Essential Reads

The Bonus Effect

By Alfie Kohn on September 27, 2016 in The Homework Myth
If you're told "Do this, and you'll get that," you're likely to become less interested in "this" -- and more interested in "that." Especially if "that" turns out to be money.

Making Better Medical Decisions

By Haider Warraich M.D. on September 26, 2016 in On Modern Medicine
Modern healthcare can come with a dizzying array of options, many of which could mean different destinations.

Should You Quit Your Job When You Start a New Business?

What entrepreneurship research says about working in your startup part-time vs. full-time.

Trying to Explain the Inexplicable

By Gary Smith Ph.D. on September 23, 2016 in What the Luck?
We are tempted to look for psychological explanations for successes and failures, when the more convincing explanation is simply that people get lucky—and luck is fleeting.

More Posts on Behavioral Economics

iStock/Used with Permission

Money and Happiness

Happiness research by economists offers interesting insight, but no final resolution, to the problem of the hedonic treadmill.

Why Do Women’s Products & Services Cost More?

Some reasons for a pink tax on women are legitimate but others stem from crafty marketing practices.

Celebration Time

Neuroscience explains what impact you as a leader can have on healthy physical and emotional changes in your team by having positive celebrations and intelligent conversations.

The Claim: People Don't Want Economic Equality

By Denise Cummins Ph.D. on December 24, 2015 in Good Thinking
A recent Atlantic essay argued that people don't really want equality. We want fairness. So when is inequality considered unfair?

The Psychology of Christmas Presents

Females are disproportionately active as Christmas gift givers, giving 84% of all gifts, and receiving only 61%...

There’s Gold in Them Thar Kitchens

This past week, the CDC released a report on a 59-year-old Iowa man who got sick trying to extract precious metals from scrap computer parts, by cooking mercury on a kitchen stove.

Is Christmas Killing the Planet?

According to sources cited by Carol Farbotko and Lesley Head, Santa Claus as a myth developed as a method for removing perceived commercial taint during the festive season.

The Magic Trifecta of World-Class Gifting

By Kit Yarrow Ph.D. on December 19, 2015 in The Why Behind the Buy
A trio of psychological buttons that world-class gifters know how to push.

Making Ends Meet

By E E Smith on December 19, 2015 in Not Born Yesterday
So far, so good. The first interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve in nearly a decade has been mostly shrugged off by Wall Street.

Why Health Insurance is Now a Bigger Nightmare Than Ever

By Victor Lipman on December 18, 2015 in Mind of the Manager
Does it seem even remotely reasonable that a married couple earning $63,000 a year could spend $33,000 in premiums and out-of-pocket expenses? Welcome to health insurance in 2015.

John Lewis Lost the Christmas Ad Crown, but Why?

By Patrick Fagan on December 18, 2015 in Money On Your Mind
Every year prior, John Lewis has used psychology to win the Christmas advertising battle in the UK. But this year, it has been beaten both rationally and emotionally.

Give Yourself and Your Loved Ones the Best Holiday Gift Ever

By Michael F. Kay on December 17, 2015 in Financial Life Focus
Every year, the same hysteria arises. The over-the-top "need" to spend more money than is rational—leading to January misery.

Which Accent Do We Trust Most (and Find Sexiest)?

By Guy Winch Ph.D. on December 13, 2015 in The Squeaky Wheel
Not all foreign accents impact us in the same way--there is one we clearly prefer. Read on to learn more:

Self-Winding Movements

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on December 11, 2015 in Ambigamy
Love em, hate em, prove them wrong--with fanatics, everything you do fuels their zeal. You can't help but fuel some of the people all the time.

New Research Shows Exactly Why Employee Recognition Matters

By Victor Lipman on December 08, 2015 in Mind of the Manager
Seven of 10 employees who have received recognition say they're happy with their jobs. Without recognition, satisfaction drops sharply to 39%.

5 Principles to Guide Sustainable Leadership

By Victor Lipman on December 07, 2015 in Mind of the Manager
Principle number 4: “Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.” (Albert Schweitzer)
Psychological Science

The Power of Thinking About Your Legacy

By Peter A. Ubel M.D. on December 07, 2015 in Scientocracy
The policies we embrace today should promote the promise of tomorrow.

The Psychology of Wealth

Do you have the psychological profile of a rich person?

Our Inner Donald Trumps

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on December 04, 2015 in Ambigamy
Psychological reflections on the campaign trail and what politics says about us all.

The Fastest Way to Feel Confident About Your Hopes and Plans

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on December 04, 2015 in Ambigamy
Your greatest leverage toward self-confidence can be had by designing and practicing a self-affirming response to "Hey how's it going? What are you up to these days?"

Small Decisions and Their Unexpected Consequences

By Shahram Heshmat Ph.D. on December 03, 2015 in Science of Choice
Choices that create an undesirable way of life are made one day at a time.

How Insecurity Happens and How to Overcome It

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on December 02, 2015 in Ambigamy
"Flow" happens when we're "in the groove." Anxiety arises when we "lose our groove." Here we explore how grooves are made.

When Debt Is Overwhelming

By Michael F. Kay on December 02, 2015 in Financial Life Focus
When facing a financial mess, sometimes the first thing to do is relieve yourself of guilt so that you can be productive in moving forward.

A Different Kind of Global Warming: Our Emotional Footprint

By Saul Levine M.D. on December 01, 2015 in Our Emotional Footprint
As our Carbon Footprint leads to Global Warming and threatens our planet, our Emotional Footprint puts us in jeopardy if it is rancorous (negative) instead of benevolent (positive)

Why Leaders Often Lose Loyalty... Unnecessarily

By Victor Lipman on November 29, 2015 in Mind of the Manager
“At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.” Though in this famous quote Maya Angelou wasn’t commenting on management or leadership specifically, she might as well have been...

Why Don't Bankers Learn?

By Ken Eisold Ph.D. on November 28, 2015 in Hidden Motives
Banks Keep on Incurring Massive Penalties.

The Meaning of Life

By Fredric Neuman M.D. on November 26, 2015 in Fighting Fear
Description of the Discovery of the Meaning of Life! Including from the perspective of a frog

9 Signs That a Child Has Entitlement Issues

By Susan Newman Ph.D. on November 23, 2015 in Singletons
If you are an overly involved or protective parent, you probably feed your child’s sense of entitlement. Learn how to turn the tide.

Four 2015 Twists to Holiday Shopping

By Kit Yarrow Ph.D. on November 23, 2015 in The Why Behind the Buy
If you're like most, you'll be shopping differently this year. Here are four ways that this holiday shopping season will be different this year.

Standard Interpretations in Psychotherapy

By Fredric Neuman M.D. on November 22, 2015 in Fighting Fear
Psychotherapists who cannot think of something sensible to say sometimes make facile interpretations which do not apply to any particular patient and which are, for the most part, wrong.