The Science of Gift-Giving

Gift-giving can be a nuanced exchange. Here are some ins and outs.

Behavioral Economics

Why do we often think we know what we want, only to be disappointed with our purchases and choices? Behavioral economics studies just how irrational we humans can be.

Cognition

Quite simply, cognition refers to thinking. There are the obvious applications of conscious reasoning—doing taxes, playing chess, deconstructing Macbeth—but thought takes many subtler forms, such as interpreting sensory input, guiding physical actions, and empathizing with others. The old metaphor for human cognition was the computer—a logical information-processing machine.

Relationships

Love is the most profound emotion known to human beings. For most people, romantic relationships are the most meaningful element in their lives. But the ability to have a healthy, loving relationship is not innate. Almost all of us have experienced a failed relationship, and most of us have to work consciously to master the skills necessary to make them flourish.