Behavioral Economics Essential Reads

How All-You-Can-Eat Buffets Use Psychology to Make Money

All-you-can-eat buffets create the perception of providing variety and quality, but cleverly manipulate customers' choices and portion sizes.

Don’t Let Shame Weaken Your Retirement Plans

How can you get power to save for retirement? Retirement planning is possible. Three tips that will empower anyone to plan better without despair and shame.

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.

No, You Can’t Pick My Brain, But I’ll Talk to You Anyway

By Adam Grant Ph.D. on September 29, 2015 Give and Take
Why you might want to take that meeting

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.

Spreading Coherence and Emotion

By Art Markman Ph.D. on September 16, 2015 Ulterior Motives
Going back to the 1950s, social and cognitive psychologists noticed that people’s beliefs tend to become more coherent over time. For example, a couple buying a house might initially notice both the positive and negative elements of that house. If they decide they are not going to buy that house, they may start to focus on the negatives rather than the positives.

3 Ways In Which Saving Money Can Help You Lose Weight

Most of us are good at controlling our actions in one domain but fail in others. In this article, I will explain reasons why self-restraint success is domain-specific for many of us and suggest three ways in which we can transfer our success in one area to other areas.

Is Online Dating a Good Way to Find Profound Love?

It is commonly agreed that online dating provides people with a larger pool of romantic candidates. However, it is not certain whether online dating is a better way to find long-term profound love than conventional offline dating is. This article suggests an answer to this question.

The Grateful False Positive

By Saurabh Jha MD on September 13, 2015 Pascal’s Wager
Doctors haven’t stopped being wrong. We just make more tolerable mistakes.

Could Donald Trump Make Us More Informed?

Donald Trump, the stock market, and being irrational. Behavioral economics tells us that having "The Donald" in the race could actually make us more informed.

What Shoppers Should Know About Reference Prices

Shoppers use prices they know or encounter to judge if a product is cheap or expensive. In this article, I will explain how such reference prices affect shoppers' decisions, and can trick them into making purchases. I will also suggest some ways in which shoppers can protect themselves from the effects of reference prices.

7 New Books to Read This Fall

By Adam Grant Ph.D. on August 27, 2015 Give and Take
The best new reads on psychology

Will Americans Eat Fewer Subway Sandwiches Because of Jared?

Jared Fogle embodies the Subway brand so his reprehensible actions spell potential doom. However, I argue that any adverse effects to Subway will be temporary, and offer four explanations for such an outcome.

Do Shoppers Benefit From Buying With Subscriptions?

Most products and services can now be purchased with subscriptions. In this article, I will explain two types of subscriptions and the pros and cons of subscription-based buying. For most shoppers, the potential downsides of subscriptions far outweigh the benefits.

4 Ways to Stop Paying Too Much for Anything

Charm prices (prices that end with the digit 9) are used by retailers because they encourage purchases. In this article, I will explain why charm pricing works and discuss four ways in which shoppers can minimize the effects of charm prices on their buying behavior.

Rainforest and Nordic Countries Vie in Well-Being Index

Social well-being can be measured by various methods that give different results. Now Costa Rica shows that it's not only the Nordic countries that look so good in surveys of well-being and happiness in nations across the globe.

Exposing The One-Trick Phony

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on August 05, 2015 Ambigamy
Jon Stewart has been teaching the same psychology lesson night after night, and its the right lesson for our tense, uncertain times.

Three Paradoxical Ways for Coping With Romantic Abundance

Romantic love is often characterized as involving a great deal of sensitivity, excitement, and closeness. However, our cyber society often provides an overabundance of these features. Hence, a few opposite principles are proposed: (a) Indifference is the new romantic sensitivity; (b) Calmness is the new romantic excitement; and (c) Distance is the new romantic closeness.

The Winner's Curse

Why are our best estimates of value can be wrong when they lead to a successful purchase (or sale).

Why It's Time to Change How You Divide Your Time

We are constantly bombarded with how to achieve greater work-life balance. What if we pursued an optimal time budget instead? Other species do not allocate time evenly across activities. Instead they devote time according to priorities that maximize their success.

Seven Reasons Why Your Financial Life Creates Anxiety

While there are some who breathe the rarified air of having their financial lives totally together, most people struggle. Your degree of struggle might range from small—not being sufficiently organized—to complete and utter meltdown.

What Your Financial Health Says About Your Mental Health

Studies show the likelihood of having a mental health problem is three times higher among people who have debt.

How to Be More Patient (and Why It's Worth It)

Delaying gratification is hard. You have probably seen the adorable videos of kids in Walter Mischel’s classic marshmallow experiments. Adults also have a lot of trouble delaying gratification. People pay extra to get fast delivery from websites. They accept small rewards in the present rather than waiting for longer rewards in the future.

Why Nothing Is More Exciting Than a Calm Romance

Romantic love is usually associated with tempestuous excitement. Love can certainly be like this, but I believe that in our current accelerated society, calmness, rather than tempestuousness, is the new romantic excitement.

The Mind Of An Addict

There is a gap between what they prefer to do and what they actually do.

How the Ownership of Something Increases Our Valuations

When we own something we begin to value it more than other people do.

Why Do We Misjudge Others

When we interact with a new person, our judgments are colored by our own past experiences, projections, and expectations.

A Crash Course on Gender Differences - Session 7

By Eyal Winter on June 27, 2015 Feeling Smart
More Clichés: Men seek Younger and Physically Attractive; Women seek Professionally Successful

My Dad's Silly, Simple, Crazy Way to Make Decisions

My mom's death forced my dad to make one of the biggest decisions he had made in a long time. His approach to the decision turned out to be genius. And all this time, I thought I was the one who knew how to make decisions. Man, was I wrong.

Are You the Real Thing?

Coca Cola's brilliant "Share-a-Coke" advertising campaign has resurrected the flagging giant and refueled the debate over the toxic adverse health effects of soda and the vulnerability of the consuming public.