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Humans

WE ALL LIKE to think we make smart, level-headed financial decisions. A slew of research suggests otherwise. Our missteps have been detailed by academics focused on behavioral finance, happiness, behavior change, evolutionary psychology and neuroeconomics.

What’s the common theme running through all this literature? It seems our instinctive reactions—bequeathed to us by our hunter-gatherer ancestors—frequently let us down. We’re hardwired to act in certain ways, and it often takes great effort to behave otherwise. In the sections that follow, you’ll learn about the key mistakes we make, plus some thoughts on how to fare better in the future.

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