Do we need work to be happy?

Utopian novels predict a future that is safe and easy but boring.

Big Science Needs Its Own Cryptocurrency

I propose a new cryptocurrency where mining new coins requires solving science problems.

Can a Computer Know You Better Than You Know Yourself?

The human brain is more complex than math these days.

Wikipedia Needs to Hire Professional Science Writers

Wikipedia has great coverage of Pokemon but spotty coverage of science topics.

It's a Jungle in There

Microsoft's stack rank system is great in theory, terrible in practice.

Rethinking the morality of the Prisoner's Dilemma

How about if instead of using the terms 'cooperation' and 'defection' we instead say 'collusion' and 'honesty'?

If a Traffic Camera Catches You, Your Fine Should Be Less

Psychology dictates the appropriate fines for traffic violations.

Why Do Monkeys Like to Gamble?

I talk about my own scientific research at the TEDxRochester conference 2012.

The Time Pepsi Offered a Billion Dollars and Nobody Cared

Pepsi's marketing department failed to understand diminishing marginal utility.

Why Do We Give Diamond Engagement Rings?

People think we give engagement rings because advertising made us do it. It's more complicated than that.
Why Would a Restaurant Refuse To Accept Tips?

Why Would a Restaurant Refuse To Accept Tips?

Can the psychology of friendship and fandom explain why one restaurant –and maybe more soon – refuses to accept tips?

Don't Ask a Psychologist to Explain the Economic Meltdown

The media has a story they want to tell about the meltdown. But it's not true.

Why Did Obama Win?

The campaign doesn't matter much, even though it feels like it does.

Election Special: Psychology of Probability

We humans have trouble understanding election probabilities.

Why Do We Save the Best for Last?

An obscure bias that explains so much about how elements of artwork are organized in time.

Cheap and Expensive Wine Taste the Same in Blind Taste Tests

How wine tastes is largely determined by your expectations. That's not a bad thing.

Why Is Dessert the Last Meal of the Day?

No one can tell me why we eat dessert last. Why not first?

Flaws in Neuroimaging Studies Are Just the Tip of the Iceberg

The data collection is moving faster than the statistical analysis techniques.

Happiness Is About More Than Just Pleasure

Mountain climbing is miserable and then it's over. Why do mountain climbers continue to climb?

How Harvard and MIT Can Give Away Their Only Product for Free

Harvard and MIT are giving away education in the form of online courses. Will this dilute their brand, or jeopardize their economic success?

Politicians Keep Their Promises More Often Than You Think

A politician's promise are about as good as Lindsay Lohan's promise to show up in court on time. Right?

Genetics of IQ: not so simple

Failure to replicate is Science Language for "not true".

Why Taking Mental Health Pills Isn't All That Bad

The brain is the most complicated part of the body. Pills are a very efficient way of tuning them up.

Why Do Liberals Hate Smokeless Cigarettes?

Liberals tend to oppose e-cigarettes, but the reason is unclear.

How Much Progress Has Artificial Intelligence Made

In the Age of Siri, I revisit Douglas Hofstadter's 10 Questions and Answers about Artificial Intelligence, posed in Godel, Escher, Bach 32 years ago.

Diseases of the Free Will System

Tourette Syndrome is a valuable tool in the arsenal of techniques neuroscience can use to help advance the philosophy of free will.

Is Neuroscience Incompatible with the Idea of Evil?

Understanding the neuroscience behind evil doesn't forgive evil acts.

Update on the NYT iPhone Neuroimaging Scandal

The continuing saga of the crummy New York Times editorial arguing that you "love" your iPhone.