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

The Shocking Truth About Poaching

By Ryan Anderson on August 30, 2015 in The Mating Game
You can't always get what you want

Why Smart People Do Dumb Things

By David Maxfield on August 26, 2015 in Crucial Conversations
The quiet, polite expression of doubt can turn the rest of the group from zombies into thinkers.

The Culture of Precaution

Would you rather definitely lose ten dollars or a one percent chance of losing 1000 dollars? Perhaps not surprisingly, people would much prefer to lose the 10 dollars, than run a small risk of a large loss. Why?

How To Need Less Affirmation

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on August 26, 2015 in Ambigamy
We all need ego-strokes, but how many? Here are five ideas for going on an affirmation diet, without starving.

My Daughter Steals And Lies

By Barbara Greenberg Ph.D. on August 25, 2015 in The Teen Doctor
How To Manage Defiant Daughter

Abstract Ideas Lead to Real-World Resilience

By Polly Campbell on August 25, 2015 in Imperfect Spirituality
Your ability to bounce back from challenge may be all in your imagination.

Psychology Suggests a Surprising Reason for Homicide?

Brendan O'Flaherty and Rajiv Sethi point out in their study that homicide is the second most important reason for the racial gap in life expectancy in the USA: eliminating homicide would do more to equalize African-American and white life expectancy, than eradicating any other cause of death except cardiovascular disease.

Objects and Memories...and the Pain of Letting Go

By Barry Yourgrau on August 24, 2015 in Mess
The Pain of Letting Go

Cheating Ethically?

By Isadora Alman MFT on August 24, 2015 in Sex & Sociability
I can think of no circumstance in which cheating of any klind can be ethical. Can you?

When Parents and Adolescent Get Stuck in a Hard Place

One trap for parents and teenager when in a hard place with each other is to think hard thoughts and feel hard feelings. By doing so, matters get worse. To make them better it helps to violate negative predictions and disempower feelings from influencing decisions.

The Nine Levers for Better Decisions

To help people make better decisions, we have nine levers to use: Clarifying goals, structuring the decision, training, checklists, incentives, behavioral engineering, picking the right people, using information technology, and designing better organizations. We don't have to be trapped by habits of using only one lever, such as training or incentives.

9 Subtle Habits that Could be Killing Your Career

Just one or two bad habits can prevent you from advancing your career.

9 Reasons You Need a Personal Motto

By Meg Selig on August 21, 2015 in Changepower
When complicated ideas get lost in space, a good motto can remind you of what's really important.

Is Extreme Weather an 'Act of God'?

Researchers from Northwestern University, University of Arizona and Stanford University, have recently published an investigation into first-hand accounts from survivors of two major natural disasters--Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the Chilean earthquake in 2010. Describing the disasters as an 'Act of God' was among the most common explanations.

Can You Escape Bias?

Is is possible to be completely bias free? Even with the best of intentions, the forces of social conditioning can interfere with our perceptions and constructions of one another. Have you ever misjudged someone, or been on the receiving end of wrong assumptions? How can we overcome these limiting tendencies in favor of embracing and appreciating our many dimensions?

Ten Tips For People Who Second-Guess Themselves

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on August 19, 2015 in Ambigamy
"Why do I second guess myself so much?" Oops. There you go again.

Taking, Losing, and Letting Go of Control in Anorexia

By Emily T. Troscianko on August 18, 2015 in A Hunger Artist
Control is central to many experiences of anorexia. How might exploring unpredictability help us uncover its dark sides and weak spots?

Oreo Thins Paradox – Why People Pay More For Less

The new Oreo Thins is out. And it is priced at 42% premium compared to regular Oreo cookies. Why are consumers often willing to pay more for less?

The Potential of the Aging Mind

Why the a comprehensive perspective on the aging brain is key and how the latest neuroscience research combats commonly held beliefs about the aging brain's inevitable, progressive decline

Exploring the Good Kind of Disobedience

By John P. Schuster on August 17, 2015 in The Power of Your Past
Intelligent Disobedience. I recommend this book to all of us interested in the implications of the Hoffman Report, and to everyone not in psychology but interested in human courage in the face of collective evil.

5 Signs You're Trying too Hard to Please Everyone

Mentally strong people don't try to please everyone.

When Life Turns To Sh*t - Look For The Pony

By Barton Goldsmith Ph.D. on August 11, 2015 in Emotional Fitness
One of the most powerful positions you can take in life is to know that if you were to lose everything, you could find success once again. I pray that you never have to go through anything so difficult, but if you do, you can trust that you have the inner strength and confidence to make your world whole again.

How Important Is It to Look Competent?

University students in Korea can look at the faces of two unknown political opponents in the U.S. and choose the winner about two-thirds of the time, yet they can’t accurately predict what happens in their own country. What’s going on here?

Making Good Choices

By Tim Carey Ph.D. on August 10, 2015 in In Control
Good choices are decisions that keep you heading in the direction you want to go.

8 Things Mentally Strong People Do Every Day

Mentally strong people work had to keep strengthening their mental muscles.

No Regret Insurance - Preventing One of Life's Tragedies

By Mark Goulston M.D., F.A.P.A. on August 08, 2015 in Just Listen
What a tragedy to get to the end of your life filled with regret and no time left to make it right

Donald Trump, Political Correctness, Ignorance and Comedy

Political correctness is like spell-check for your mouth. Trump means to sound the way he does-- and he wants everyone else to echo him; that's why Trump’s name needs to be erased from the political chalkboard. PC stand for "perfectly civilized," which is what any American leader must be.

How Steve Jobs Would Trump and Disrupt the Republican Debate

By Mark Goulston M.D., F.A.P.A. on August 05, 2015 in Just Listen
General Schwarzkopf once said that the first thing you do when you become a General is take off your specialty pins, because the only thing that matters is the mission and that has to override your defaulting back to your prior area of competence. Don't you agree that the President we need, must take off his or her party affiliation to serve the mission we all need?

Seven Ways to Boost Your Emotional Courage

By Guy Winch Ph.D. on August 05, 2015 in The Squeaky Wheel
Many situations in life call upon us to do something we find scary, upsetting, uncomfortable, anxiety provoking, or distressing. Here's how to find the courage to tackle them head on.

People, skills, attitude and money: the 4 Horsemen of Stress

Help I need somebody! Planning whom to call on is a #1 resource for stress.