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

Assertiveness vs. Aggressiveness

By Fredric Neuman M.D. on November 29, 2014 in Fighting Fear
Everyone recognizes there is a value to assertiveness. Achieving any goal becomes more likely. Some people, however, confuse being assertive with behaving aggressively, which can lead to defeat.

Science and the Arts

Computers are useless. They can only give you answers. – Pablo Picasso (1881–1973)

What Gottman Got Wrong

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on November 28, 2014 in Ambigamy
IMO, Gottman's use of "the four horsemen of the apocalypse" to describe what goes wrong in partnerships is unnecessarily gender-biased and vague, and can actually cause more trouble than it solves. But there's an easy fix.

How Impulsive Are You?

By Alain Samson Ph.D. on November 28, 2014 in Consumed
Did Black Friday prompt you to make an impulse purchase? Read this post and calculate your ‘dysfunctional impulsivity’ score.

How to Avoid Bargain-Brained Holiday Shopping Pitfalls

By Kit Yarrow Ph.D. on November 27, 2014 in The Why Behind the Buy
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.

If Anger Is a Gift, Let's Not Do Gifts This Christmas

By Steven Laurent on November 27, 2014 in Chill Pill
A response to Dr Karson's post, 'The Gift of Anger' in which I attempt to repudiate his alleged 'four benefits'.

7 Ways to Add Sanity in Gift-giving to Children

By Susan Newman Ph.D. on November 26, 2014 in Singletons
To buy — or not to buy — the “must-have” toy or tech device? Parents tend to bend over backwards to give children what they request. But, research shows experiences make people happier than possessions.

Thanksgrieving: How Inevitable Decline Can Make Us Grateful

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on November 25, 2014 in Ambigamy
A heartfelt blog post in the form of a Thanksgiving song

How Exercise Improves Your Performance at Work

By Ron Friedman Ph.D. on November 25, 2014 in Glue
Social scientists have collected some compelling evidence suggesting that exercise makes us smarter, happier, and even more productive.

How and Why Power Corrupts Men More Than Women

We have all heard the phrase “Power corrupts,” but how strong is the relationship between possessing power and becoming corrupted by it? Research suggests that it is so powerful that very few people may be immune to the corrupting effect of power.

The Super Rich

By Ken Eisold Ph.D. on November 25, 2014 in Hidden Motives
Most of us may not have noticed, but the rising tide of income inequality is engulfing the super rich as well.

Social Bonding and Addiction

By Shahram Heshmat Ph.D. on November 24, 2014 in Science of Choice
The presence of strong social bonds in adulthood may decrease the vulnerability to drug abuse.

Want Wisdom? Choose Irony

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on November 24, 2014 in Ambigamy
Wisdom respects life's tough questions, not easy answers. Irony cultivates our patience with the tough questions.

Timing Is Not Everything

By Aaron Ben-Zeév Ph.D. on November 23, 2014 in In the Name of Love
Many people have claimed that timing is everything in life and love. I believe that timing, which is mainly a one-off task, is valuable in bringing two people together; however, time, rather than timing, is more essential in maintaining and enhancing profound love.

Is Zero Anger Optimal? Yes (with Footnotes).

By Steven Laurent on November 23, 2014 in Chill Pill
Many argue that a little anger is normal and appropriate. I argue the optimum amount, all things considered, is close to zero. There are some specific exceptional circumstances where anger may value add; but there are exceptions to these exceptions! And in any case they are too few and far between to outweigh the massive gains of a peaceful life.

The Uses of Science

Science increases our power in proportion as it lowers our pride. – Claude Bernard (1813–1878)

Whatever Happened to Courtesy?

Why we are losing the personal, courteous relationship between patient and doctor

Seduced by Beauty

By Rod Judkins MA, RCA on November 21, 2014 in Connect to Creativity
We should be wary of the power of beautiful design to seduce us.

The Borderline Parent—A Survival Guide

By Mark Banschick M.D. on November 20, 2014 in The Intelligent Divorce
Are you a child of someone suffering from a Borderline Personality? Do you have a friend or colleague who has a parent with BPD? It can be brutal - but there are ways to survive.

New Psych Test Opens Moral Can of Worms

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on November 20, 2014 in Ambigamy
Does a young beauty have more in common with her older crone self or with another young beauty? Either way you answer it, one might question your morality.

Why Are Medical Mistakes Our Third Leading Cause of Death?

By Allen J Frances M.D. on November 20, 2014 in Saving Normal
Medical error is now the third leading cause of death in the U.S.- 440,000 deaths a year caused by hospital mistakes and who knows how many more in outpatients. The cause is reckless over-testing and over-treatment in a chaotically disorganized medical nonsystem with perverse profit incentives

3 Ways to Stop Offensive People From Offending You

By Adam Grant Ph.D. on November 19, 2014 in Give and Take
A sneak preview of an entertaining new TV show based on psychological science

The Surprisingly Simple Secret To Getting Smarter Faster

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on November 18, 2014 in Ambigamy
The big difference between fast and slow learners is that fast learners are brave good sports, able to give up their hard-earned assumptions when they aren't working. They don't waste time flogging dead hobbyhorses. No matter what you're trying to learn, be a good sport not a sore loser and you'll get smarter faster.

The One Thing Parents Don’t Need to Stress About

By Susan Newman Ph.D. on November 18, 2014 in Singletons
What are your fondest childhood memories? Many parents go above and beyond to provide memorable experiences for their children—from pricey vacations to elaborate themed birthday parties. A new study says there’s more power in the mundane.

Why Corporate Boards Pay CEOs More

By Ken Eisold Ph.D. on November 17, 2014 in Hidden Motives
Presumably corporations would not want to overpay their CEOs, which is why they hire “compensation consultants.” The consultants study the publically available information on comparable CEO compensation so that they can benchmark their peers. But it doesn't seem to work.

Why It Pays to Trust

By Joseph Nowinski Ph.D. on November 17, 2014 in The Almost Effect
People who are willing to trust others are healthier and happier

5 Questions You Have to Answer Before Asking for Advice

By Guy Winch Ph.D. on November 17, 2014 in The Squeaky Wheel
We ask for advice on matters large and small but do we go about it the best way or should we rethink how we go about seeking other people's opinion?

Science and Politics

Either man is obsolete, or war is. – Buckminster Fuller

How to Communicate Effectively with Older Adults

Higher standards of living and medical advancements are extending life expectancies in many countries to well above the age of eighty. Caring for, and having successful relationships with older adults often requires unique communication skills and strategies. Here are five keys for successful communication with seniors...

The Psychology of Storytelling

By Gregory Ciotti on November 14, 2014 in Habits, Not Hacks
The Psychology of Storytelling: why transportation leads to persuasion.