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Self-control—or our ability to subdue our impulses, emotions, and behaviors in order to achieve longer-term goals—is what separates us from our ancient ancestors and the rest of the animal kingdom.
Why do we often think we know what we want, only to be disappointed with our purchases and choices? Behavioral economics combines insights from the fields of psychology and economics to elucidate decision making, with an eye towards outcomes that might be deemed irrational in some frameworks (including classic economic theories).
Dopamine is one of the brain’s neurotransmitters—a chemical that ferries information between neurons. Dopamine helps regulate movement, attention, learning, and emotional responses. It also enables us not only to see rewards, but to take action to move toward them.