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

With Two Sides to Everything It’s Dangerous to Ignore One

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on March 24, 2017 in Ambigamy
Here's a simple trick for making decisions you won't regret.

Bringing Down the Cost of Healthcare

By Kathryn Seifert Ph.D. on March 21, 2017 in Stop The Cycle
There are 3 effective ways to bring down to cost of healthcare without reducing quality or outcomes. These include prevention, early treatment and integrated care.

The Caring Effect

Great leaders identify, measure, recognize, and reward meaningful efforts and achievements. Why should managers and leaders celebrate more?

Should You Become an Uber or Lyft Driver?

The economics will vary dramatically depending on your incremental costs.
Health Affairs

The Downside of Financial Nudges

By Peter A. Ubel M.D. on March 15, 2017 in Scientocracy
We should tax people for smoking, not for receiving health insurance.

What It's Like on Both Sides of the Therapy Couch

By Susan Newman Ph.D. on March 15, 2017 in Singletons
Ever wonder what your therapist is thinking? Or what your patient is not telling?

Do Only Dead Fish Swim With the Stream?

Many people's long-term romantic behavior is similar to dead fish floating with the current, slowly drifting with the stream. Is such behavior damaging? Not always, it would seen.

Moral Incentives for Dummies

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on March 14, 2017 in Ambigamy
What is basic morality and what incentive system does best to promote it?

The Serenity Prayer and 16 Variations

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on March 14, 2017 in Ambigamy
The Serenity Prayer is extraordinary moral guidance, not some unworkable "always do X" rule, but a way to frame up a fundamental judgment call we all have to make over and over.

The Morality of Monetary Motivation

By Peter A. Ubel M.D. on March 14, 2017 in Scientocracy
In a perfect world, we would not need to reward anyone for taking their kid to the doctor. In the imperfect world we live in, such rewards are far better than the alternative.

A Really Big Question Part 2

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on March 13, 2017 in Ambigamy
Two friends happen to meet at a coffee shop and get talking about the meaning of life. They end up opening a giant worm can of wondering.

Cultivating Smarter Prejudices

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on March 10, 2017 in Ambigamy
An exploration of what prejudice really is, why we need it, how prejudices go wrong, and how to argue for better prejudices.

Want to Avoid Bad Decisions? It’s All About Framing

No one wants to make bad decisions. These tips will help you avoid them.

Strong and Kind Negotiation

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on March 10, 2017 in How To Do Life
An interview with negotiations expert Seth Freeman.

Can Modern People Survive in the Wild?

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on March 09, 2017 in The Human Beast
The history of European explorers contains nasty stories of intelligent people failing to adapt to harsh new environments. One exception may be Viking colony in Greenland.

Your Ability to Focus Has Probably Peaked : Here’s How

By Nir Eyal on March 07, 2017 in Automatic You
Having a hard time focusing lately? You’re not alone. This article provides practical research-backed tips for staying focused.

If I Were a Rich Man, the Inner Dimension

This is something all of us can do: align our actions with our values, even when it means stepping outside our comfort zone, and reaching out to others.

Team Player: Professor Shiller and Finance as Panacea

By John Staddon, Ph.D. on March 06, 2017 in Adaptive Behavior
Is modern finance a kind of engineering? Does it really power the economy? How big should the finance industry be?

When Does Pay What You Want Pricing Work?

It is useful for last-minute pricing, for loyal customers, & to raise money for charity.

Elasticity of Belief

By John Staddon, Ph.D. on March 04, 2017 in Adaptive Behavior
Attitudes based on little experience can be changed.
By Annie Mole (Circle Line Party Festivities) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Why Do People Drink?

The motivational perspective predicts that people will be motivated to use addictive substances to the extent that they expect that doing so will result in desirable effects.

Being Right vs. Feeling Right

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on March 02, 2017 in Ambigamy
Feelings feel more factual than fact, more real than reality, truer than truth. The truth can be staring us in the face, and we’re still more likely to believe our guts.

Why Women Want to Lose Weight

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on March 02, 2017 in The Human Beast
In subsistence societies, heavier women are perceived as fertile and sexually attractive. In developed countries, women strive to be more slender. Why?

Confessions of an Accidental Financial Therapist

By Teresa Ghilarducci Ph.D. on March 02, 2017 in When I’m 64
How the retirement crisis makes an economist an accidental therapist.

How Temperament Impacts Entrepreneurship

Let’s look at what pros and cons are tied to different types of temperament in business.

Information Avoidance in the Information Age

By Alain Samson Ph.D. on February 28, 2017 in Consumed
When ignorance is bliss: How much would you pay to avoid potentially threatening information?

“Why Do We Keep Fighting?!”

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on February 27, 2017 in Ambigamy
Meta-conflict – conflict about why you're having conflicts, is common to all disagreements and the source of a lot of the agitation. Here's how to map meta-conflict.

The Most Popular Color in the World Just Got A Bit Trendier

By Mark Travers Ph.D. on February 24, 2017 in General Intelligence
Consumer psychologists explore the power of the color blue

Kenneth Arrow

By Eyal Winter Ph.D. on February 24, 2017 in Feeling Smart
From the Impossibility Theorem to Ken's WWII story.

Don’t Let Your Thinking Sabotage Your Goals

By David Ludden Ph.D. on February 24, 2017 in Talking Apes
How you see yourself in the future can either help or hinder your ability to delay gratification.