Essential Reads

How Technology is Tricking You Into Tipping More

Digital payment systems use subtle tactics to increase tips. Here's how...

8 Negative Attitudes of Chronically Unhappy People

8 Negative Thoughts of Chronically Unhappy People

Conflicting Goals Can Make You a Better Decision Maker

Some conflicts actually improve your ability to choose.

How to Become the Most Attractive Job Candidate

Why understanding your strengths will help you stand out.

Recent Posts on Behavioral Economics

Why Fulfilling Travel Is Harder than We Think

By Jaime Kurtz Ph.D. on October 28, 2014 in Happy Trails
In this introduction to "Happy Trails," I provide a few reasons why you might not enjoy your upcoming trip as much as you think you will.

Becoming Conscious

By Ken Eisold Ph.D. on October 27, 2014 in Hidden Motives
Contrary to our subjective beliefs, we make most of our decisions automatically, unconsciously. Professor Michael S. A. Graziano at Princeton recently reminded us of this.

The 5 Psychological Traps We All Fall Into

There are many times when our social perception fails us. As a result, we are prone to make errors in our mental processing. Here are some examples of common biases in social perception and how they lead us to misjudge people and events:

Success and Failure

An expert is someone who knows some of the worst mistakes that can be made in a subject and how to avoid them. – attributed to Werner Heisenberg

Why She Feels The Way She Does?

By Shahram Heshmat Ph.D. on October 24, 2014 in Science of Choice
Indeed, learning to tolerate or accept negative affect as it is, and focus on problem solving are important skills for the treatment of addiction.

Why Diamonds Aren't Forever

By Samantha Joel M.A. on October 24, 2014 in Dating Decisions
For decades, the idea that spending a fortune on engagement rings and weddings is good for your relationship has gone untested and largely unchallenged. But recently, a pair of economists put De Beers et al. to the test.

Social Mindfulness

By Joachim I Krueger Ph.D. on October 22, 2014 in One Among Many
Giving up a choice so that someone else might have it shows social mindfulness. How is this different from just being nice? It is surprisingly hard to tell.

The 4 Worst Types of Bosses To Work For

Leaders range from the exceptional to the worst of the worst. While many bosses are competent, caring, and effective, it has been suggested that there are just as many bad bosses as there are good ones. Here is a list of the very worst types of bosses.

Should You Buy Financial Planning Like You Buy Your Music

By Michael F. Kay on October 22, 2014 in Financial Life Focus
Music media changes with technology, but great advice isn't digital.

Reality Isn’t Really Real

By Ran Zilca on October 22, 2014 in Confessions of a Techie
Our ability to construct a story is often what makes us suffer, and writing a new story could therefore heal.

Defensiveness Can Be Good For Your Mental Health

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on October 21, 2014 in Ambigamy
Defensiveness is just ego? Nope. Defensiveness has its place and serves a purpose, keeping you focused on your work and not your doubts. The question isn't whether to be defensive but in which situations. It has its place and we should focus on where to place it, and where to replace it with receptivity.

Why Is Employee Recognition Always a Problem?

By Victor Lipman on October 20, 2014 in Mind of the Manager
One issue that recurred in literally every employee survey I was involved with over several decades was lack of employee recognition. Providing such recognition should be easy for management, but it isn't. Why is that? I asked readers and received insightful answers.

Apple and Facebook Put Babies on Hold

By Susan Newman Ph.D. on October 20, 2014 in Singletons
When company health benefits cover egg freezing, is it a magnanimous gesture? Manipulation? Or a step in the right direction toward improved family work-life policy?

No to Marriage: Not a Good Deal, or not Even on the Table?

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on October 19, 2014 in Living Single
Many people who choose to live single are not doing so because they are waiting for "the one" or "putting marriage aside" or because marriage "does not offer a good deal anymore." Marriage was never on the table.

Renegotiation

By Joachim I Krueger Ph.D. on October 19, 2014 in One Among Many
Have you ever been ditched by a lover for someone better, with your now ex-lover promising to come back to you when done with the new flame? If so, did you leave the door open? I did not think so.

How to Negotiate With Difficult and Aggressive People

Do you deal with aggressive, intimidating, or controlling people at work or in your personal life? With astute approach and intelligent communication, you may turn aggression into cooperation, and condescension into respect. Here are a few tips on how to negotiate with difficult individuals.

Naygotiation

By Joachim I Krueger Ph.D. on October 17, 2014 in One Among Many
Rejecting a low offer in a bargaining context may be scary for fear that all might be lost. Reviewing one’s own and the other party’s preferences may allay this fear and lead to a better outcome.

How Does the Anxious Mind Work?

By Shahram Heshmat Ph.D. on October 16, 2014 in Science of Choice
Anxiety is a disorder of choice. Similar to alcohol, fear and anxiety impairs judgment.

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

When Negotiating, Does Location Matter?

The location you choose can have a surprising influence when successfully negotiating with others.

Religion and Morality

By Matthew J Rossano Ph.D. on October 14, 2014 in Mortal Rituals
Less religion may make the world more rational, but not necessarily more virtuous

Physician, Heal Thyself!

By Steven Laurent on October 14, 2014 in Chill Pill
Get a psychologist's-eye view of what it's like for an anger management specialist to manage his own anger in an anecdote from my own anger journal...

How to Connect With Anyone

By John Corcoran on October 14, 2014 in Making Connections Count
In this post you will learn how to connect with total strangers using your own personal connection story.

They Say They Value Integrity But Which Kind?

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on October 14, 2014 in Ambigamy
We claim we have integrity either by holding ourselves as a fixed point, consistently correct in an inconsistent world, or by allowing ourselves to float, change and learn to accommodate the world.

Freedom To Choose; Not Freedom To Confuse

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on October 13, 2014 in Ambigamy
Increasingly in love, anything goes. Partner how you want with whom you want. But that doesn't mean all is fair in love. If you're not feeling it, you absolutely owe your partner clear signals. And you owe your partner receptivity to such signals. Don't turn love into a moral issue. It isn't one. But honest signaling is. It's not fair to string a partner along.

Does He Want Me Just for Sex?

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on October 13, 2014 in Ambigamy
When you suspect an ulterior motive, does it discredit good motives? Yes and no, which is a good reason to pay less attention to psychologizing accusations ("You just want a bad thing!") and to psychologizing self-defense ("No, I just want this good thing!") and more attention to actions. Words speak louder than actions, but actions speak more accurately than words.

How “Push Parenting” Becomes Child Abuse

By Susan Newman Ph.D. on October 13, 2014 in Singletons
Intense focus on success can turn children off rather than motivate them to succeed. A new reality show highlights extreme behavior akin to often criticized parenting styles in South Korea and China. How extreme is too extreme?

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.

6 Keys for Narcissists to Change Toward the Higher Self

Self-aware narcissists have the potential to change for the better. Here are six essential keys...

Confident Communication Skills for Introverts

Are you an introvert who would like to strengthen your communication skills? The key to communication success for introverts is not to act like an extrovert, but to leverage the qualities of introversion with empowering communication skills, so you can achieve the best impact with minimum stress...