Why do we often think we know what we want, only to be disappointed with our purchases and choices? Behavioral economics shows just how irrational humans can be. Here's insight into the surprising ways in which our emotions and thought patterns guide us toward predictable economic decisions.

Recent Posts on Behavioral Economics

Is Screen Violence Making Us Stupid About Gun Control?

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on October 09, 2015 Ambigamy
Those who oppose gun control could be influenced more by their Netflix account than by the NRA. Availability bias explains why.

Why Wait? The Psychological Origins of Procrastination

We all procrastinate. New research in psychology provides clues as to why--and how to stop.

Love And Manipulation

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on October 08, 2015 Ambigamy
Understanding how affirmations work will help hone your ability to discriminate between genuine and manipulative flattery.

Why Do We Remember Certain Things, But Forget Others?

Much of learning takes place in the form of emotional learning.

How All-You-Can-Eat Buffets Use Psychology to Make Money

All-you-can-eat buffets create the perception of providing variety and quality, but cleverly manipulate customers' choices and portion sizes.

Cooperation and the public good

Social scientists differ about the relative virtues of top-down verses peer-to-peer actions to secure public goods like clean water and air and safe foods and pharmaceuticals. Recent decision experiments suggest that in modern societies, both dimensions are necessary, and that they’re complementary to each other.

Do You Work for a Demanding 'Type A' Boss?

By Victor Lipman on October 03, 2015 Mind of the Manager
Type A managers, of which there are many, can at times be impatient, stressful, and plain old hard to work for. Here are practical tips to help you survive, and even succeed.

The Psychology of Pumpkin Spice Lattes

By Jaime L. Kurtz Ph.D. on October 02, 2015 Happy Trails
"Get it while it lasts!" "Limited time only!" Why scarcity creates cravings.

5 Reasons Not to Fear Public Speaking

By Victor Lipman on October 02, 2015 Mind of the Manager
Great speakers are made, not born (as are plain old good ones). Consider the examples of this famous five. All overcame significant public speaking confidence problems — and so can you.

Don’t Let Shame Weaken Your Retirement Plans

How can you get power to save for retirement? Retirement planning is possible. Three tips that will empower anyone to plan better without despair and shame.

The 30-Day Money C-H-O-I-C-E Challenge

By Michael F. Kay on October 01, 2015 Financial Life Focus
Ever looked at your stack of bills and wonder how the heck you're going to get these paid? How did that feel? Rotten, right? Of course it did. No wants to live with the weight of debt—to carry that hopeless frustration deep into their bones.

4 Smart Ways to Save $10 on Your Next Grocery Shopping Trip

Use research from consumer psychology and marketing science to outwit grocery marketers & save money.

Volkswagen, Why?

By Ken Eisold Ph.D. on September 29, 2015 Hidden Motives
What could have possibly motivated VW to take the risk?

No, You Can’t Pick My Brain, But I’ll Talk to You Anyway

By Adam Grant Ph.D. on September 29, 2015 Give and Take
Why you might want to take that meeting

Are Your I-Centric Habit Patterns Getting the Best of You?

As you read the followng seven I-centric habit patterns, identify ones that do not serve your organization and see them as opportunities to develop WE-centric patterns. Monitor your impact. Notice how, by shifting to WE-centric patterns, you increase positive energy, focus your colleagues on creating the future, and enable greater leadership behaviors in everyone.

Psychology of Deep Connection

There is a part of the brain that activates when we meet people. It’s called the "like me/not like me" part of the brain or the Rostromedial Prefrontal Cortex. However, there is another part of our brain that has a bigger impact on us — and one that explains deep connection.

Earth to Humans: Why Have You Forsaken Me? Perceived Risk

By Kenneth Worthy Ph.D. on September 28, 2015 The Green Mind
What are the psychological roadblocks that explain why we’re not doing much to solve global climate change—a phenomenon that threatens the core of our society? This is the sixth post in a seven-part series.

Make Candor a Priority

Here are 5 things you can do, as a Leader of Change, to elevate candor and TRUST as the foundation for healthy conversations in your organization.

Is This the Kind of Country We Want to Be?

By Allen J Frances M.D. on September 28, 2015 Saving Normal
"Fraud, Theft, Waste and Private Profits: The Fate of Money Intended to Treat People With Serious Mental Illness” is an shocking report exposing a disastrous misallocation of resources that leads to shameful neglect, avoidable imprisonment, and massive homelessness.

Escaping the Grief of Financial Disaster

By Michael F. Kay on September 24, 2015 Financial Life Focus
There doesn't seem to be a path to a comfortable solution. Dread and depression become partners with despair and devastation. We can sit in self-blame, self-pity or denial—or recognize that the only way out is through positive action.

One Skill to Curb Unconscious Gender Bias

By Joseph Grenny on September 23, 2015 Crucial Conversations
What if your colleagues discriminated against you just for being assertive? Unfortunately for many women, gender bias is a reality in today’s workplace.

A Foundational Approach to Economic Anxiety

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on September 22, 2015 How To Do Life
Capitalism is vulnerable. What will replace it, and how can you be happier?

Why Are There So Many Mattress Stores in America?

The answer for the mushrooming of mattress stores lies in a combination of retail economics and the psychology of consumer decision making.

Finding the Right Job

By Fredric Neuman M.D. on September 20, 2015 Fighting Fear
Bad advice--and good advice-- about how to find a job when finding a job seems impossible.

Disaster Shapes Chile's "National Psychology"

By Anneli Rufus on September 17, 2015 Stuck
Living in a land beset by frequent natural disasters creates a sense of solidarity.

Spreading Coherence and Emotion

By Art Markman Ph.D. on September 16, 2015 Ulterior Motives
Going back to the 1950s, social and cognitive psychologists noticed that people’s beliefs tend to become more coherent over time. For example, a couple buying a house might initially notice both the positive and negative elements of that house. If they decide they are not going to buy that house, they may start to focus on the negatives rather than the positives.

3 Ways In Which Saving Money Can Help You Lose Weight

Most of us are good at controlling our actions in one domain but fail in others. In this article, I will explain reasons why self-restraint success is domain-specific for many of us and suggest three ways in which we can transfer our success in one area to other areas.

Giving Feedback Is Fundamental - Why Is It so Hard?

By Victor Lipman on September 15, 2015 Mind of the Manager
All too often employees receive no management feedback, or feedback that is emotional and not business-focused.

How Have Children Been Affected By the Great Recession?

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on September 14, 2015 Media Spotlight
How have economic fears brought on by the Great Recession affected children? As adults lose their jobs and their homes, the emotional impact this has had on their children is just beginning to be understood. A new research study take a comprehensive look at the long-term problems shown by children affected by parental job loss and other financial woes

Is Online Dating a Good Way to Find Profound Love?

It is commonly agreed that online dating provides people with a larger pool of romantic candidates. However, it is not certain whether online dating is a better way to find long-term profound love than conventional offline dating is. This article suggests an answer to this question.