Essential Reads

The Psychology of Tipping

Do American tipping practices help the customer more than the waitstaff?

How Minds Work: As Little As Possible

Minds aren't machines but they mechanize what they can. And then some.

What's The Difference Between Rationality And Rationalizing?

A complicated issue at the heart of a whole lot of debate and argument

Is Virtual Virtue a Virtue or a Vice?

Is wrapping our Facebook pictures in French Flags an empty gesture?

Recent Posts on Behavioral Economics

Agri-therapy Helps Vets With PTSD

By Eric Newhouse on August 12, 2015 Invisible Wounds
Retired Army Staff Sgt. Eric Grandon still suffers from PTSD, but he's finding that farming keeps him focused. His goal is to use his farm to help other vets find peace after coming home from war.

What It Takes to Support a Conscious Disruptor

In a world in which exchange is the norm, letting go of any accounting, giving as much as I can, and asking for all I want, are radical acts. Every step of the way, I have encountered people who tell me what I am trying to do isn’t possible.

Rainforest and Nordic Countries Vie in Well-Being Index

Social well-being can be measured by various methods that give different results. Now Costa Rica shows that it's not only the Nordic countries that look so good in surveys of well-being and happiness in nations across the globe.

6 Questions to Ask Yourself when a Friend Lets You Down

We cannot always blame a friend when the bonds of a friendship are broken.

Evidence-Based Policy: Can Psychologists Go It Alone?

In a column in the New York Times last January, Justin Wolfers discussed the dominance of economists in public policy discussions. He noted that expert opinion invoked by government and other policy makers usually comes from economists, with sociologists, political scientists, anthropologists, and psychologists having relatively little voice.

The Upside and Downside to Second Opinions

By Art Markman Ph.D. on August 10, 2015 Ulterior Motives
Chances are, you rely a lot on expert opinions. These opinions may be aesthetic (like movie or book reviews), functional (like product reviews), health focused or even business-focused. When you get these opinions, you are often encouraged to get a second opinion as well.

Quiet Days in Quedlinburg

Heading towards the western fringes of the former East Germany, psychology was on my mind. Here, I share some thoughts on the psychology of money (in these here woods) and the limits of compassion.

The Mastectomy Chronicles, Pt. 1: A Sizemic Change

In a society that values appearance, and which has historically equated self with body, how does a woman remain whole in the shadow of mastectomy?

Exposing The One-Trick Phony

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on August 05, 2015 Ambigamy
Jon Stewart has been teaching the same psychology lesson night after night, and its the right lesson for our tense, uncertain times.

Do You Suffer From “Bitchy Resting Face”?

Individuals claim "bitchy resting face" (BRF) cannot be helped. But it is an outgrowth of #firstworldproblems and celebrity culture? Find out what the science says and how you can combat this if you're a victim of BRF.

Does Using Coupons Save Shoppers Money?

When shopping, over a hundred million Americans use coupons regularly to save money. But do they really save? The answer is a resounding "no". I discuss four reasons why not using coupons may be the easiest and quickest way to get more value out of your shopping dollars and save time and money.

What Makes a Good Manager?

By Victor Lipman on August 04, 2015 Mind of the Manager
This is an excerpt from my new book "The Type B Manager: Leading Successfully in a Type A World," which is being published today by Prentice Hall Press. Publishers Weekly has called it "an excellent resource for leaders who don't fit the mold." This section examines the role Type A and Type B personalities can play in managerial performance.

Distinguishing Between Good and Bad Anxiety

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on August 03, 2015 Ambigamy
Are you anxious? Should you be? It depends on whether your anxiety is founded or unfounded.

Three Paradoxical Ways for Coping With Romantic Abundance

Romantic love is often characterized as involving a great deal of sensitivity, excitement, and closeness. However, our cyber society often provides an overabundance of these features. Hence, a few opposite principles are proposed: (a) Indifference is the new romantic sensitivity; (b) Calmness is the new romantic excitement; and (c) Distance is the new romantic closeness.

We Pay Adults To Work, So Why Not Pay Kids To Learn?

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on August 02, 2015 Ambigamy
It's crazy: We expect children to be motivated by abstract arguments that wouldn't motivate adults, even though children are much worse at abstraction.

4 Changes I Will Make When Using Amazon MTurk for Research

I describe the changes I will make henceforth when using Amazon Mechanical Turk to collect survey and experimental data for my social science research. Based on my recent experience as an MTurk worker, I would like to use MTurk for data collection more ethically and effectively.

Why We Love Each Other, Warts (Especially) and All

For all those who live in fear of making a mistake, take heart. According to research, making mistakes makes us more, not less, likable.

Process and Normative Models

Understanding the decision-making process changes how we should make decisions

Serving Your Self-Interest for Good

By Kathy Cramer Ph.D. on July 29, 2015 Lead Positive
Find out from renowned women's success coach why navigating the politics of an organization is critical to getting promoted.

The Winner's Curse

Why are our best estimates of value can be wrong when they lead to a successful purchase (or sale).

Understanding Conspicuous Consumption (Via Race)

By Jesse Marczyk on July 27, 2015 Pop Psych
Highlighting the accuracy of some racial stereotypes, different racial groups tend to spend more of their income on highly-visible luxury goods. Understanding why presents us with an interesting puzzle to solve.

Does Sex and Violence Really Sell Products?

The widespread belief that sex and violence will sell products helps explain why this kind of media programming is so popular. But is this really the case? A new review of fifty years of research studies into the effectiveness of sex and violence in advertisements suggests that advertisers need to rethink the kind of message they send.

Will Individual Investors Succeed with Equity Crowdfunding?

Equity crowdfunding is less than two years old in the United States and is just starting to take off. It offers a lot of promise and peril to individual investors and an exciting new phenomenon for psychology researchers to study.

Improving Self-Control by Enhancing Working Memory

Successful self-control involves the active maintenance of goals and goal-relevant information in working memory.

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

We are constantly bombarded with how to achieve greater work-life balance. What if we pursued an optimal time budget instead? Other species do not allocate time evenly across activities. Instead they devote time according to priorities that maximize their success.

Seven Reasons Why Your Financial Life Creates Anxiety

While there are some who breathe the rarified air of having their financial lives totally together, most people struggle. Your degree of struggle might range from small—not being sufficiently organized—to complete and utter meltdown.

What Your Financial Health Says About Your Mental Health

Studies show the likelihood of having a mental health problem is three times higher among people who have debt.

Politics Or Performance?

As we enter organizations, we each face a simple choice: Do we primarily play politics, or do we try daily to perform at our best? Why do we often choose to play politics? Because the politics of the organization often appear to dictate who is hired, promoted and rewarded, and so playing politics seems to be our best chance to control our plight...

How to Be More Patient (and Why It's Worth It)

Delaying gratification is hard. You have probably seen the adorable videos of kids in Walter Mischel’s classic marshmallow experiments. Adults also have a lot of trouble delaying gratification. People pay extra to get fast delivery from websites. They accept small rewards in the present rather than waiting for longer rewards in the future.

"Team Coaching"—Transforming Aspiration to Inspiration

By Solange Charas on July 20, 2015 The CEO Whisperer
Does team coaching work? Here's an account of the meteoric rise of the YHS resulting from their team assessment and coaching from Dr. Solange Charas.