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

Sex, Power, and Risk

By Joye Swan Ph.D. on October 22, 2016 in Up Close and Personal
When it comes to power in sexual relationships, who really controls what goes on in the bedroom?

Willy Wonka and Financial Happiness

By Michael F. Kay on October 21, 2016 in Financial Life Focus
Do you have the discipline to make your dreams become reality?
J. Krueger

Why Teach More?

By Joachim I Krueger Ph.D. on October 20, 2016 in One Among Many
Professors teach because they love it (and make a living). Therefore, they will teach more when the opportunity arises, no?

How the Trump Foundation Scandal Hurts the Nonprofit Sector

By Gleb Tsipursky Ph.D. on October 20, 2016 in Intentional Insights
Emotional intelligence research shows how you can be in danger due to scandals that have nothing to do with you!

Man's Fate

By Allen J Frances M.D. on October 18, 2016 in Saving Normal
Easter Island tells us all we need to know about our greatness and our fallibility- and also about our prognosis as a species.

Pre-Suasion: Before You Try to Persuade Someone…

In Pre-Suasion, Robert Cialdini asks: What is most important if you want to persuade? Hint: it’s not so much what’s IN your message, as in what happens in the moment just BEFORE.

Earth Home Economics: Rebecca Adamson and “Enoughness"

By Darcia Narvaez Ph.D. on October 16, 2016 in Moral Landscapes
"If you don’t change directions, you’re going to end up where you’re headed.” The words Rebecca Adamson's mother told her as a child find new meaning in a globalized world.

What Great Parents Do: Are You Doing It?

By Susan Newman Ph.D. on October 14, 2016 in Singletons
75 Bite-size chunks of sensible strategies for raising children. How many do you use?

The Sports Illustrated Cover Jinx

By Gary Smith Ph.D. on October 12, 2016 in What the Luck?
Is success a curse?

The Emotions of Luxury

Emotions are the foundation of why consumers are attracted to luxury brands. And the luxury emotions of the very rich are different than those of the rest of us.

Can We Trust the Decision Researchers?

By Gary Klein Ph.D. on October 10, 2016 in Seeing What Others Don't
The Heuristics and Biases (HB) movement has had a tremendous influence and has generated the field of Behavioral Economics. However, the HB community has its own set of biases.

The Cobra Effect: Good Intentions, Perverse Outcomes

The law of unintended consequences has not been repealed. Wells Fargo is the latest high-profile victim of the cobra effect.

A Fundamental Source of Error in Human Judgment

By Gary Smith Ph.D. on October 07, 2016 in What the Luck?
We encounter it almost every day, yet almost nobody understands it.

The Psychology of the American Dream

The American Dream is an optimistic, motivating force that propels people to achieve and accomplish things that we might otherwise not strive for.

What’s It All About, Alfie? (And Fred)

By John Staddon, Ph.D. on October 07, 2016 in Adaptive Behavior
Are schedules of reinforcement an accurate template for education? Or is operant conditioning irrelevant? Is education all about 'intrinsic motivation'?

The Subtle but Very Real Human Costs of Reorganizations

By Victor Lipman on October 06, 2016 in Mind of the Manager
Reorganizations have become almost a form of corporate sport. Beyond the obvious costs for consultants and retraining, they often entail unintended long-term human costs.

Intelligence Is No Bar to Irrationality

By Arthur Dobrin D.S.W. on October 06, 2016 in Am I Right?
Have you ever wondered why smart people do irrational things?

The Psychology of Being Middle Class

Poll after poll reveals that most Americans think they’re part of the middle class even if they’re clearly not.

Dealing With Financial Woes During Life Transitions

By Michael F. Kay on October 06, 2016 in Financial Life Focus
Dealing with financial issues during periods of significant change can be nearly difficult, if not impossible.

2084: Digital Choice Curation for a Non-Orwellian Economy

By Diogo Gonçalves on October 06, 2016 in There Are Free Lunches
Understanding online decision making can help us overcome society's choice paradoxes, and help us deal with the Age of Big Data.
Health Affairs

A Force More Powerful Than Anti-Vaxxers? Economics!

By Peter A. Ubel M.D. on October 06, 2016 in Scientocracy
Price negotiations need to set a balance between protecting public purses and promoting public health.


By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on October 06, 2016 in How To Do Life
A The Eminents interview with Nobel Prize winner, Robert Shiller

Peace Through Ignorance?

By William Poundstone on October 05, 2016 in Head in the Cloud
Americans don't know much geography, and maybe that's a good thing, suggests Presidential candidate Gary Johnson.

Big Data and Everyday Life

When it comes to figuring out your musical taste, Pandora is the champ. That's because Pandora is based on Big-Data - and Big-Data is the future in the behavioral sciences.

3 Decision-Making Principles I Taught My Son

By Gleb Tsipursky Ph.D. on October 05, 2016 in Intentional Insights
How recent research on behavioral economics can help you make better decisions

Why Do We Panic in Emergencies?

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on October 05, 2016 in Media Spotlight
In virtually every disaster, there is always the risk of mass panic which can often cause more casualties than the disaster itself. Can new research help prevent this?

Groping for Sex and More Life

By Kirby Farrell Ph.D. on October 04, 2016 in A Swim in Denial
Terror Management Theory (TMT) offers a scientific way of understanding the spellbinding effects of Donald Trump's fantasies..

4 Ways In Which Optimism Helps Entrepreneurs Succeed

Creative, novel ideas, a bias to act, persistence, & bouncing back from failure are all contributors.

How Powerful Is Status Quo Bias?

By Rob Henderson on September 29, 2016 in After Service
Research sheds light on our resistance to change.

Why Lending With Interest Is Felt to Be Immoral

By John A. Johnson Ph.D. on September 28, 2016 in Cui Bono
A mismatch between evolved feelings about fairness in exchanges and modern economic practices might eventually lead to a revolution against the current political/economic system.