Essential Reads

Introduction to Investing in Healthy Minds

How can and should we invest in the mental health of young people?

Are Women Better Managers Than Men?

In the study, female managers outperform male on employee engagement scores.

The Advantage of Quitting

The sunk cost fallacy

10 Tips to Change From Reactive to Proactive in Situations

10 Ways to Be Less Reactive in Difficult Situations

Recent Posts on Behavioral Economics

Yet More Corruption in Banks

By Ken Eisold Ph.D. on December 15, 2014 in Hidden Motives
The rule was strict in banking. There was a firewall between analysis and sales — for good reason: to protect customers. But that now seems a thing of the past.

The Cruel Optimism of Xmas

By Laurie Essig Ph.D. on December 15, 2014 in Love, Inc
Xmas induces a feeling of hopefulness in hopeless times. That hopefulness is a kind of cruel optimism that stops us from facing the reality of income disparity in the US in favor of believing that a magical event like Black Friday shopping can save us.

Scientists - On Themselves and On Their Colleagues

The best scientist is open to experience and begins with romance—the idea that anything is possible. Touch a scientist and you touch a child. – Ray Bradbury

Adolescents Get Fixated On Things That Are Rewarding

By Art Markman Ph.D. on December 12, 2014 in Ulterior Motives
It is common to talk about how the teenage years are a time of risky behavior. And, when we talk about why teens engage in risky behavior, there is a tendency to focus on the development of the frontal lobes. But that doesn't tell the whole story.

Medical Science Journal Concludes Men are Idiots

By Guy Winch Ph.D. on December 12, 2014 in The Squeaky Wheel
A well-known scientific medical journal just concluded men are idiots. Here’s what made them do it:

Why You Gave that Awful Present

By Kit Yarrow Ph.D. on December 10, 2014 in The Why Behind the Buy
We’ve all suffered through that awkward silence at least once, the one that comes right after someone opens the holiday gift you’ve selected for them that’s somehow not quite right. Here's where well-intentioned gift-givers go wrong.

Civil Debate on GMOs Is Still Possible For Open Minds

By David Ropeik on December 10, 2014 in How Risky Is It, Really?
Surveys show that most Americans may have heard about genetically modified food, but still have open minds. A recent debate about the issue encouragement that that civil arguments about the evidence can help the facts play more of a role than emotion in shaping people's perceptions about risk.

Bankers More Likely to Lie

By Ken Eisold Ph.D. on December 09, 2014 in Hidden Motives
When bankers are reminded they are bankers, a new study has found, they are more likely to lie.

Can You Thrive After Childhood Trauma?

A person can survive traumatic events and be scarred for the rest of their life. Trauma affects children particularly profoundly. Children do not just get over trauma; they live with the consequences for a lifetime.

How to Give People Exactly What They Want

By Samantha Joel M.A. on December 09, 2014 in Dating Decisions
Get your partner what they want. Literally.

Basics of Identity

By Shahram Heshmat Ph.D. on December 08, 2014 in Science of Choice
Lack of a coherent sense of identity will lead to uncertainty about what one wants to do in life.

Genes, Choice, and Human Aspiration

To have aspirations as a society makes no sense at all if we’re each slaves to our genetic dispositions and if whatever goals human beings can individually and collectively have are nothing but reflections of the goals of our genes. But an intellectually rigorous, evolutionarily-informed view of human nature and behavior by no means implies this.

How to Communicate with Difficult Seniors and Older Adults

Do you know a difficult older adult in your life? 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 six keys for successful communication with seniors...

Mathematics–Queen of the Sciences

..the universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine. – Sir James Jeans (1877–1946)

Bad Investment Decisions?

By John Nofsinger Ph.D. on December 05, 2014 in Mind on My Money
What is the major source of your investment mistakes; socioeconomic characteristics, genetics, environment, or personal experience?

What Motivates Employees to "Go the Extra Mile?"

By Victor Lipman on December 05, 2014 in Mind of the Manager
A new study addresses this age-old management issue, and offers surprising answers.

Prediction: Religion Will Become Just Another Good Hobby

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on December 05, 2014 in Ambigamy
Both a prediction and a wish: That we find appropriate respect for religion in treating it as one of many healthy avocations.

Do Brands Interfere With Religiosity?

By Art Markman Ph.D. on December 05, 2014 in Ulterior Motives
There are many ways to express identity. If you walk down the street, you will see people wearing t-shirts with brands of products on them. They carry coffee mugs with the names of coffee companies. They carry bags that are branded with the logos of companies.

When Life Changes in the Blink of an Eye

By Michael F. Kay on December 04, 2014 in Financial Life Focus
Ready or not, change happens. Sometimes it's something you can control and handle-other times, there's not a thing you can do other than hang on the best you can. The secret is in knowing the difference.

A GPS for Your Child with ADD/ADHD

By Susan Newman Ph.D. on December 03, 2014 in Singletons
Children with attention or learning issues are often called “stupid, lazy, or undisciplined.” What they are is undiagnosed. Understood.org has changed all that by offering online guidance for parents of the one in five children with learning and attention problems.

Music and the Shopper

By Kimberly Sena Moore on December 03, 2014 in Your Musical Self
This may be one of the few times we actually notice the songs being played as we shop.

Investors Following the Crowd

By Ken Eisold Ph.D. on December 01, 2014 in Hidden Motives
The wisdom of crowds doesn’t apply to picking stocks. A new study published in the Journal of Portfolio Management shows that “hot stocks,” those that generate a lot of buzz and, as a result, move a lot, generally do not do well.

Pro Hominem Arguments

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on December 01, 2014 in Ambigamy
When we argue "Ad Hominem" (against the man) we say "You're a bad person so your idea must be wrong." When we argue "Pro Hominem, we say "Your idea is wrong but it's nothing personal." Pro hominem argument divorces critical feedback from character attack. It's worth cultivating in how we deliver and receive feedback. Here are few tips on how to do it.

The Psychology Behind the Song "Christmas Shoes"

By Jordan Gaines Lewis on November 30, 2014 in Brain Babble
Was the man sad when he bought "Christmas Shoes" for the boy's mother? If so, he may have spent more for them.

Which is Better? Christmas Party or Bonus?

How should an employer spend that Xmas money? Which will have the greater effect, a bonus or a party?

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.