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When given the choice, most of us don’t choose what’s best

A close-up view of some of the healthful vending-machine options that are offered in city-run neighborhood recreation centers in Seattle. (Greg Gilbert/Seattle Times)
A close-up view of some of the healthful vending-machine options that are offered in city-run neighborhood recreation centers in Seattle. (Greg Gilbert/Seattle Times)
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SEATTLE — Hit the gym, or the couch? Save for retirement, or spend the whole paycheck? Choose the chips, or the rice cakes in the vending machine? Most people are going for the chips, finds David Laibson, a Harvard economist who presented some of his work on how people make choices at the recent annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Boston. Laibson’s research consistently finds that people have a ...


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