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

7 Surprising Ways Your Emotions Can Get the Best of You

Recognizing how your emotions influence the way you think and behave can prevent you from making these mistakes.

Do Social Odors Build Cities?

By Gayil Nalls Ph.D. on October 02, 2015 Sensoria
Is your smell communicating everything about you, from your state of mind to the foods and drugs you take? Learn how the invisible sense of smell influences every aspects of your daily life.

The Essence of Managing Anxiety

Stress, anxiety and worry make us uneasy and can derail efforts to stay calm. Here are 10 simple ways to keep calm can make it possible to carry on even in difficult situations.

13 Easy Ways to Jumpstart Your Boring Life

By Donna Barstow on October 01, 2015 Ink Blots Cartoons
Routines can be comforting, but when every day looks the same, that can be a danger signal.

Don’t Let The Algorithm Become Your Rockstar!

By Tim Leberecht on September 30, 2015 The Romance of Work
What we need in our organizations are not smarter, more powerful algorithms, we need more true rock stars—visionaries and “misfits” who defy the confines of strict rationality, and rhyme more than they reason.

4 Smart Ways to Save $10 on Your Next Grocery Shopping Trip

Use research from consumer psychology and marketing science to outwit grocery marketers & save money.

Relationship Ambivalence: Should You Stay or Leave?

By Deborah L. Davis Ph.D. on September 29, 2015 Laugh, Cry, Live
A whirlwind romance starts out with such promise but has descended into a painful struggle. Should you stay or should you leave? Will it be worth the effort or should you run for cover? Paralyzed with uncertainty, you’re stuck in “relationship ambivalence”. The cure? Get out of your head and tune into your body. Your gut is your “second brain,” whose wisdom points the way.

The Sources of Fear Perception

By Shahram Heshmat Ph.D. on September 29, 2015 Science of Choice
The development and maintenance of anxiety is jointly determined by the relative strength of emotional brain and cognitive capacity to control unwanted responses.

The Simple Trick to Increasing Your Willpower

Want to increase your willpower? A new study reveals how one small change can make a big difference.

The Normalization of Aging and How To Make It Matter

By Jenni Ogden Ph.D. on September 26, 2015 Trouble in Mind
Aging is not a disease, but it can feel like one as the body wears out and the mind slows down. Staying alive too long can command a high price—pain, and an increasing dependence on others. When drastic medical intervention is the only option left to keep someone you care about alive, ask them what this would need to deliver that really matters to them now, at the end.

False Fear Of Feminism(FFF Syndrome)

If you are not a feminist, chances are you have an irrational and curable phobia.

Change of Seasons, Change of Heart

By Sharon Praissman on September 25, 2015 Beyond the Egg Timer
If you are feeling stuck in the fertility trenches, a new thought approach may be in order.

6 Habits-of-Avoidance That Undermine Your Passions

By Gregg Levoy on September 24, 2015 Passion!
Phase 1 of responding to our passions is resisting them. To undo these habits first requires identifying them. Here are half-a-dozen of the more common tactics for avoiding our passions and powers.

Clutter vs Hoarding vs Collecting

By Barry Yourgrau on September 24, 2015 Mess
"To hell with your problem, whaddya got for me there, baby?”


By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on September 24, 2015 Ambigamy
Over-committed? Try inventorying your commitments. Some have accumulated like weeds worth pulling up by their roots.

Why Are There So Many Mattress Stores in America?

The answer for the mushrooming of mattress stores lies in a combination of retail economics and the psychology of consumer decision making.

5 Reasons Why Poverty Reduces Self-Control

Bad choices can certainly be a factor in poverty. But just because someone makes bad choices doesn’t mean they lack virtue or have no self-control.

Maintaining Self-Control With a Superior

Are you struggling with a disrespectful supervisor? These tips can help you.

Caution: Releasing "Non-Violent" Offenders

How much do we really known about offenders who may be turned loose?

The Decision Scorecard

Personnel evaluations are often painful, for the supervisor and for the employee. Instead of evaluating the person, why not evaluate the decisions? List the decisions the person made during the year and review how they got made and how they turned out. This approach turns a critical conversation into a collaborative one, driven by curiosity.

Is Your Learning Style Paranoid?

By Kirby Farrell Ph.D. on September 20, 2015 A Swim in Denial
We learn—and grow—by engaging with anomalies: new things that don't fit our familiar categories. It's a gut process, not just a philosophical choice. Anxiety can make us paranoid about what's new and strange. Knowing that can spur fascination and help us to adapt.

For Better, For Worse

By E E Smith on September 20, 2015 Not Born Yesterday
We in California have a reputation for being swingers, due in part to Hollywood and movie stars like Elizabeth Taylor. In reply to a reporter's question about whether she respected the institution of marriage, she said she respected it so much that she had said "I do" to seven husbands. And to one of them, Richard Burton, she had said it twice.

Fear Flying? Statistics Don't Help.

By Tom Bunn L.C.S.W. on September 20, 2015 Conquer Fear Of Flying
Forty million isn't personally meaningful. But, the number one hits home. It's personal. What did people on that flight feel? Maybe they got on expecting nothing bad would happen. These thoughts trigger the release of stress hormones and a cascade of feelings.

Crispness: A Little-Discussed Key to Career Success

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on September 18, 2015 How To Do Life
Unsuccessful people often lack focus and get sidetracked.

Five Disadvantages of Polyamory

This blog examines some of the disadvantages to polyamory, including 1. Complexity, 2. Partner Turnover, 3. Faulty Negotiation, 4. Legal Problems, and 5. Too Much Supervision


The “always on” lifestyle of today’s teens proffers images of happy, healthy young people propelled through endless days by a hyperkinetic force field allowing them to achieve almost anything. But lurking behind that façade may be something more sinister.

Campaign 2016 - The Leader and Leadership We Need

By Mark Goulston M.D., F.A.P.A. on September 16, 2015 Just Listen
As we look out to the 2016 Presidential Election, I think we are desperately in need of a candidate who is a PAL that exhibits TCR leadership.

The 7 Biggest Myths About Mentally Strong People

Believing these misconceptions about mentally strong people could hold you back from building the strength you need to reach your greatest potential.

5 Ways Anxious Feeling Changes the Way We Think

By Shahram Heshmat Ph.D. on September 14, 2015 Science of Choice
Anxious people suffer from interpretation biases in responding to uncertainty and threats.

Harsh Justice

By Michael Cholbi Ph.D. on September 13, 2015 Ethics in Question
It seems natural to think that the harsher the punishment, the more it will deter crime. But some recent studies suggest that isn't the case. Here some tools from economics and philosophy are used to explore why.