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. 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

Why Not Tax the Rich?

By Ken Eisold Ph.D. on May 02, 2015 in Hidden Motives
Strangely, the poor themselves end up protecting the rich

Announcement: A Crash Course on Gender Differences

By Eyal Winter on May 01, 2015 in Feeling Smart
Is she so different than him?

Wisdom From a Psychopath?

Research by Dr. Kevin Dutton shows that psychopathic traits may be appealing to individuals, but are harmful for communities.

No Time For Figuring Out Your Money?

By Michael F. Kay on April 30, 2015 in Financial Life Focus
Life is busy and maybe even overwhelming at times. Work, family, friends, hitting the gym, scheduling, and taxi service for your kids—it's a lot. Finding time to dig into the meat of your finances can be a battle you ignore at your peril.

Introduction to Investing in Healthy Minds

True or False: As a society we should be investing more in the mental health of young people. I’m guessing you answered “true.” But can you prove it?

How to Win at Rock-Paper-Scissors

Don't be the one who has to wash the dishes, do push-ups, or pay for lunch. Winning at Rock - Paper - Scissors is about psychology, not chance.

What Is Confirmation Bias?

People are prone to believe what they want to believe.

Are Women Better Managers Than Men?

By Victor Lipman on April 23, 2015 in Mind of the Manager
A new Gallup study says so.

Moving Toward Collaboration: Lessons From the Field

It’s never failed to happen that people wake up and take note when I mention the basic set of questions the answer to which comprises a decision-making system: Who makes which decisions? Who provides input? Who hears about it? How and when are the decisions made?

Wishful Thinking

By Eyal Winter on April 22, 2015 in Feeling Smart
How we can ignore facts we don't like.

What Can We Learn From Reading Online Reviews?

By Gregory R. Maio Ph.D. on April 21, 2015 in Attitude Check
To write a review or not to write a review (and simply use stars)

Do You Tend to Dread Loss or Anticipate Gain?

By Elizabeth Wagele on April 21, 2015 in The Career Within You
Losing money and getting bad grades are more painful to most people than winning money and getting good grades are pleasurable. Some have figured out that they’ll be more likely to succeed (at losing weight, for example) if they commit to sending money to a charity they hate if they fail to meet their goal.

The Advantage of Quitting

Giving up frustrating goals creates opportunities.

10 Tips to Change From Reactive to Proactive in Situations

All of us encounter experiences in life when we may be temporally overwhelmed by a negative emotion, be it anger, pressure, nervousness, despair, or confusion. In these situations, how we choose to “master the moment” can make the difference between proactive versus reactive, and confidence versus insecurity. Here are ten ways to be less reactive in difficult situations...

The Art and Science of Haggling

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on April 18, 2015 in A Sideways View
Often the most popular skills based courses are those on negotiation. They teach among other things the gentle but very important arts of haggling and persuasion: in short how to get a good deal. Why is it so important and what is the fundamental psychology of haggling?

Feeling Financially Overwhelmed?

By Michael F. Kay on April 16, 2015 in Financial Life Focus
Life is busy and maybe even overwhelming at times.

What Makes Us Tick?

They met in a airport because of a book that one of them was reading, the same the other had recently read. The conversation was so stimulating that they decided to continue it online and share it with their readers. They both believe this will be the first of an endless series of talks about the subject—what makes people tick—that tickles them the most.

The Death of Mr. Economicus

By Thomas Hills Ph.D. on April 16, 2015 in Statistical Life
For many years, we thought humans were rational. Homo economicus was the protagonist of the human story, and he knew what he was about. He was the James Bond of decision making, and he didn't let the universe push him around. The only problem was that he didn't exist.

Show Me The Money!

By Renee Garfinkel Ph.D. on April 12, 2015 in Time Out
I love money. I love everything about it. I bought some pretty good stuff. Got me a $300 pair of socks. Got a fur sink. An electric dog polisher. A gasoline powered turtleneck sweater. And, of course, I bought some dumb stuff, too. –Steve Martin

The Best Bosses Aren't Bossy

By Victor Lipman on April 10, 2015 in Mind of the Manager
Overmanaging is one of the least discussed but most prevalent problems of management. Too much management—often a.k.a. bossiness—is the enemy of productivity.

Can There Be Too Much Romantic Sensitivity?

Sensitivity is often praised as one of the most important pillars of a good romantic relationship. Although this is indeed the case, too much romantic sensitivity can overburden a relationship. How then can we find the optimal balance of sensitivity in the complex romantic realm?

Making the Most of Your Charitable Giving

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on April 08, 2015 in How To Do Life
Most people work hard for the money they give to charity, but that money often doesn't do as much good as it could.

The Wisdom Behind the Saying “Get Some Perspective?”

Maintaining a new habit becomes easier when people ask themselves why they are doing an activity rather than how they are doing it.

How Jealousy Can Poison a Friendship

The people, places, and things that cause you to be jealous of another tell you more about yourself than you might realize.

Employee Conflict: Fighters vs. Flighters

Categorizing your workforce with this simple "psychology" may not be scientifically accurate, but it can help keep you sane.

The Ethics of Financial Accounting

At first it seems obvious that manipulating performance measures is unethical: teachers teaching to the test, managers manipulating earnings upward to sell its shares at a high price, and so forth. But things are more subtle than they seem!

When You Can't Tell If They're Serious

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on April 05, 2015 in Ambigamy
It's fun to just browse the options, but sooner or later you have to prioritize.

8 Signs You're in a Relationship with a Sexual Narcissist

Sexual narcissism can be defined as a grandiose sense of one’s sexual prowess which, in the mind of the sexual narcissist, entitles him or her to engage in acts of emotional and physical manipulation at the partner’s expense. How do you know when your partner may be a sexual narcissist? Here are eight telltale signs...

Why Does Racism Persist?

To end racism we must identify and sever the immortal head that keeps the beast alive. Racism’s immortal head is rankism.

A Crash Course in Emotional Negotiations: US vs. Iran

By Eyal Winter on April 03, 2015 in Feeling Smart
What we can learn from countries that rely on emotions and religious beliefs to make deals