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We live in confusing times. Everyone who has ever lived could have said those words in all sincerity. Accepting that obvious truth does not make our current dilemmas less perplexing. Yes, dilemmas plural. There are so many, and the farther from home we look, the greater the number. Finding the right path through a maze is not easy. But some confusions are more personal than others.

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When Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky got together in 1969 to study whether people were good at intuitive statistics, the seeds of what would become known as the field of behavioral economics were sown. As economists and psychologists combined their expertise, they were able to show how emot…