Fatherhood has Changed, Father's Day Needs an Upgrade

Shoppers complain that they’re stumped with it comes to finding special gifts for their fathers. Given the elevated emotional stature and broader roles of fathers, here are four ideas to delight your dad on Father’s Day.

3 Reasons You (or Someone You Know) Crave the Apple Watch

If you've found yourself craving an Apple Watch (even though you don't think you really need one), you're not alone. Here are three insights about how Apple has tapped into our psychology to create desire.

The 5 Step Plan to Be One of the 10% Whose Resolutions Last

If you follow these five resolution rules, next year at this time you’ll be a resolution winner - and on stronger financial ground, too.

Why You Gave that Awful Present

We’ve all suffered through that awkward silence at least once, the one that comes right after someone opens the holiday gift you’ve selected for them that’s somehow not quite right. Here's where well-intentioned gift-givers go wrong.

How to Avoid Bargain-Brained Holiday Shopping Pitfalls

With so much to choose from we have to have a reason to buy—for many it's all about the bargain. Especially for gifts, make it about the product instead. Here's how.

12 Ways to Become a More Rational Shopper

Culled from more than 100 ethnographies, a consumer psychologist shares 12 tips for smarter shopping

A Simple Cure to Impulsive Overspending

Two reasons why an attitude of gratitude is the antidote to impulsive spending

What Dad Wants for Father's Day

This year, and every year that I’ve surveyed fathers, what I hear is that their identity as fathers doesn’t mesh well with lavish Father’s Day celebrations. It seems there’s something unmanly or “undadly” about pampering.

The New Shopper Brain Decoded

Three ways our more anxious minds are changing how and why we shop and buy.

5 Strategies to Put the Ho Ho Back Into Holiday Gift Giving

Though people say they want gift cards, for many it feels like Santa is simply doling out paychecks—whereas a thoughtfully chosen gift signifies and strengthens bonds which is the best gift of all. Here are five strategies for great gift-giving.

What Your Halloween Costume Says About Your Personality

Your choice of Halloween costume is also your dark side, developmental needs and personality on display. Does that mean that sexy schoolgirls, sexy wenches and sexy maids have a secret wish to be powerless and rescued? More likely it's the opposite.

Three Unexpected Side-Effects of Smartphones on Shopping

The smartphone has changed how we think, communicate and relate - it's no wonder it's also changed how we shop.

Why "Retail Therapy" Works

New research shows that shopping actually can be "therapeutic."

Paying For a Good Night's Sleep

You might be better off talking a little nap than reading this article - over half of Americans struggle with sleep and the consequences are deadly. While sleep may be free, we're paying a lot of money to get it. Here are three marketplace trends and what they say about society.

Why Clearance Sales are Psychologically "Irresistable"

Five reasons why clearance sales are psychologically irresistible and how to avoid unsatisfying purchases.

This Is Your Brain On Holiday Shopping

Who among us hasn't thought to ourselves, "what was I thinking when I bought that?" Chances are you weren't "thinking." Physiological signals greatly influence what we buy.

Why Holiday 'Self-Gifting' Is On the Rise

In an increasingly “me-centric” society, shopping for yourself while shopping for others is simply more acceptable.

Pricey Puppy Love

Last year, consumers spent $51 billion on their pets—that’s nearly double what pet owners spent a decade ago— and spending on Halloween pet costumes has jumped 40 percent in two years.

The Angry World of Merchandise Returns

The return—that moment when the customer effectively tells the store their sales transaction was a failure, that they found something better, or a better price—is an authenticity test. And according to my research, one that retailers often fail. When that happens, shoppers feel tricked.

How Technology is Changing What We Eat

Preparing and eating food is one of the most fundamental activities of humanity. It’s only natural that we’ll see changes in our psychology reflected how we choose to shop and cook, and what we want to eat. Here are some examples of how technology has shaped our food preferences and the innovative ways the food industry is responding.

5 Mental Mistakes that Sabotage Spending Resolutions

Spending willpower is no match for these five mental minefields.

Experts Make the Same Holiday Shopping Mistakes that You Do

It turns out that even the experts get tripped up by the same shopping mistakes as everyone else: overbuying, procrastination, impulsive purchasing and falling prey to promotions.

Psychological Secrets of Pro-Performance Holiday Shopping

Here's how to combat the psychological landmines of high pressure holiday shopping.

Shoppers Are Whistling New Tunes

Sales of snazzy goodies like nail polish, handbags, wine and cheesecake are soaring. Meanwhile, ugly stepsister products like fertilizer, shoe polish and vacuum cleaner bags languish on store shelves. Here's why.

Flash Sales: The New (Deeply Psychological) Budget Busters

Flash sale sites are designed to tap into the most vulnerable aspects of our shopping psychology.

The Economy: Consumer Mastery Vs. Soaring Prices

Rather than to be felled by the recession, the American consumer has emerged empowered.

This Is Your Tax Return on Behavioral Economics

A tax refund is the return of your own money, but only 19% say they'll reduce their holdings next year.

Six Tips for Happy Returns

Shoppers will be receive a bit more scrutiny when they try to return or exchange merchandise this year. Here are a few tips for smooth returns.

Holiday Shopping Tips From an "Expert"

Though my focus is on the mindset of consumers and the marketing tactics of retailers, I've also picked up a few shopping tips.

A Generational Chasm in Spending Ideals

 Like everyone else, Gen Y has reduced their spending out of necessity. But it's been to a lesser extent than older generations. More importantly, their feelings about shopping and buying remain more positive than the over 30 crowd, and less changed by their recessionary shopping strategies. 

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