Essential Reads

Water Games

Let us revisit a negotiation over drinking water in the German heartland.

What Happens When the Whole Family Plays with Food?

“Family therapy can be helpful; family dinner is transformative.”

Democracy and the Pro-social Impulse

Can there be democracy without idealism?

Tom Brady Broke the Rules, But Don't We All?

What "Deflategate" can teach us about human nature

Recent Posts on Behavioral Economics

Conflicting Goals Can Make You a Better Decision Maker

By Art Markman Ph.D. on February 18, 2015 in Ulterior Motives
We tend to think of conflict as the enemy of good decision making. But, it turns out that when people have two conflicting goals that they are grappling with, they are likely to think carefully about choices in order to resolve the conflict.

Neoliberalism Viewed From the Couch

By Diogo Gonçalves on February 18, 2015 in There Are Free Lunches
Paul Verhaeghe is a psychoanalyst and writer. That wouldn’t make him exceptionally different from other psychotherapists if his last book wasn’t about Economics, but it is. Economics? Well, to be more precise, the book is about the current western socio-economic system—Neo-liberalism—and the effect it is having on our minds and bodies.

How to Become the Most Attractive Job Candidate

By Erica Dhawan on February 16, 2015 in Accelerated Connectedness
We often think that because we have a great academic record or went to the right schools, we’ll be great at any job and will impress any potential boss. But, in today’s world, standing out takes much more than just relying on a good resume. The key is knowing your strengths and figuring out how they will fit into different work environments.

Is Your Teen an Observer, Asserter, Perfectionist or …?

By Susan Newman Ph.D. on February 16, 2015 in Singletons
So much about being a teen can be confusing and difficult. Understanding the nine Enneagram personality types could help your teen. What type is your teen and what does that say about the way he or she relates to others including you, her parents?

The Trouble with "Gotcha" Management

By Victor Lipman on February 15, 2015 in Mind of the Manager
It's a management style that focuses on catching employees doing something—anything—wrong. And it's a drain on productivity.

The Greatest Challenge a Couple Faces, and 5 Ways to Beat It

By Kerry Patterson on February 11, 2015 in Crucial Conversations
According to a study, couples who argue effectively are 10 times more likely to have a happy relationship than those who struggle to discuss disagreements.

Why Our Emotions Are More Rational Than We Think

By Eyal Winter on February 09, 2015 in Feeling Smart
Emotions, rationality, and behavior.

How to Change People Who Don't Want to Change

By Joseph Grenny on February 09, 2015 in Crucial Conversations
When you’re trying to influence people who need motivation, but not information, don’t offer more information. That’s nagging. Instead, use questions to create a safe environment where they can explore motivations they already have

Sizing Up Your Money Mindset For 2015

By Michael F. Kay on February 04, 2015 in Financial Life Focus
We all come into adulthood with a money mindset, even if we don't realize it. Before 2015 becomes 2016, maybe it's time to assess your mindset.

A University Is Not Walmart

In the modern university, run as a business, students are getting good grades and piling up debt but aren’t learning that much. The professors feel powerless and alienated, but the administration looks at the bottom line, smiles, and says all is well.

Is Your Dream Too Expensive?

By Michael Karson Ph.D., J.D. on February 03, 2015 in Feeling Our Way
Many of our aspirations are compensatory, making up for something that life is not providing. If our dream comes true, it’s often at the cost of what life was providing.

Calmfidence: The Secret to True Resilience

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on February 02, 2015 in Ambigamy
Make the best of your worst-case scenarios.

Study: When We Least Expect It, We Overeat

By Peter A. Ubel on January 29, 2015 in Critical Decisions
Sometimes being energized by your environment may be the worst thing for your waistline.

Want Engaged Employees? Give Them Work-Life Balance

By Victor Lipman on January 27, 2015 in Mind of the Manager
One of the surest ways to ensure you'll have unproductive employees is to have their minds elsewhere.

How To Not Be A Jerk In A Jerk Infested World

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on January 27, 2015 in Ambigamy
To get ahead without getting mean, master three arts, rhetoric, critical thinking and applying both even-handedly.

Is Curiosity Good for Your Relationship?

By Aaron Ben-Zeév Ph.D. on January 27, 2015 in In the Name of Love
Curiosity is usually regarded as a virtue, since it widens our horizons and develops our capacities. However, our natural romantic curiosity is contrary to the natural need to deepen the romantic connection. Distinguishing between two types of romantic curiosity may solve this enigma.

Dead Kennedys, Testosterone-Crazed Skateboarders, and You

Can observing testosterone crazed skateboarders, or delving into the risky decisions made by Joe Kennedy's descendants who died tragic early deaths, inform us about the fundamental bases of our everyday decisions?

Don't Take Your Medications as Prescribed? You’re Not Alone

By Peter Edelstein M.D. on January 24, 2015 in Patient Power
Are you one of the millions who fails to take your prescription medications as directed, or at all? Have you ever not even filled a prescription? Why do so many of us fail to take medications prescribed to help us remain healthy? Here are some common reasons for non-compliance, and some advice for Shark Surfers, Credit Carders, and Different Drummers.

Emotional Intelligence: Cult or Competitive Advantage?

By Sara Canaday on January 23, 2015 in You (According to Them)
The reason so many people believe in the validity of EI has nothing to do with being members of a cult, and everything to do with observation in the real world. Sure, data can sometimes overturn the apple cart of “common sense,” but in this case, the other methods of EI measurement are absolutely correlated with greater success both personally and professionally.

Too Big For Suddenly Bigger Britches

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on January 23, 2015 in Ambigamy
If you have been down a while and suddenly see an opening to climb out of your rut it can breed delusions of grandeur. You can overshoot, going from "less than" to "more than" rather than "equal to" with respect to others.

How Websites Drive 'End of Year' Impulse Purchasing

The reason for this significant difference in purchasing behavior is down to the various marketing manipulations performed by the websites during this period, that are designed to directly affect the cognitive decision making process, leading to impulsive, emotional-based purchasing.

How Siblings Teach Each Other…Or Don’t

By Susan Newman Ph.D. on January 23, 2015 in Singletons
A new study finds educational benefits of having siblings and what parents have to do to make sibling teaching most effective. Does that mean only children are at a disadvantage?

A sweet app that can save your life

You are away from home—at work or shopping. Then you realize you forgot your insulin. If home is far, this could be dangerous. And very sad too, considering that 10 percent of the people around you are likely to also be people with diabetes (PwDs). HelpAround, a new free app, helps you reach out to other PwDs around you, giving "social" a whole new meaning.

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.


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