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

4 Changes I Will Make When Using Amazon MTurk for Research

I describe the changes I will make henceforth when using Amazon Mechanical Turk to collect survey and experimental data for my social science research. Based on my recent experience as an MTurk worker, I would like to use MTurk for data collection more ethically and effectively.

Warts and All: Why We Prefer People Who Aren't Perfect

For all those who live in fear of making a mistake, take heart. According to research, making mistakes makes us more, not less, likable.

Process and Normative Models

Understanding the decision-making process changes how we should make decisions

Serving Your Self-Interest for Good

By Kathy Cramer Ph.D. on July 29, 2015 in Lead Positive
Find out from renowned women's success coach why navigating the politics of an organization is critical to getting promoted.

The Winner's Curse

By Daniel Read Ph.D. on July 29, 2015 in The Choices We Make
Why are our best estimates of value can be wrong when they lead to a successful purchase (or sale).

Understanding Conspicuous Consumption (Via Race)

By Jesse Marczyk on July 27, 2015 in Pop Psych
Highlighting the accuracy of some racial stereotypes, different racial groups tend to spend more of their income on highly-visible luxury goods. Understanding why presents us with an interesting puzzle to solve.

Does Sex and Violence Really Sell Products?

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on July 27, 2015 in Media Spotlight
The widespread belief that sex and violence will sell products helps explain why this kind of media programming is so popular. But is this really the case? A new review of fifty years of research studies into the effectiveness of sex and violence in advertisements suggests that advertisers need to rethink the kind of message they send.

Will Individual Investors Succeed with Equity Crowdfunding?

Equity crowdfunding is less than two years old in the United States and is just starting to take off. It offers a lot of promise and peril to individual investors and an exciting new phenomenon for psychology researchers to study.

Improving Self-Control by Enhancing Working Memory

Successful self-control involves the active maintenance of goals and goal-relevant information in working memory.

Why It's Time to Change How You Divide Your Time

We are constantly bombarded with how to achieve greater work-life balance. What if we pursued an optimal time budget instead? Other species do not allocate time evenly across activities. Instead they devote time according to priorities that maximize their success.

Seven Reasons Why Your Financial Life Creates Anxiety

By Michael F. Kay on July 23, 2015 in Financial Life Focus
While there are some who breathe the rarified air of having their financial lives totally together, most people struggle. Your degree of struggle might range from small—not being sufficiently organized—to complete and utter meltdown.

What Your Financial Health Says About Your Mental Health

Studies show the likelihood of having a mental health problem is three times higher among people who have debt.

Politics Or Performance?

As we enter organizations, we each face a simple choice: Do we primarily play politics, or do we try daily to perform at our best? Why do we often choose to play politics? Because the politics of the organization often appear to dictate who is hired, promoted and rewarded, and so playing politics seems to be our best chance to control our plight...

You Can Help Yourself Wait for Better Options

By Art Markman Ph.D. on July 21, 2015 in Ulterior Motives
Delaying gratification is hard. You have probably seen the adorable videos of kids in Walter Mischel’s classic marshmallow experiments. Adults also have a lot of trouble delaying gratification. People pay extra to get fast delivery from websites. They accept small rewards in the present rather than waiting for longer rewards in the future.

"Team Coaching"—Transforming Aspiration to Inspiration

By Solange Charas on July 20, 2015 in The CEO Whisperer
Does team coaching work? Here's an account of the meteoric rise of the YHS resulting from their team assessment and coaching from Dr. Solange Charas.

Gambling: Harmless Fun or Perilous Compulsion?

By E E Smith on July 19, 2015 in Not Born Yesterday
Omar Sharif, who died recently, was known for his roles in great movies like "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Doctor Zhivago." Many people also knew that he was a world-class bridge player but I, for one, was surprised to learn that he had lost several fortunes over the years while gambling on the game.

5 Reasons We Act Impulsively

We need to treat willpower as a limited and important resource.

10 Tips for More Efficient Listening

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on July 16, 2015 in Ambigamy
Better listening isn't more listening, it's listening more efficiently to what's worth heeding, not what's worth ignoring.

Releasing Greatness

Since our modern society is fueled by innovation, leaders are needed in every field to develop ingenious, out-of-box thinking not just in themselves – more importantly in their people. Creating environment that release greatness in others is quickly becoming the most important challenge of the 21st century and one that will pay off for generations to come.

What Should Colleges Spend on Student Mental Health?

How much should colleges and universities spend on student mental health? As an academic researcher, I couldn’t possibly give you a simple and straight answer, but here are a few thoughts.

The Difference Between Rationalization and Rationality

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on July 13, 2015 in Ambigamy
Thinking fast; thinking slow is a hot topic these days, but it may be two topics confused with each other.

The Human Side of Change

By Joseph Grenny on July 13, 2015 in Crucial Conversations
When leaders continue to pay attention to how they handle both crucial conversations and crucial accountability discussions, they enjoy significant and lasting change.

Why Management Civility Increases Productivity

By Victor Lipman on July 12, 2015 in Mind of the Manager
Studies show that employees who are treated rudely perform worse on routine tasks.

Hypocritical Capitalism

By Ken Eisold Ph.D. on July 11, 2015 in Hidden Motives
When capitalism takes its own picture, it inevitably smooth’s over the blemishes,

A Crash Course on Gender Differences - Session 9

By Eyal Winter on July 10, 2015 in Feeling Smart
Why have so many differences between the sexes continued to persist in our modern and advanced societies despite a century of feminism and policies directly intended to blur the distinctions?

Players and Planners

By Michael F. Kay on July 09, 2015 in Financial Life Focus
Players get a rush from the action—making bets, taking chances, expecting the big score. You find them at the track, in the casinos and playing the stock market.

Are Smartphones at the Playground a Dumb Idea?

By Susan Newman Ph.D. on July 08, 2015 in Singletons
Texting, snapping photos, checking email—smartphones at the playground are as ubiquitous as strollers these days. But a new study finds cell phone use leaves parents and caregivers far more distracted than they realize or want to be. Should you be worried?

Why Nothing Is More Exciting Than a Calm Romance

Romantic love is usually associated with tempestuous excitement. Love can certainly be like this, but I believe that in our current accelerated society, calmness, rather than tempestuousness, is the new romantic excitement.

The Mind Of An Addict

There is a gap between what they prefer to do and what they actually do.

You’ve Reached The Top! Now What?

Why do so many ambitious and talented executives and entrepreneurs plateau, burn out, and at times regress once they “reach the top” of whatever ladder, mountain or organizational structure they’ve been climbing?