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

Testamentary Restraints on Marriage

By Ruth Lee Johnson J.D. on November 16, 2017 in So Sue Me
Many parents have a lot to say about their children's love interests and relationship decisions. Some parents want to have the last word, even after they die.

Are More Men “Marrying Up” Today?

Literature is filled with stories of economically disadvantaged women looking to find a mate who was financially able to provide for her; do men do this more often now?

Sexual Variety

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on November 16, 2017 in The Human Beast
There is an astonishing amount of variation in sexual behavior around the globe and over time. Many of these differences can be explained as adaptive responses to the environment.

How Maslow Got Cool

By Lawrence R Samuel Ph.D. on November 14, 2017 in Boomers 3.0
Self-actualization has emerged as a common goal among more psychologically secure baby boomers, and it is something that will become even more prevalent in their third act of life.

The Introvert Restaurant

By Anneli Rufus on November 14, 2017 in Stuck
Most restaurants are designed to attract and delight extroverts. What if some weren't?

Digital Goods Valued Less Than Their Physical Counterparts

By Alain Samson Ph.D. on November 14, 2017 in Consumed
New research shows how much consumers value digital vs physical media.

Predictions for 2018 and Beyond

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on November 13, 2017 in How To Do Life
Long-term trends that people involved in strategic planning should consider.

Is a Little Knowledge Really a Dangerous Thing?

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on November 13, 2017 in Media Spotlight
While we may be impressed by people willing to make bold statements (especially at election time), the fact is that, more often than not, overconfidence can be a grave mistake
Hal Sigall

Perceiving the Credibility of Claims of Sexual Abuse

By Harold Sigall Ph.D. on November 12, 2017 in Wishful Thoughts
How did the appearance of Harvey Weinstein and his accusers affect our beliefs about their credibility?

Why Addicts Make Poor Decisions

By Shahram Heshmat Ph.D. on November 06, 2017 in Science of Choice
Decision failures could explain why addicts pursue and consume drugs even in the face of negative consequences.

Why Automating Retirement Savings May Not Be Enough

By Utpal Dholakia on November 06, 2017 in The Science Behind Behavior
Participants in automatic retirement savings plans are saving at rates far less than the recommended percentages.

4 Ways Spending Smarter Can Make You Happier

How do you create a budget that optimizes for happiness? Financial expert, Matt Goren, explains how to do it.

Key Management Skills For the Increasingly "Agile Workforce"

By Victor Lipman on November 01, 2017 in Mind of the Manager
With fewer employees and more freelancers, the character of the workforce is rapidly changing. If communication is king in this increasingly remote environment, clarity is queen.

Consistency of Process Creates Confidence in Choice

By Art Markman Ph.D. on November 01, 2017 in Ulterior Motives
Much of the research on how people make decisions has understandably focused on what people select when given an array of options. How does the process of choice affect confidence?

Take the Stairs in a Busy Airport? You Will if You See This

By Meg Selig on November 01, 2017 in Changepower
"Hmm, should I take the stairs or use the escalator?" This creative research will help most people make the decision that's best for their health.

Harlem Success Academy and Substance Abuse Treatment

Graphical illustration of why controversies in policy involve people talking about phenomena on two sides of a phase transition.
Janet Yellen/telegraph.co.uk

Janet Yellen Supports Workforce Development

Addressing Challenges in Low-Income Communities. Federal Reserve Chair advocates that banks can help close the skills gap for low-and moderate-income Americans.

What Should Managers Do With Profitable Unethical Customers?

The answer depends on whether the manager subscribes to a deontological or teleological ethical perspective.

A Nobel Nod to the Irrational

By Michael F. Kay on October 19, 2017 in Financial Life Focus
The University of Chicago’s Professor Richard Thaler walked off with the Nobel Prize in Economics for his work researching Behavior Finance.

10 Ways to Deal with Mom-Shaming

By Susan Newman Ph.D. on October 17, 2017 in Singletons
A new poll finds a majority of moms feel judged. Learn how to handle criticism and have confidence in your parenting decisions.

Choosing a Romantic Partner

By Aaron Ben-Zeév Ph.D. on October 17, 2017 in In the Name of Love
It is mistaken to hold that keeping all romantic options open cannot be bad, as you can always select the best. There is a cost to this and too much of a good thing can be harmful.

Confirmation Bias: Why You Make Terrible Life Choices

By Nir Eyal on October 17, 2017 in Automatic You
Confirmation bias is a cognitive shortcut that can lead to some pretty horrendous decisions. Here's how to recognize and overcome it in your life.

Self-Obsessed but Not Introspective? How Does That Work?

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on October 13, 2017 in Ambigamy
There's a difference between knowing yourself patly and wondering about yourself. The former is more fun, and more dangerous.

Getting Sentimental Could Increase Your Savings

By Brad Klontz Psy.D., CFP on October 12, 2017 in Mind Over Money
How can we harness positive, emotionally charged memories to develop a deeper incentive for saving?

Does Cutting Taxes Sap Productivity?

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on October 12, 2017 in The Human Beast
The bigger the government, the more productive the workers.

Neither Free Will Nor Determinism

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on October 10, 2017 in Ambigamy
We haven't resolved the free-will debate because we don't know what will is. Here's an explanation from will's origins in chemistry with intuitive implications for your own life.
By Nguyen Thanh Long (Flickr: So what do you want now?) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

I Want It Now!

By Shahram Heshmat Ph.D. on October 10, 2017 in Science of Choice
The more we disregard our longer-term interests in favor of immediate gratification, the more likely that we will have a range of behavioral problems, including addiction.

Machiavellian Marketers

Bad marketing sometimes snares the gullible, but most of us are savvy enough to avoid cons such as “eat all you want and still lose weight!” It’s the good marketing that lures us.

Corking 45

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on October 09, 2017 in Ambigamy
Trump is going nowhere until he's humiliated to his face.

Mental Accounting and Self-Control

By Art Markman Ph.D. on October 09, 2017 in Ulterior Motives
The 2017 Nobel Prize in Economics was awarded to Richard Thaler from the University of Chicago. His work explores strategies people use for making choices.