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

Study Says Grit Isn't Always a Good Thing

Although grit is usually associated with success, new research explains the potential downside of having too much tenacity.

Where Did My Time Go?!

Losing time and getting stressed? A remarkably simple formula looking at three basic factors can help make your days more efficient and joyous.

Stop Having Kids?

Like Ebola and SARS, the Zika virus is causing great fear. Fear and anxiety rarely engender good policy.

The Secret to Finding Your Bliss

By Diana Raab Ph.D. on February 05, 2016 The Empowerment Diary
Joseph Campbell suggested that we find our bliss which requires being tuned into your joy. This article helps the reader seek bliss and identify it when it arrives.

Assessing the Constructiveness of Political Discourse

The key to successful democratic elections is constructive political discourse. Often political discourse is destructive. Here is a framework for assessing its quality.

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.

Why Old Habits Die Hard?

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

Do You Share Political Preferences With Your Parents?

It seems intuitive that our parents should have an influence on our political leanings, but just how this occurs might surprise you.

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 Naturalistic Decision-Making Approach

The Naturalistic Decision-Making (NDM) movement started in 1989. It has radically changed our views of decision-making, sense-making, planning, uncertainty management, and insight.

5 Steps to a Better Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day is a day that can be fraught with and weighed down by expectations. Perhaps we can mitigate potential problems by prepping for it together.

Do You Make Good Decisions?

By David Ludden Ph.D. on January 31, 2016 Talking Apes
Intuitions lead to “good enough” decisions in most everyday situations, but they can lead us astray when the stakes are high.

The Perils of Benchmarking Good Behavior Using Self-Report

The UK government has published new guidelines on alcohol consumption and, yes, they are controversial. But are they undermined by self-report bias?

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.

Taking Control of Your Anger

5 key steps to help be more thoughtful when you feel angry. Decide whether you want to react in an angry way and whether that response will best serve you.

How to Sharpen Your Sixth Sense

Elevate your intuition from good to great.

The Case for Greater Authenticity

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on January 25, 2016 How To Do Life
We live in a world that rewards hype and dishonesty. Should we capitulate?

How Has Shame Influenced Your Life?

Do you recall someone telling you "you should be ashamed of yourself." Have you continued to "shame on yourself?" How will you let go of your false notions of shame?

Facilitating Collective Intelligence

By Michael Hogan Ph.D. on January 23, 2016 In One Lifespan
Successful collaboration requires careful design of learning environments for group interaction and provision of good facilitation to promote meaning-making and problem solving.

Does Mindfulness Enhance Critical Thinking?

By Michael Hogan Ph.D. on January 21, 2016 In One Lifespan
While traditional writings on mindfulness propose that clarity of thinking can be cultivated through the practice of mindfulness, currently scientific evidence is lacking.

The Fascinating Dynamics of Dread

If what you’re anticipating is something you dread, your anxiety over it can be nerve-wracking. Say, you’re on pins and needles to find out the results of your recent MRI. . . .

Does Creativity Come From Persistence or Flexibility?

By Garth Sundem on January 20, 2016 Brain Trust
If you think broadly, you will find creative ideas among irrelevant ones. If you think deeply, you will eventually dig through mundane ideas and into original ones below.

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.

There Is No Average Person. Here's Why.

No one is average. Not you. Not your kids. Not your employees or students. This isn’t hollow sloganeering—it’s a mathematical fact with enormous practical consequences.

What are the Key Dispositions of Good Critical Thinkers?

By Michael Hogan Ph.D. on January 18, 2016 In One Lifespan
Scholars have suggested that there may be a number of core personal dispositions that support good critical thinking. But what are these critical thinking dispositions?

Figuring Out What You Really Want

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

One Surefire Tip For Making Yourself Do What You Need to Do

By Nir Eyal on January 14, 2016 Automatic You
New research reveals an effective way to get ourselves to do tough tasks.

Mental Maps and Cognitive Gaps

People who make judgments that affect others’ lives might not see how their own needs and biases influence their decisions.

Why Saving Goals Don’t Always Help Consumers

Research shows goals to save money can backfire, unless they are used carefully by savers.

Declutter NOW! How Prospect Theory Clutters Up Our Closets

Do you have trouble decluttering your home or office? We tend to over-value most items and it can be painful to let go of things we don't really need!