Essential Reads

How Technology is Tricking You Into Tipping More

Digital payment systems use subtle tactics to increase tips. Here's how...

8 Negative Attitudes of Chronically Unhappy People

8 Negative Thoughts of Chronically Unhappy People

Conflicting Goals Can Make You a Better Decision Maker

Some conflicts actually improve your ability to choose.

How to Become the Most Attractive Job Candidate

Why understanding your strengths will help you stand out.

Recent Posts on Behavioral Economics

Recovery and Resilience Connection

Resilience is defined as the ability to recover from setbacks, adapt well to change, and keep going in the face of adversity. Learning to become more resilient can offer individuals the opportunity to improve their life, maximizing potential and success.

The Addictive Quality of Curiosity

By Shahram Heshmat Ph.D. on January 22, 2015 in Science of Choice
A thorough understanding and exploration of any subject matter requires curiosity and persistent motivation.

Showstoppers

By Gary Klein Ph.D. on January 22, 2015 in Seeing What Others Don't
We are supposed to make decisions based on the degree to which the competing options let us achieve our goals. But that's a myth. We often make tough choices based on showstoppers—issues that have little to do with our goals. We are opportunistic decision makers, not rational ones.

Addiction as a Learning Disorder

By Shahram Heshmat Ph.D. on January 21, 2015 in Science of Choice
The consensus among scientists is that drug addiction is associated with altered learning system that appears to overvalue pleasure, undervalue risk, and fail to learn from repeated mistakes.

Beat the Blue Monday Blues with these Behaviour Change Clues

By Paul Dolan Ph.D. on January 19, 2015 in Happiness by Design
It’s Blue Monday today, which is supposed to be the most depressing day of the year. There is likely to be a lot going around on the web about how to think yourself happy. But it is very difficult to change the way that you think. So instead, here are some tips to change the way you behave to beat the Blue Monday blues.

6 Reasons You Can't Win

Will the partnership between Man and Machine end in our demise, or is this the beginning of a beautiful friendship?

Kick-Starting Your Money Satisfaction

By Michael F. Kay on January 16, 2015 in Financial Life Focus
Shifting Expectations Creates More Realistic Results

Soaring to New Heights

By E E Smith on January 16, 2015 in Not Born Yesterday
To quote designer Pierre Hardy, "People love a high heel because it is not natural. It is a cultural object connected with seduction, power, and sexuality." Well, maybe. I do agree that it is not natural. If God had meant me to be six feet tall, he would have given me longer legs.

If “Talk Is Cheap”

The idiom that “talk is cheap” originates because actions DO speak so much louder than words. But recognize as a parent that talking and continuing to talk, even when teens are not responding, could be the most valuable gift you can give them.

How Much Is Your Failed Resolution Costing You?

By David Maxfield on January 15, 2015 in Crucial Conversations
Why do so many of us fail at our resolutions? Three challenges and strategies to overcome them.

A Breakthrough On The Physical Science Of The Soul

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on January 13, 2015 in Ambigamy
We've been in the dark so damn long we don't notice. We know that living striving selves are real but have no idea how they emerged in a universe that didn't start with them. Without a bridge from matter to mattering we hop between two separate realities, cause and effect, and means to ends. Science is now finally primed to bridge the gap.

The Said Then Done Fallacy

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on January 11, 2015 in Ambigamy
We tend to think we can change ourselves by embracing words of wisdom. We don't notice that embracing is easy; living the words of wisdom is hard and takes ongoing practice. And we often embrace wisdom instead of trying to live by it, the words substituting for deeds.

Be a High Performer (Not a Workaholic) in 2015

By Denise Cummins Ph.D. on January 11, 2015 in Good Thinking
Workaholics believe the key to success is working harder and longer than everyone else. High performers know otherwise.

6 Tips for Dealing With Passive-Aggressive People

Are you dealing with someone who’s passive-aggressive in your life? Relating to a passive-aggressive person can be a difficult experience, with many moments of frustration, anger, and despair. How can you stay on top of the situation and maintain your equanimity? Here are keys to successfully handle passive-aggressive personal relationships...

The Key to Getting Ahead? It's Not About You.

By Art Markman Ph.D. on January 09, 2015 in Ulterior Motives
Most of us have heard some version of the saying “Behind every successful man is a great woman.” This quote highlights that people get accolades for their success in the workplace, but most people who achieve greatness in the workplace need people who support their personal lives.

Ones vs Zeros— Inequality Reflected in 2015 Digital Design

In the science fiction world of technology predictions, the wealthy one percenters always seem to get all the attention. While tech built for them is mostly beyond reach for the rest of us, these technologies possess tremendous symbolic power--smart homes, smart cars, and on-line services conjured like magic via "on-demand." Is resistance futile?

My Mutual Fund Manager Is an Idiot

By John Nofsinger Ph.D. on January 08, 2015 in Mind on My Money
How you feel about a losing investment depends on who you can blame. Regret is strong when there is no one to blame but yourself. Cognitive dissonance plays a role too. Whether you need to avoid regret then drives what you do with the investment: buy, sell, or hold.

How Healthy Food Could Make You Fat

By Peter A. Ubel on January 08, 2015 in Critical Decisions
Say goodbye to the idea that what people weigh is solely a function of their deliberate choices!

How to Have the Marriage You Want

By Susan Newman Ph.D. on January 08, 2015 in Singletons
Redefining marriage gives yours a better chance of surviving in our changed society. 74% of newlyweds won’t be surprised if their marriage fails. Here, seven sensible, forward thinking contracts for marital success in established marriages and for couples about to say “I do.” Consider them insurance policies that pay huge dividends.

Why Some People (Maybe Even Us) Think They're So Special

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on January 07, 2015 in Ambigamy
Sociopaths are rare. Passive exploitives are everywhere, maybe in your own home, even in your own bed.

Why Cravings Occur

By Shahram Heshmat Ph.D. on January 07, 2015 in Science of Choice
For addicts, the trouble begins once they decide to give up the addiction.

Money Decisions

By Marty Babits on January 07, 2015 in The Middle Ground
How are you handling your money? Do you find that planning and discussing money issues are problematic? This article can help.

The 15 New Books to Read in 2015

By Adam Grant Ph.D. on January 07, 2015 in Give and Take
The most exciting books coming out on psychology and work

Hopelesse Oblige: A New Moral Obligation

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on January 06, 2015 in Ambigamy
Lots of people climb to power to make the world a better place, but in power just seek more power. Hopelesse Oblige is the obligation to channel your power into more honest curiosity. We owe it to society to get off our soft assumptions and stop saying what feels good but what is good and true. Because in tough times fewer can afford to be that honest.

Is Homoeconomicus a Psychopath?

By Peter A. Ubel on January 06, 2015 in Scientocracy
Now we have a better sense not only of how poorly the neoclassical economic view of human nature characterizes most humans, but also of how poorly behaved the people are who act according to this caricature.

The Half Life Pledge: Being Realistic Before It's Too Late.

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on January 06, 2015 in Ambigamy
Are you going to be honest or nice? Here's the argument for honest.

How to Make People (and Yourself) Happier

Research shows that giving the gift of a new and special activity or event (experiential gift such as a weekend spa or wine tasting class) increases the positive emotional connection between the giver and the recipient. Tying this to Daniel Kahneman’s concept of wellbeing, experiential gifts are an opportunity to bring happiness to the gift giver and recipient.

Can We Pay People to Quit Drugs?

A number of empirical studies have shown that direct cash payment can alter human behavior, and more specifically drug use behavior. However, this treatment is not effective for everyone. Finding out for whom cash would work in changing behavior may require combining artificial intelligence techniques with neuroscience and clinical intuition.

If You Trust Your Workplace, You Assume It Is Fair

By Art Markman Ph.D. on January 05, 2015 in Ulterior Motives
Periodically, dissatisfied employees will stage a job action in which they will do the minimum amount of work necessary to keep their job. For example, in early 2015, New York City police minimized the number of arrests they made, to protest comments made by the mayor.

Good Consumers, and Bad

By Ken Eisold Ph.D. on January 05, 2015 in Hidden Motives
Most of us are unaware of how relentlessly and extensively we are being watched and evaluated as consumers – and how dangerous our ignorance of that practice can be.