Disneyland had set off a measles outbreak that infected more than 100 people, mostly unvaccinated, in the state — as well as in six other states, Canada and Mexico. The incident galvanized legislators and led to a series of laws aimed at curtailing the religious and philosophical exemptions that allowed parents to avoid getting their kids vaccinated before sending them to school. Take the exemptions away, the thinking went, and vaccine rates would…

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CBS: COVID-19 Vaccinations plateau despite incentive programs

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From CBS News: COVID-19 vaccination rates appear to have plateaued again in the U.S. Many communities have created incentive programs offering money, free food, beer and other perks to get more shots in arms, but does that really help? Harsha Thirumurthy, associate director at the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics at the University of Pennsylvania, joined CBSN to discuss his research on the subject. Read the full story at CBS News. 

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