Essential Reads

The Winner's Curse

Some Behavioural Economics of Bidding and Information

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

It's not about balance. It's about doing what matters most.

What Your Financial Health Says About Your Mental Health

Studies show your debt could cost you more than just interest.

Recent Posts on Behavioral Economics

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.

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.

Secrets of the “Best Decisions” You Can Make

Accepting that you are doing the best that you can is the key to accepting and embracing even those decisions that you might like to regret.

Change and Habituation

By Shahram Heshmat Ph.D. on December 30, 2014 in Science of Choice
Habitation may explain boredom in marriage, why rich people who seem to have everything are not necessarily happy.

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

The Price Feels Right

By Alain Samson Ph.D. on October 15, 2014 in Consumed
New evidence from the psychology of numbers turns prices (a)round

Why is Behavioral Economics so Revolutionary?

By Diogo Gonçalves on October 13, 2014 in There Are Free Lunches
Systematic discrepancies between decision utility and experienced utility, as research in the field of behavioral decision theory has been shown, question on the idea that observed choices provide a direct measure of utility, and is revolutionizing the way we look at society and policy.

NFL, Pressure, and Decision Making: A Loss of Ground

By Hendrie Weisinger, Ph.D. on September 24, 2014 in Thicken Your Skin
You think you perform well under pressure? If you are like most people, you don't. Fact is, pressure downgrades your cognitive success tools--memory, attention, judgment, decision making, and ultimately your performance. Even the NFL does worse under pressure, but unlike the Commissioner, you don't have to fumble.

Behavioral Economics of Addiction

By Shahram Heshmat Ph.D. on September 24, 2014 in Science of Choice
Behavioral economics provides a framework to understand when and how people make mistakes.

Who Is Your Anti-You?

By Nick Tasler on September 23, 2014 in Strategic Thinking
Bad decisions in life, love, and business can be avoided by discovering your Anti-You.

The Stress Disconnect Between Management and Employees

By Victor Lipman on August 11, 2014 in Mind of the Manager
A study from Towers Watson finds that managers and employees have very different perceptions of what constitutes stress at work. Can management effectively address the problem of workplace stress if it doesn't fully understand what the problem is?

What Are the Best Ways to Save Money?

Happy people have a particular pattern they use to spend windfall money when their essentials are paid for. They take about 25% and save it or invest it. They take about 12% and give it to charities or religious organizations or gifts for other people – basically, pro-social spending. And they spend about 40% on life experiences.

Adapt or Perish?

By Alain Samson Ph.D. on August 01, 2014 in Consumed
Human adaptability allows us to survive, but also takes away pleasure: "It's the hedonic treadmill, stupid!"

When Will the U.S. Become a Global Soccer Superpower?

By Victor Lipman on July 05, 2014 in Mind of the Manager
What's been holding back U.S. soccer all these years? Is it the stranglehold of the Big Three - football, basketball and baseball - in routinely siphoning off so much of our elite athletic talent?

The Psychology of Restaurant Music

By Neel Burton M.D. on July 04, 2014 in Hide and Seek
The psychology of music in restaurants.

Viral Values: How Do Personal Values Affect Behavior?

Everyday businesses are realizing that in order to prosper in today’s consumer-centric economy satisfying the psychological needs of their customers is vital to their financial success. For example, my friends at Zenzi are constantly touting the benefits of value-based marketing. But why, you may ask, are values so important?

How to Manage People Who Are Hard to Manage

By Victor Lipman on June 24, 2014 in Mind of the Manager
Management would be easy if everyone you managed were hard working, collaborative, and had a great attitude and exceptional talent. But then it wouldn’t be management...

Me, My Brain, and I

Social psychologists have made recently breakthroughs in understanding the self and its functions using neuroimaging. I discuss some of these discoveries, including the positive bias in self-perception, an apparent purpose for consciousness, and one surprising source of self-regulation. It turns out our brains contain some interesting information about ourselves!

Investors Beware: Good News May Not Breed Good Decisions

By Raj Raghunathan Ph.D. on June 13, 2014 in Sapient Nature
Easy access to online information and the growth of online brokers presents great opportunities for investors, but it also presents some threats. The article explores the danger posed by the tendency to selectively seek and weight confirmatory information, and presents some tips to avoid the "allure of homophily."

Why Behavioral Economics is Cool, and I’m Not

By Adam Grant Ph.D. on June 13, 2014 in Give and Take
Behavioral economics isn't what you think it is.

Surprising, Well-Kept Secrets About Fathers

By Susan Newman Ph.D. on June 08, 2014 in Singletons
Is the inept, relatively irrelevant father stereotype disappearing? Long-held beliefs about the value of fathers are challenged—as they should be—in the new book, "Do Fathers Matter?" The magnitude of a father’s role is far greater than you probably realize or understand.

3 Questions You Have to Ask Yourself Before Buying Anything

By Meg Selig on May 28, 2014 in Changepower
When does a purchase make you happy and when does it leave you dissatisfied? New research reveals the key to feeling happier with your choices.

How to Overcome Chronic Lateness

By Guy Winch Ph.D. on May 20, 2014 in The Squeaky Wheel
Chronic lateness tends to be resistant to change. Here’s how to overcome it once and for all.

How Parents Miss the Point of Report Cards

By Susan Newman Ph.D. on May 19, 2014 in Singletons
Parents can use a child’s report cards—good or bad—as a motivating tool—a positive roadmap for improvement rather than a source of family conflict and stress.

Retire the Selfie

By Alain Samson Ph.D. on May 14, 2014 in Consumed
Help your future self to more savings by connecting it with your present self. Or was that the other way around? It's not a temporal paradox, it's behavioral economics.

How Mastering All 5 Senses Can Get You What You Want

By Guy Winch Ph.D. on May 01, 2014 in The Squeaky Wheel
Our thoughts and decisions are unconsciously influenced by our physical senses in very surprising ways.

Why Trust Isn't Easy

By Art Markman Ph.D. on April 22, 2014 in Ulterior Motives
Trust is important. You have to trust that people will generally deal with you honestly, and that they will follow through on their commitments. After all, you do not know all the people who grow your food, make your clothes, and take care of your money in the bank. You do not have the time to do all of these things for yourself.

Discipline: Is It What You Say or How You Say It?

Nothing is of greater interest to parents than how their behavior affects their children; but do we know what questions to ask?

How to Be an Environmentalist in the Bedroom

By Guy Winch Ph.D. on April 15, 2014 in The Squeaky Wheel
When one of my patients mentions a sexual practice I had not heard of previously, I consider it a quirk. When three different people mention the same practice in one week, I consider it a potential fad.

A Designer Dog-Maker Regrets His Creation

Many designer dogs involve crossbreeding Poodles with other breeds in order to avoid coats that shed and to supposedly create hypoallergenic canines. Wally Conron, the inventor of the Labradoodle, believes that such problems are not solved in such crosses, and many additional problems have resulted from the popularity of these dogs.