Chocolate or strawberry? Life or death? We make so many quick decisions unconsciously; others we agonize over. We choose actions and form opinions via mental processes which are influenced by biases, reason, emotions, and memories. Some question whether we really even have free will; others believe it is well within our power to make choices that will lead to greater well-being. Here's a reading list to tackle while you're on that fence.

Recent posts on Decision-Making

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!

Mandeville's Paradox: Springtime for Machiavellians

Convincing someone that virtue is vice and vice is virtue is a familiar manipulative tactic.

How to Have a Good Divorce: Try Interest-Based Negotiation

By Wendy Paris on October 18, 2016 in Splitopia
Q&A: Austin-based collaborative lawyer Janice Green on the critical difference between interests and positions.

Can Artificial Intelligence Make Us Happy?

Does AI spell the doom of humankind? Or should we welcome it? Given the significant limitations of human rationality, only AI can help humans to solve many difficult problems.

How to Navigate a Toxic Relationship

By Ralph Ryback M.D. on October 17, 2016 in The Truisms of Wellness
Navigating toxic relationships is a process that requires help from supportive friends, family and professionals. These tips can help you chart your course and build better bonds.

Which Candidate Will Make America Safer?

By Gleb Tsipursky Ph.D. on October 15, 2016 in Intentional Insights
Both candidates promise to make you safer. But which one will actually do so? This articles describes how research shows how candidates mislead our intuitions on this topic.

Find Your Happy Place

By Jaime L. Kurtz Ph.D. on October 14, 2016 in Happy Trails
Tired of missing out on good times? A quick personality assessment can lead to better decisions.
Budgerigar_Norway_-01, Labelled for Reuse, Wikimedia Commons

Getting What You Want

By Tim Carey Ph.D. on October 13, 2016 in In Control
We are all wanters. Every one of us wants lots of different things all day, every day.

Can a Reality TV Script Work for a Presidential Campaign?

What Mr. Trump’s unwavering supporters teach us about authenticity in today's culture and its future.

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.
Ben Harding/iStock

A New Look at the Role of Apps in Distracted Teen Driving

New research reveals app usage is a major risk for distracted driving. The results provide a useful guide for productive conversations between teens and parents.
Lawrence Barattini, flickr

The Most Effective Way to Convince People to Evacuate?

By Gretchen Rubin on October 11, 2016 in The Happiness Project
How might a mayor word an evacuation notice, to persuade people of all Four Tendencies?

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.

5 Elements of Desire Formation

By Shahram Heshmat Ph.D. on October 10, 2016 in Science of Choice
Whether people will give in to the desire in any given time depends on two things: the strength of the desire and the strength of the self to resist the urge.

Calling Trump and Clinton - It's Hurricane Matthew

By Mark Goulston M.D., F.A.P.A. on October 10, 2016 in Just Listen
The best leaders make great judgment calls with regard to: strategy, people and crisis. This is a great opportunity to "ready test" candidates Trump and Clinton on judgment

3 Things to Say to Your Loved One Who Won’t Vaccinate

Does someone you love espouse unscientific views? Are you concerned for their health and security? Here are some ways to talk to them about your concerns.

To Be Right or Liked?

If we care so much about being right, why do we argue so much when facts about contentious topics are readily available?

10 Questions to Ask at a College Open House

What should you ask at a college tour or open house? Here’s a quick guide—from the inside.

7 Steps to Making Sound Decisions

By Guy Winch Ph.D. on October 09, 2016 in The Squeaky Wheel
Sometimes we just can't make a decision—here is how to get unstuck.

How Americans Can Make the Best Presidential "Hire"

By Shawn M. Burn Ph.D. on October 08, 2016 in Presence of Mind
The American people are engaged in a job search for our chief executive. It’s an important hire and we’d do well to avoid common errors leading to hiring mistakes.

Stoicism Doesn’t Mean Emotionless

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on October 08, 2016 in How To Do Life
An under-considered approach to life

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.

Just Say No

By Roberta Satow Ph.D. on October 07, 2016 in Life After 50
Are you afraid to say "no"? Do you often feel angry because you are spending time with people you don't like? Are you wasting time doing favors for people who don't matter to you?

How Cocaine-Rush Feelings Are Stimulated on "The Bachelor"

Here are five examples of ways in which the scripting of reality TV shows enhances “cocaine-rush” feelings in new relationships.

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.

Why We Obey and Disobey the Law

By Glenn C. Altschuler Ph.D. on October 06, 2016 in This Is America
Responses to law are shaped by rewards and punishments, peer group influence, and internal motivation. They vary by time, place, and culture, and how information is communicated.


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

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

Drone Policy: Reducing the Human Cost

Social psychology can help us understand and address our drone policy problems.