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

Discipline: Is It What You Say or How You Say It?

Nothing is of greater interest to parents than how their behavior affects their children; but do we know what questions to ask?

How to Be an Environmentalist in the Bedroom

By Guy Winch Ph.D. on April 15, 2014 in The Squeaky Wheel
When one of my patients mentions a sexual practice I had not heard of previously, I consider it a quirk. When three different people mention the same practice in one week, I consider it a potential fad.

The Exceptional Motivational Power of Pizza

By Victor Lipman on April 11, 2014 in Mind of the Manager
Small things can make a big difference in employee engagement and productivity. For one young woman, a slice of pizza was a welcome gesture. Effective recognition can take many forms.

A Designer Dog-Maker Regrets His Creation

Many designer dogs involve crossbreeding Poodles with other breeds in order to avoid coats that shed and to supposedly create hypoallergenic canines. Wally Conron, the inventor of the Labradoodle, believes that such problems are not solved in such crosses, and many additional problems have resulted from the popularity of these dogs.

You Are Awesome

Do you spend your time trying to improve on qualities and abilities that you don't value; working on your "weaknesses"? Make the most of your time and get the most Bang for your Buck. Discover your top character strengths and abilities; using them in unique ways will increase happiness. Old = "What's wrong with you?", New = "What's Right with You?"

The Pros and Cons of Winning a Fortune

Nearly everyone daydreams about winning big money in the lottery. Most people believe that winning a million in a lottery would dramatically change their lives, but would it change for better or for worse? Here's what the research on lottery winners shows.

What Causes Materialism in America?

Wealthy neighborhoods fuel materialistic desires. Individuals who live in affluent areas more likely to spend compulsively, less likely to save.

Why Guilt Trips Can Be Relationship Killers

By Guy Winch Ph.D. on March 18, 2014 in The Squeaky Wheel
Have you ever given your romantic partner a guilt trip? Bad idea. Here’s why.

You'll Never Go Wrong Leading by Example

By Victor Lipman on March 12, 2014 in Mind of the Manager
Beyond any ethical considerations, there's an exceedingly practical one: It's effective.

An Indian Economist in Bhutan: The Kingdom of Happiness

Vatsalya Srivastava is an Indian Professor who is studying Finances in the University of Tilburg – Holland. He was my colleague in the course of Behavioral Economics. When in one class, we were discussing the Economics of Happiness, I understood he had been in Bhutan, and couldn’t resist inviting him for an interview.

The Unfortunate Appeal of Narcissists in Management

By Victor Lipman on March 02, 2014 in Mind of the Manager
Some of the hallmarks of the narcissistic personality — need for admiration and power, exaggeration, manipulativeness and lack of empathy — are also qualities that at times are useful for management success.

Psychological Testing Without Psychological Tests

By Leon Pomeroy Ph.D. on February 28, 2014 in Beyond Good and Evil
Value Science and Moral Mathematics

A Simple Change That Could Help Everyone Drink Less

By Alain Samson Ph.D. on February 25, 2014 in Consumed
Could a change in default alcohol serving sizes help us reduce problem drinking?

Is Climate Change the Main Long-term Problem for Business?

By Victor Lipman on February 17, 2014 in Mind of the Manager
Recent communiques from the United Nations and World Bank underscore the problems climate change can cause for business. Unpredictable, extreme weather poses major long-term risks to key operations including infrastructure, supply chains, natural resources, and agriculture.

Shared Social Responsibility

By Uri Gneezy Ph.D. on February 12, 2014 in The Why Axis
Here’s a question millions of people asked after Super Bowl Sunday—is it worth paying more than $4 million for a 30 second ad on the Super Bowl? It seemed to work for Bank of America. Their one-minute commercial, featuring U2’s new single, Invisible, resulted in more than 3 million downloads in the 36 hours following the Super Bowl.

Want Motivated Employees? Offer Opportunities for Growth

By Victor Lipman on February 06, 2014 in Mind of the Manager
Employees perform best when the environment is conducive to growth. There are simple questions for management to ask: Does your organization give careful thought to providing ample opportunities for growth?

Dilbert Does Behavioral Economics

By Lisa Kramer Ph.D. on January 30, 2014 in Markets in Mind
Dilbert comic strips offer insights into many topics in investing and behavioral economics, including overconfidence, confirmation bias, framing, prospect theory, and the winner's curse.

What do personality traits tell us about consumer behavior?

By Ryan T. Howell Ph.D. on January 26, 2014 in Can't Buy Happiness?
While researchers can determine, quite easily, consumer behaviors from self-report data, it is almost impossible to get reliable data on why they buy what they do. How then can we predict why consumers make the decisions they make?

Study: Management Transparency Motivates Employees

By Victor Lipman on January 22, 2014 in Mind of the Manager
A recent study of over 40,000 employees removed "management transparency" from the realm of ethics and showed its practical value in maintaining a productive work force.

Giving and Taking: How to Get Ahead at Work

In his recent book, Give and Take: A Revolutionary Guide to Success, psychologist Adam Grant discusses three types of workers: Givers, those who are committed to helping others, Takers, workers who try to get as much as possible from others and give little back, and Matchers, who give only to the extent that they get something in return. Who succeeds in the workplace?

Feeling Deprived Can Lead to Some Illogical Behavior

When we feel short of time, love, or money, we may feel like we need to operate in emergency mode – penny-pinching, being guarded, or scheduling every second of our days. New theories and research about the psychology of scarcity help us understand how scarcity leads to poor decision-making and how to combat the scarcity mind traps.

US Trails Malta, Slovenia (& 35 More) Supporting New Parents

By Victor Lipman on January 08, 2014 in Mind of the Manager
According to a recent study by the Pew Research Center, the U.S. ranks dead last out of 38 surveyed nations in "government-supported time off for new parents."

How to Manage Someone You Don't (Truth Be Told) Really Like

By Victor Lipman on December 24, 2013 in Mind of the Manager
It's one of the most challenging aspects of management. Four constructive suggestions to help.

What if the Grinch Really Did Steal all Christmas Presents?

Gift giving is an important part of Christmas. Dr. Seuss' Grinch tried to stop Christmas by stealing gifts. He did not succeed, of course. The Grinch did not need to return the gifts in order for the holiday to be happy. Research suggests that lasting happiness does not come from consumable items usually given as holiday gifts.

Can Intuition Predict Marital Success?

By Aaron Ben-Zeév Ph.D. on December 17, 2013 in In the Name of Love
Intuitive implicit knowledge has been criticized for inappropriately overriding reliable intellectual knowledge. A recent study indicates the opposite: marriage is often the triumph of intelligence over more reliable intuitive knowledge. Listening to your unspoken heart, whether it expresses negative or positive intuitions, often leads you to a more satisfied marriage.

The Key to Quitting: Self-Trust Part 2, Delay Discounting

By Marc Lewis Ph.D. on December 17, 2013 in Addicted Brains
Delay discounting is the tendency to overvalue immediate rewards at the expense of long-term benefits, and addicts are particularly prone. Their messed-up dopamine system makes their drug, drink or behavior of choice seem way too attractive. To overcome delay discounting, addicts need to find a future self they can rely on.

Text-ing

By Joachim I Krueger Ph.D. on December 15, 2013 in One Among Many
The interpretation of text is the enterprise of the humanities. Psychology rests on experiment and observation. Can the two meet? Here’s a modest proposal.

Why Self-Awareness Is Key to Effective Leadership

By Victor Lipman on December 08, 2013 in Mind of the Manager
Though leadership searches often give short shrift to "self-awareness," a high self-awareness score was the strongest predictor of overall executive success.

Warm and Fuzzy: Temperature and Consumer Behavior

By Alain Samson Ph.D. on December 05, 2013 in Consumed
Physical warmth has been linked to perceived social closeness. There's now growing evidence around embodied cognition suggesting that temperature also unconsciously affects the choices we make as consumers, from renting romantic movies to betting on horses and online purchasing behavior.

How to Stay Calm in a "Crisis" at Work

By Victor Lipman on November 26, 2013 in Mind of the Manager
My premise is that most "crises" at work aren't really crises - they're "situations" that have been blown out of proportion. So what do you do if you're caught in the vortex of a faux crisis? Some suggestions...