Chocolate or strawberry? Life or death? We make tons of quick decisions unconsciously; others we hem and haw over in agony. 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

High School and Beyond

As a parent, you understand the desire to help your child succeed in the world and have the best future possible. Many parents dream their child will be successful, obtain postsecondary education, excel academically and most of all: find a career that is rewarding and satisfying. After all, isn't that the American dream?

Shaping Women's Lives: Our Bodies, Ourselves

"Our Bodies, Ourselves" is listed in the Library of Congress "Books That Shaped America.” Since its original publication more than 40 years ago, the book set a foundation for evidence-based, culturally appropriate information on women’s health, sexuality, and reproduction. Co-author Judy Norsigian says, “Gatekeepers no longer have the control they had in the past.”

Protective Parenting an Adolescent

With all the media attention devoted to adolescents getting in trouble, getting hurt, and getting killed, it's hard for parents not to worry about their teenager and to act restrictively in her or her defense. However, the best protection parents can provide is self-management preparation for safely functioning in a hazardous world.

The Backlash Against Psychiatric Diagnoses

Only in mental health does there exist the idea that we should avoid diagnostic terms if the cause of the suffering is great. This well-intentioned but misguided effort only alienates people further.

After the Germanwings Crash, 7 Lessons About Mental Illness

By Carrie Barron M.D. on March 30, 2015 in The Creativity Cure
Not all depressions are alike. Severe depression with psychotic features may elude a clinician as they are well masked or not present at the time of the exam. Symptoms ebb and flow, troubled people can be high functioning and we have much to uncover about the conditions of the Germanwings co-pilot.

Techniques to Manage Your Procrastination: Part II

Techniques to Manage Your Procrastination: Part II. 8 tips sure to work if you don’t put off using them. Part I of this post is Procrastination: Why You Do It. By Jane Burka, Ph.D. and Lenora Yuen, Ph,D.

How to Apply Spring Cleaning to Your Body, Mind and Soul

By Gregg McBride on March 28, 2015 in The Weight-ing Game
What are you sitting on, keeping in your home or potentially hoarding on your shelves that might be holding you back mentally? Anything you need to get rid of? Any de-cluttering you need encouragement on? You might be surprised to learn that your mind is in need of spring cleaning even more than your living space is.

Detox From Negative News In The Media

By Marlynn Wei M.D., J.D. on March 27, 2015 in Urban Survival
Feeling weighed down by all the negative news in the media? Here's how to detox from the influx of negative events and news in the media.

The Benefits of Embracing the Ordinary

By Amie M. Gordon PhD on March 27, 2015 in Between You and Me
What would you rather do, write down the last conversation you had or watch a funny video? This is one question researchers asked in an effort to understand whether we underestimate the pleasure we get from recalling mundane events from our past. We don't want to record the last conversation we had, but in a month, we'd rather read about it than watch a funny video.

Why Sleepy Shopping May Lead to a Bigger Waistline

By Nicole Avena Ph.D. on March 27, 2015 in Food Junkie
Research suggests that combing the aisles of the supermarket with drooping eyelids may have unintended consequences for your pantry and possibly your diet.

The Case of the Incentivized Applicant

How much is a job interview worth?

Anorexia and the Dangers of Blog Post Titles

By Emily T. Troscianko on March 26, 2015 in A Hunger Artist
Few topics induce stronger emotion than parenting and children’s illness, and where emotions are heightened miscommunication can easily occur. Here I try to clarify my mother’s original argument, respond to some readers’ comments which blur the crucial distinction between personal and scientific ‘findings’, and reflect on the role of choice in recovery from anorexia.

What Parents Can’t Do

More than twice as many states required parental consent for mental health treatment than for substance abuse treatment.

Are You on the Fence? 10 Questions to Help Set Yourself Free

By Peg Streep on March 25, 2015 in Tech Support
Are you someone who second-guesses every big decision to death? Do you find yourself unable to move one way or another? Here are some questions that can possibly help...

Habits Are Necessary but Make Us Thoughtless

By Arthur Dobrin D.S.W. on March 24, 2015 in Am I Right?
Habits work so well because they don’t require thinking.

From A-Ha to Success and Beyond

By Kathy Cramer Ph.D. on March 24, 2015 in Lead Positive
This is the story of retail innovator Maxine Clark and how she answered her Call to found Build-A-Bear, the teddy-bear themed retail-entertainment experience.

Adolescent Excellence and Managing High Expectations

When parents either support or encourage their teenager to have high personal performance expectations, they also need to provide guidance about how to manage their feelings when these outcomes are not met, as will sometimes occur.

True Love or Outdated Obligation?

When you feel yourself falling out of love, here are three questions that might help you determine the long-term prognosis for the relationship.

The Best Strategy for Facing Your Biggest Fears

By Erin Olivo Ph.D. on March 22, 2015 in Wise Mind Living
Fear is an emotion that many people try to avoid because it makes you feel uncomfortable. Is there anything you aren’t facing right now because your fear is holding you back?

Does Creativity have its Dark Side?

We are used to thinking of creativity as an entirely positive attribute. However, new research on malevolent creativity suggests that the truly creative may put their novel thinking to dangerous uses under the right circumstances.

Collaboration, Willingness, and Leadership

Certainly, those of us who want to put collaboration at the center of how we function are swimming upstream. What’s most needed, in my mind, is the empowerment of all to be able to express their needs and perspectives and, simultaneously, be interested in the needs and perspectives of others and in finding a solution that works for all.

What Would You Tell Your 20-year-old Self?

Wouldn't it be nice to save time and learn life lessons earlier? Ask the simple question of what you wished you'd known earlier and maybe you can save yourself--or someone you care about--a bit of time, energy and drama.

Playing to Win

Conventional wisdom about making better judgments and decisions consists of methods for reducing biases and errors. But this is a defensive strategy, playing not to lose. We can do better. By trying to foster insights and discoveries, we can play to win.

Leaders: We Love Humble Leaders But Idolize Narcissists

By Ray Williams on March 17, 2015 in Wired for Success
Research shows that humble leaders whose focus is to serve others are equally successful, but more importantly, capture the hearts and loyalty of others.

Sometimes It Is Better to Have No Alternatives

By Art Markman Ph.D. on March 17, 2015 in Ulterior Motives
When people are negotiating, they generally feel more comfortable when they have a back up offer. It is common to hear people say, “Worst case scenario, at least I have…”

Study Finds People with ADHD More Likely to Die Prematurely

The findings of this study can be anxiety-provoking for anyone touched by AD/HD. But the answer may be as simple as effective treatment.

Are Patients Harmed When Doctors Explain Things too Simply?

By Peter A. Ubel on March 17, 2015 in Critical Decisions
Sometimes fast-thinking is not so good. Which raises an interesting question for physicians trying to help patients navigate important medical decisions: Will they harm patients by explaining things so simply that patients make fast, erroneous choices?

The Hidden Horrors of Jury Duty

By Ruth Sarah Lee J.D. on March 16, 2015 in So Sue Me
Jury duty may be much worse than a mere inconvenience.

Are Environmentalists Better Romantic Partners?

Choosing eco-friendly vs luxury goods may have an impact on your love life.

Campus Rape

Will college compliance with Title IX prevent date rape?