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 the Love You Take Always Equal to the Love You Make?

Are equality and reciprocity essential to romantic relations, as is commonly assumed? The surprising answer is negative: they are not necessary, not always, and not every kind.

The Best Leaders Lead by Example

By Victor Lipman on February 10, 2016 Mind of the Manager
Two highly practical reasons why leading by example makes excellent career and business sense: 1) It's effective. 2) It makes people want to follow.

How Millennials Do Valentine's Day

Millennials shop and buy differently than older generations - here's why the experiential Valentine's Day is winning over candy and flowers.

Breaking the S Barrier in New Hampshire

The Great Depression brought FDR and the New Deal. Now, the Great Recession seems to have allowed the word "socialism" to come in from the cold in American politics.

Are You a Superboss? If Not, Become One.

A key to your success: How well do you develop talent?

6 Ways to Close the Empathy Gap

By Susan Newman Ph.D. on February 08, 2016 Singletons
It is effortless to be enthusiastic. Most of us believe that the more we share, the more people will like us. We don't understand the empathy gap.

How Easy/Hard Is It For Us To Trust?

By Po Chi Wu Ph.D. on February 07, 2016 Jacob's Staff
What contributes to distrust in society? What happens to innovation when distrust prevails? What changes might we have to make to inspire a positive vision of the future?

Why People Buy

How do consumers transition from disinterest in a product or service to urgently wanting that same product or service? It is all about psychology.

The Central Challenge of Management

By Victor Lipman on February 03, 2016 Mind of the Manager
I once worked for a Chief Marketing Officer who above all liked to hire Psychology majors. What did he know about an effective mindset for business?

How to Make Public Bike-Sharing More Popular

Many consumers see urban bicycling as risky. Managing riders' physical risk perceptions is crucial for adoption & growth of ride-sharing programs.

This Worker Has So Much More to Offer

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on February 02, 2016 The Human Beast
We are accustomed to thinking about occupations in terms of opportunity. One assumes that an employee acquires skills and becomes more valuable, better paid, and happier.

High Profits

High Profits is an 8-part series about Colorado’s marijuana legalization law. It shows the actual issues that arose, which differed from the ones commonly hypothesized or feared.

Why Old Habits Die Hard?

Many of our decisions are made on the basis of emotional and unconscious processes.

The Truth About Debt

By Michael F. Kay on February 01, 2016 Financial Life Focus
There's a scene in “The Wizard of Oz” where Glinda asks Dorothy: "Are you a good witch or a bad witch?" and Dorothy responds, "I'm not a witch at all."

The Best Managers are the Best Communicators

By Victor Lipman on January 31, 2016 Mind of the Manager
Solid manager-employee relationships are built on a foundation of communication. Research bears this out, as did a long-ago conversation.

An Explanation for Trump's Appeal

By Fredric Neuman M.D. on January 29, 2016 Fighting Fear
An examination of those aspects of personality and behavior that have led to Donald Trump's success. A comparison to an incident long ago that also had political implications.

Everyday Delusions of Success

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on January 28, 2016 The Human Beast
Clinical delusions involve a sharp break with reality. Delusions of everyday living are milder. They are a mark of psychological health and well-being.

Money Can Feed Your Heart and Soul As Well As Your Belly

Take off your blindfolds about money and discover if how you spend money is in sync with what you value in the world.

Panic-Shopping: The Psychology of the Bread-Milk-Eggs Rush

By Jaime L. Kurtz Ph.D. on January 23, 2016 Happy Trails
Winter-weather behavior, explained.

Watching Waiters' Weights

By Alain Samson Ph.D. on January 22, 2016 Consumed
When small differences carry heavy effects

5 Reasons It's So Hard to End a Friendship

Hanging onto relationships that make you feel worse, not better, is a poor choice when it comes to your emotional and physical well-being.

Why We Copy Each Other, and 5 Ways It Can Change Us

Our emotions and moods are affected by the emotional states of the other people we interact with.

Seed Money

The dark time of the year is the time to plant seeds in our psyches--including seed money.

Employee Development: Often Overlooked, Always Appreciated

By Victor Lipman on January 20, 2016 Mind of the Manager
Research shows employee development is both highly valued and highly neglected. When I recently overlooked its importance, an old friend quickly took me to task on it.

Is Saving Money Part of Your Lifestyle?

Adopting saving money as a lifestyle that covers a broad set of activities undertaken regularly has financial benefits for consumers.

The Hidden Message of the University of Missouri Scandal

Was the University of Missouri scandal, leading to the President's and Chancellor's departure, about racism? Political correctness? Student activism? Or something more important?

When Teamwork Backfires

By Denise Cummins Ph.D. on January 19, 2016 Good Thinking
Work productivity soars when men and women work on the same team. But men are more likely to get the credit.

The Oscars Boycott and the Psychology of Race in Movies

Racial bias in newspaper critics means films with a black lead actor and all white supporting cast are scored approximately on average 6 percent lower in movie reviews

10 Steps to Great Customer Service

Bad customer service is maddening. Here's what you can do to always get the best possible responses from the companies you deal with.

Figuring Out What You Really Want

We often want something not for its own sake but to achieve some other goal.