What's Your Hurry?

Procrastination is widespread and costly. But new research suggests that the desire to complete unpleasant tasks can sometimes cause us to “pre-crastinate,” wasting effort by beginning tasks too soon.

Family Feud Highlights Our Aversion to Idleness

Idleness is distressing, and that can drive people to act when they should be passive. Family Feud illustrates this bias in nearly every episode.

I Love You. Here’s a $25 Olive Garden Gift Card.

Soon, it seems, most gifts will be gift cards. Despite the fact that some gift cards are thoughtfully selected by givers who want to ensure that their recipient finds something they like, there are a number of reasons why gift card givers don’t get the credit they should.

What Does It Mean to Be a Saver?

We are often categorized (by ourselves, our friends, our spouses, or online quizzes) as “savers” or “spenders.” But is there widespread agreement about what these terms mean? In this post, I consider what it means to be a saver.

Don’t Forget the Milk (and the Charitable Donation)

Grocery store cashiers sometimes ask customers if they’d like to make a small charitable donation. Customers who comply with such requests may feel licensed to misbehave elsewhere.

Salary Differences Between Employees Can Encourage Cheating

Wage and salary differences within an organization are sometimes publicly known. How does this information influence the ethical behavior of employees?

The Psychology of Bidding on The Price is Right

Making it onto stage on The Price is Right might require bidding strategies that are rational but feel mean. When do social preferences override the desire to win?

Why We Overspend With Credit

Using credit to make purchases causes many people to spend more than they would have if they had used cash. What emotional and cognitive forces contribute to this bias, and what can be done to curb it?

Fatal (Fiscal) Attraction

Typically, birds of a feather flock together. But when it comes to money, tightwads tend to marry spendthrifts. Is this good for marriages?

(Debt) Snowball Fight

How should people manage multiple debts? Basic economic principles (and credit scoring agencies) suggest repaying the debt with the highest interest rate first. However, some financial gurus and a number of psychological factors favor the debt snowball method (repaying small debts first to build momentum, regardless of interest rates). What’s the best approach?

In Defense of Retail Therapy

Retail therapy gets a bad rap. There’s no question that repeatedly engaging in retail therapy is a recipe for debt and unhappiness. But every now and then, retail therapy may be effective. In particular, retail therapy may help to restore a sense of personal control and reduce sadness.