Essential Reads

How All-You-Can-Eat Buffets Use Psychology to Make Money

They use a "fill the belly cheaply" metric and other tricks to check eaters

Don’t Let Shame Weaken Your Retirement Plans

Psychologists tell us that shame can lead to despair and weakness.

4 Smart Ways to Save $10 on Your Next Grocery Shopping Trip

Use findings in consumer research to outwit marketers and save money.

Recent Posts on Behavioral Economics

Why Many Rich People Are Frugal

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on March 06, 2015 How To Do Life
The unusual mindset of many rich people...and why you might want to adopt it.

Why You Need to Unplug for 24 Hours

By Susan Newman Ph.D. on March 04, 2015 Singletons
Everyone from your boss to your child’s teachers expects you to be connected and be reachable 24/7. What a relief it can be to unplug for one day and not be at the mercy of your “screens.” What happens when you unplug for a whole day?

Q & A with R. Thaler on What It Really Means to Be a "Nudge"

By Peter A. Ubel on March 04, 2015 Critical Decisions
Nudge is one of the most important and influential books on behavioral science and public policy I’ve ever read.

Why We are all More Rational than Mr. Spock

By Eyal Winter on February 28, 2015 Feeling Smart
Mr. Spock, Emotions, Super Rationality, Leonard Nimoy

Neoliberalism Viewed From the Couch

Paul Verhaeghe is a psychoanalyst and writer. That wouldn’t make him exceptionally different from other psychotherapists if his last book wasn’t about Economics, but it is. Economics? Well, to be more precise, the book is about the current western socio-economic system—Neo-liberalism—and the effect it is having on our minds and bodies.

Why Our Emotions Are More Rational Than We Think

By Eyal Winter on February 09, 2015 Feeling Smart
Emotions, rationality, and behavior.

Want Engaged Employees? Give Them Work-Life Balance

By Victor Lipman on January 27, 2015 Mind of the Manager
One of the surest ways to ensure you'll have unproductive employees is to have their minds elsewhere.

Dead Kennedys, Testosterone-Crazed Skateboarders, and You

Can observing testosterone crazed skateboarders, or delving into the risky decisions made by Joe Kennedy's descendants who died tragic early deaths, inform us about the fundamental bases of our everyday decisions?

How to Have the Marriage You Want

By Susan Newman Ph.D. on January 08, 2015 Singletons
Redefining marriage gives yours a better chance of surviving in our changed society. 74% of newlyweds won’t be surprised if their marriage fails. Here, seven sensible, forward thinking contracts for marital success in established marriages and for couples about to say “I do.” Consider them insurance policies that pay huge dividends.

Hopelesse Oblige: A New Moral Obligation

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on January 06, 2015 Ambigamy
Lots of people climb to power to make the world a better place, but in power just seek more power. Hopelesse Oblige is the obligation to channel your power into more honest curiosity. We owe it to society to get off our soft assumptions and stop saying what feels good but what is good and true. Because in tough times fewer can afford to be that honest.

Secrets of the “Best Decisions” You Can Make

Accepting that you are doing the best that you can is the key to accepting and embracing even those decisions that you might like to regret.

One Simple Way for Management to Boost Productivity

By Victor Lipman on January 02, 2015 Mind of the Manager
It all comes down to: What kind of management actions will place people in the mindset to want to do their productive best for you?

Change and Habituation

Habitation may explain boredom in marriage, why rich people who seem to have everything are not necessarily happy.

What Motivates Employees to "Go the Extra Mile?"

By Victor Lipman on December 05, 2014 Mind of the Manager
A new study addresses this age-old management issue, and offers surprising answers.

Why It Pays to Trust

People who are willing to trust others are healthier and happier

Study: Many CEOs Get Less Background Checking Than Graduates

By Victor Lipman on November 11, 2014 Mind of the Manager
According to a survey of Human Resources executives, many CEOs undergo less background screening than does the average college graduate.

6 Body Language Superpowers

There are certain body language (i.e., nonverbal communication) skills that everyone possesses in lesser or more amounts. Some people are masters of certain skills, others possess different nonverbal skills.

Why Is Employee Recognition Always a Problem?

By Victor Lipman on October 20, 2014 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.

The Price Feels Right

By Alain Samson Ph.D. on October 15, 2014 Consumed
New evidence from the psychology of numbers turns prices (a)round

Why is Behavioral Economics so Revolutionary?

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.

The Best Leaders Are Always Self-Aware

By Victor Lipman on October 02, 2014 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

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 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 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 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 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 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 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 Consumed
Human adaptability allows us to survive, but also takes away pleasure: "It's the hedonic treadmill, stupid!"