Essential Reads

A Voice of Moderation in the Time of Trump

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on December 04, 2016 in How To Do Life
An interview with Robert Samuelson, a self-described “messy moderate.”

What is Psychology’s Single Most Brilliant Discovery?

What is the most profoundly important thing we've learned from 150 years of scientific psychology? Here is one nomination.

Cheat to Keep or Cheat to Reap?

By Alain Samson Ph.D. on November 29, 2016 in Consumed
Are people more likely to behave unethically to avoid falling behind or to get ahead? New research has the answer.

Instead of “Job Creation,” How About Less Work?

By Peter Gray Ph.D. on November 26, 2016 in Freedom to Learn
If we could solve the distribution problem, we could create a world in which we all worked much less and played much more. Is that a world to be desired? Yes!!

More Posts on Behavioral Economics

Bernoulli and the Taxman, Part II: Fair (and Painless)?

Income tax is a psychological as well as an economic problem. Is it fair? Does it provide the right incentives? Here's a simple way to think about a needlessly complex problem.

Enforced Trust

You think your doctor and lawyer will take care of you. And often they do. But then again, they also have to worry about the bottom line.

Why Was Kennedy’s Love-Making Always Very Brief?

Choosing a romantic partner is a tricky business. A common questionable criterion for doing so—to aim high—often confuses the best person with the most suitable partner.

Measuring Success in the Game of Life

By Po Chi Wu Ph.D. on May 08, 2016 in Jacob's Staff
What happens to society when we create games that define losers? Reimagine the rules of life so that each of us can define our own success without comparing with others.

Retirement—Dealing With Uncertainty and Fear

If you are like most people, you find comfort in a certain level of stability and routine. Retirement can be a source of great anxiety and uncertainty.

3 Ways to Improve the Conversation on Economic Policy

We need to stop asking who has a right to our generosity and ask instead who is included in “we.”

Your Hormones and Making (Or Losing) Money

We think cold logic determines how we spend or make our money. But our hormones may be influencing us in ways we don't know, if results on financial traders applies to us all.

The Two Ways We Shop For Psychological Insights

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on April 29, 2016 in Ambigamy
Psychological therapy and psychological science have different goals. It's useful to be clear on the difference.

What Do Workers Really Want?

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on April 28, 2016 in The Human Beast
A lot of Americans are feeling disgruntled about how they are treated in the current economy – as highlighted by the popularity of presidential candidates like Sanders and Trump.
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The Power of Small Decisions

Choices that create an undesirable way of life are made one day at a time.

Inside the Mind of a Risk Taker

By Denise Cummins Ph.D. on April 26, 2016 in Good Thinking
"The take home message from these success stories is not just that perseverance pays off. It is that successful entrepreneurs are not risk-takers, they are calculated risk-takers."

Exploring Influence Versus Control With Adolescents

By James Ullrich on April 25, 2016 in The Modern Time Crunch
Parents run headlong into brick walls of resistance employing the tried and tested ways that worked before. Try adjusting the approach to one based on motivation and negotiation.

Do You Know How to Be Practical?

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on April 25, 2016 in How To Do Life
A self-assessment inventory that may help you decide if and how you want to be more practical.

Bernoulli and the Taxman, Part I: Fair Tax

By John Staddon, Ph.D. on April 24, 2016 in Adaptive Behavior
Psychology can help design a fair income tax

Are You Hearing Truth?

By Michael F. Kay on April 21, 2016 in Financial Life Focus
It might be tough to admit, but many of us prefer to hear what we want rather than the unvarnished truth.

Why Do So Many Americans Actually Like Paying Taxes?

Research from psychology, economics, and political science provides some thought-provoking answers.

The Three Rules for Healthy Money

By Sarah C. Newcomb Ph.D. on April 19, 2016 in Loaded
Understanding the psychology of financial decisions can improve financial thinking.

16 Research-Based Hacks for Your Social Life

By Ryan Anderson on April 18, 2016 in The Mating Game
Psychology really is one of the most important things to know about, especially for social interaction. Some of these techniques can help you to navigate your social world

Why Management Rapport Leads to Employee Productivity

By Victor Lipman on April 18, 2016 in Mind of the Manager
An old HR colleague of mine was bothered by how little our managers talked with their employees. What were the implications for engagement and productivity?

Why Are Smokers Less Likely to Get a New Job?

A recent study from Stanford University found that being a smoker has detrimental impacts on new employment opportunities and wage earning.

The Two-Minute Meal

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on April 14, 2016 in How To Do Life
And yes, they’re tasty, healthy, and inexpensive.

Is “You Can’t Change People” True?

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on April 12, 2016 in Ambigamy
"You can't change people" is self-contradictory, like saying "let me persuade you that people can't be persuaded." Like all self-contradictions it's good food for thought.

6 Reasons We Keep Playing the Lottery

By Kevin Bennett on April 12, 2016 in Modern Minds
Why do we keep playing when we know we shouldn't? The very long odds of winning the lottery don't seem to keep people from spending money.

The Paradox of Information: More Data Is Making Us Dumber

By Douglas Van Praet on April 11, 2016 in Unconscious Branding
There is a paradox in play in the age of information. More data is leading to more irrational decisions.

The Truth About Lying Politicians

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on April 08, 2016 in Ambigamy
Yes they lie, but we all do. The question isn't whether to lie but when? When does it help and when does it hurt? Not as easy to answer as we'd like to think.

The Universal Language of Management

By Victor Lipman on April 08, 2016 in Mind of the Manager
At first I was surprised by my readers in Botswana, Kenya and India. But then it occurred to me: The fundamentals of effective management are pretty much the same everywhere.

Your Money Battle Between “Want” and “Should”

By Michael F. Kay on April 07, 2016 in Financial Life Focus
You want to retire with financial security—but on the other hand, you don't want to wait until you're 70 to have fun and travel.

Teens, Driving, Music & Danger

Spring is here, and so are many happy drivers. Here is the good and bad news about the music we love to listen to.

The Best Way for Adult Children and Parents to Communicate

By Susan Newman Ph.D. on April 04, 2016 in Singletons
Do you use the most satisfying ways to stay in touch with your adult children? Why calling and texting may not be ideal for parents.

Aiming to Please (the Janitor): a Field Experiment

By Alain Samson Ph.D. on April 01, 2016 in Consumed
New insights on scoring in the men's room