Essential Reads

7 New Books to Read This Fall

The best new titles on psychology

Will Americans Eat Fewer Subway Sandwiches Because of Jared?

Despite negative publicity, effects on customers are likely to be short-lived.

Do Shoppers Benefit From Buying With Subscriptions?

Subscriptions are very popular but have many downsides for shoppers

What Shoppers Should Know About Charm Prices

Prices that end in “9" are common and influence buying behavior

Recent Posts on Behavioral Economics

The Best Leaders Are Always Self-Aware

By Victor Lipman on October 02, 2014 in Mind of the Manager
"How would you experience your actions if you were on the receiving end?" It's a critical question for anyone in a management role to ask himself or herself. A new book explores the role of self-awareness in business leadership.

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.

Why Is Employee Recognition So Big a Management Problem?

By Victor Lipman on September 09, 2014 in Mind of the Manager
The one issue that recurred in literally every employee survey I was involved with was recognition - or rather, lack of it. It was always a pain point.

Do Attractive People Fare Better in the Courtroom?

By Ruth Lee Johnson J.D. on August 18, 2014 in So Sue Me
Yes, of course they do. But to what extent? The answer is disturbing.

The Motivational Benefits of Art in the Workplace

By Victor Lipman on August 15, 2014 in Mind of the Manager
Having art at work helps build pride in the environment. It shows management cares enough about the employee experience to have a thoughtfully maintained facility that people feel good about working in.

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!"

How Digital Devices Affect Infants and Toddlers

By Susan Newman Ph.D. on July 31, 2014 in Singletons
Many parents are quick to download the latest educational app for the youngest of children. But screens can work against a young child’s development. Here, sound reasons to ditch the devices.

Study: Narcissists Do Best in Job Interviews

By Victor Lipman on July 15, 2014 in Mind of the Manager
A study from the University of British Columbia shows that narcissists do best in job interviews, outperforming "equally qualified candidates who act more modestly." The outgoing, charismatic personalities of narcissists serve them well in an interview setting.

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.

One Surprising Quality Every Leader Needs

By Victor Lipman on June 11, 2014 in Mind of the Manager
When you think of exceptional leadership, your mind often runs to qualities like charisma, integrity, self-discipline, communication skills and executive presence. I'd argue that part of an obscure native of South America is as important as any of them.

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.

Can You Actually Forgive and Forget?

We’ve all heard the saying, “forgive and forget,” but is there any truth to it? When someone has been wronged in a social relationship, will forgiveness actually lead to quicker forgetting of the hurt? Or, do feelings of hurt and revenge make you feel better in some cathartic sort of way? What does new research suggest?

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.

6 Clear Reasons Why Employees Are Disengaged

By Victor Lipman on May 19, 2014 in Mind of the Manager
Why are so many employees disengaged? In 6 simple sentences, a book I recently read, "The Art of Engagement," offers as concise and plainspoken a description as I've yet come across of the problems employees face and the challenges management has.

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.

24 Percent of Companies Pay Bonuses to Failing Performers

By Victor Lipman on May 07, 2014 in Mind of the Manager
It's not often I come across a statistic that shocks me, but this one did...

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.

The Challenges of Remote Management

By Victor Lipman on April 27, 2014 in Mind of the Manager
It's not easy to manage when you've never met your employees or your own boss. One manager's perspective...