Procrastination is widespread and costly. But new research suggests that the desire to complete unpleasant tasks can sometimes cause us to “pre-crastinate,” wasting effort by beginning tasks too soon. Read More
Soon, it seems, most gifts will be gift cards. Despite the fact that some gift cards are thoughtfully selected by givers who want to ensure that their recipient finds something they like, there are a number of reasons why gift card givers don’t get the credit they should. Read More
We are often categorized (by ourselves, our friends, our spouses, or online quizzes) as “savers” or “spenders.” But is there widespread agreement about what these terms mean? In this post, I consider what it means to be a saver. Read More
Using credit to make purchases causes many people to spend more than they would have if they had used cash. What emotional and cognitive forces contribute to this bias, and what can be done to curb it? Read More
How should people manage multiple debts? Basic economic principles (and credit scoring agencies) suggest repaying the debt with the highest interest rate first. However, some financial gurus and a number of psychological factors favor the debt snowball method (repaying small debts first to build momentum, regardless of interest rates). What’s the best approach? Read More
Retail therapy gets a bad rap. There’s no question that repeatedly engaging in retail therapy is a recipe for debt and unhappiness. But every now and then, retail therapy may be effective. In particular, retail therapy may help to restore a sense of personal control and reduce sadness. Read More
Scott Rick, Ph.D. studies the emotional causes and consequences of shopping.