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

New Employee Survey Underscores the Value of Feeling Valued

By Victor Lipman on November 18, 2015 in Mind of the Manager
A new survey shows how few employees feel valued at work and see meaningful advancement opportunities — and why this matters for retention.

Why Are Drugs So Outrageously Expensive?

By Allen J Frances M.D. on November 18, 2015 in Saving Normal
The drug industry is the most profitable on earth because it has exercised its power to price gouge. The combination of mounting public outrage, frequent media exposure, and the politics of this election season now provide the critical ingredients for possible change.

How to Use Social Affinity Groups to Engage Customers

A simple, cheap and effective method to use current social memberships of customers to influence their long-term behaviors.

One Key to Effective Management: Plain Old Common Sense

By Victor Lipman on November 17, 2015 in Mind of the Manager
Most people like to be treated the way you like to be treated. Why wouldn't they?

Millennials to the Rescue

By Erik M. Gregory Ph.D. on November 17, 2015 in The Secular Shepherd
How are millennials leading the charge to constructive social change? They are moving away from traditional social approaches to categorization of people (and hence marginalization) to increased inclusion increasing the possible health and well-being of others.

Why Are Republicans so Bad for Business?

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on November 17, 2015 in The Human Beast
Republican politicians bill themselves as pro-business, pro-growth, and pro-opportunity. Yet the financial facts say otherwise. Republican administrations bring hard times, for rich and poor alike. Why are their results so different from their aims? Perhaps Democrats are better at motivating workers.

Romance Is Bad for Our Mental Health

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on November 17, 2015 in Ambigamy
The tendency to treat life's rough, uncertain ride as romantic fiction runs and ruins our personal and social lives. Romance ignores chance in favor of fate, probabilities in favor of certainties, details in favor of destinies. It glorifies us and vilifies anyone who gets in our way. It turns love into a sugar high and crash and makes a mess of politics.

Change, the Not So New Norm

By Beth Fisher-Yoshida Ph.D., CCS on November 16, 2015 in We Are What We Make
We talk about change all the time. Yet, in spite of the frequency with which it occurs, we are not skilled at managing it. Here are some tips to guide you through the process.

20 Other Possible Reasons They Said No

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on November 10, 2015 in Ambigamy
A rejection is not necessarily all about you. Here are some examples of other things it could be about.

Redesigning the Dollar

The recent discussion of putting a woman on the $10 bill to replace Alexander Hamilton (though others have suggested replacing Andrew Jackson on the $20 instead) have made this an opportune moment to consider making more extensive changes in our currency.

Psychiatry’s Med Check: Is 15 Minutes Enough?

By David Rettew M.D. on November 10, 2015 in ABCs of Child Psychiatry
Goodbye 50 minute therapy visits, the new mode of treatment by psychiatrists are short medication-focused appointments. Here are some ideas to work with and hopefully change the status quo.

Why We Still Give A Man A Fish

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on November 09, 2015 in Ambigamy
Every truism is a half-truth, and if you want to get at the other half ask yourself why, if it’s so damned true, do people have to keep repeating it?

A Reasonable Dietary Goal for Today

By Fredric Neuman M.D. on November 08, 2015 in Fighting Fear
Dieters fail because they think of dieting in the wrong way. Setting deadlines is counter-productive. Success in dieting can be measured each day

Is Marriage the Cure for Poverty?

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on November 06, 2015 in The Human Beast
Marriage is correlated with prosperity in the U.S. So many conservatives promote marriage as a financial elixir. Yet this perspective is scientifically flawed. It also suffers from too narrow a geographical focus on conditions in the U.S.

How to Overcome Fear of Rejection

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on November 05, 2015 in Ambigamy
Fear of rejection is largely fear of having to rethink your approach. Here are three sane ways to over- or under-reacting to negative feedback.

Five Steps to Avoid Going Broke Over the Holidays

By Michael F. Kay on November 05, 2015 in Financial Life Focus
Halloween is over, but for some the real nightmare holiday is approaching.

Optimal Time for Fund Raising and Grant Writing

By Sean X. Luo M.D., Ph.D. on November 05, 2015 in Hooked on Patterns
How many hours should I spend preparing a grant application or a VC funding pitch? Does this depend on how large the grant is? Is there a way to optimally allocate time/effort given different grants have different funding rates? I might get some partial credit...

The Real Reason to Care About Employee Engagement

By Victor Lipman on November 04, 2015 in Mind of the Manager
Mindset matters. Attitude is a difference maker. It's not about sensitivity. It's about productivity.

New Insight on Climate and Work Effort

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on November 03, 2015 in The Human Beast
Historians and economists point to favorable climate as an advantage enjoyed by Europeans so that these countries developed early, became wealthier, and dominated the globe through innovation, military aggression, and trade. I wondered whether unpleasant climate saps work motivation.

Getting In the Way of Our Own Old-Age Well-being

By Thomas Gilovich, Ph.D., and Lee Ross, Ph.D. on November 02, 2015 in The Wisest One in the Room
How do loss aversion and the above-average effect influence people's decisions about where to spend their later years?

Gender and Money: Are There Sex Differences in Money Usage?

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on November 01, 2015 in A Sideways View
Have you ever had a relationship with an emotional shopper? Are there sex differences in attitudes to, beliefs about and behaviour regarding money

When Auto Companies Do Wrong

By The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues on October 30, 2015 in Sound Science, Sound Policy
The challenges VW faces in the aftermath of its protracted and elaborate lies about its emissions standards are not new to the car industry. Jennifer Robbennolt discusses the challenges General Motors faced in the aftermath of its defective ignition switches.

Behavioral Unit May Benefit from Deeper Analytical Framework

By The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues on October 30, 2015 in Sound Science, Sound Policy
In a recent executive order, President Obama singled out psychology for its contributions to an understanding of the way people think, feel and behave, both individually and collectively.

Forgive Me, Forgive me not

By Neil Farber M.D, Ph.D. on October 29, 2015 in The Blame Game
“I’m so mad, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forgive them.” So what exactly is forgiveness… and what is it not?

Should You Follow Your Heart or Your Head?

We often hear it said that it’s better to listen to your heart rather than your head. However, when and to what extent is this good advice?

Big Data Conversations

How can you effectively engage with your customers who operate at warp speed? We live in a world of right now, and the demand for instant results is seeping into every corner of our lives. Instant gratification is no longer a desire—it is an expectation.

The Myth of Welfare Dependency

By Ken Eisold Ph.D. on October 27, 2015 in Hidden Motives
Well-meaning people worry about welfare dependency, while others use it as an argument against helping the poor. But last week, a director of the Poverty Action Lab at MIT released a paper suggesting it just isn't so.

Should You Wear a Costume for Halloween?

The pros and cons of dressing up for undecided readers.

Why Are Modern Families so Small?

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on October 23, 2015 in The Human Beast
The fact that modern families are so small is perhaps the biggest embarrassment to an evolutionary approach to human societies. After all, the key assumption is that humans are shaped by natural selection in ways that enhance reproductive success. Why are we defying nature with small families?

Are You Teaching Or Preaching?

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on October 22, 2015 in Ambigamy
When we teach people how, but not what to think, are we crossing the line into proselytizing? Some say yes, which limits public education in critical thinking much to our national disadvantage.