This is Spinal Tap

Media Type: Film Clips Topic: Behavioral Economics

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This is Spinal Tap is a 1984 heavy metal rockumentary. In this short scene the guitarist explains that he likes to dial his special amps all the way up to 11 -- the highest setting on the amp. The interviewer asks why his amp goes to 11 instead of 10 and he responds so we can have something a little extra in reserve when we need to play louder. The guitarist clearly gets a lot of utility from his special amps. But he doesn't appear to understand that just putting an "11" where the "10" used to be on the amp doesn't mean the amp actually plays louder! His behavior is completely irrational and that is what makes the scene so memorable. Instructors can use the scene to explore the boundaries of rational behavior and introduce behavioral economics.

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