Essential Reads

What's The Difference Between Rationality And Rationalizing?

A complicated issue at the heart of a whole lot of debate and argument

Is Virtual Virtue a Virtue or a Vice?

Is wrapping our Facebook pictures in French Flags an empty gesture?

The Link Between the Refugee Crisis and Climate Change Talks

Biases hold the key to both Europe’s refugee crisis and climate change.

Why the Freelance Economy Is a Social Tragedy in the Making

Corporate profits are very high and retirement prospects very low.

Recent Posts on Behavioral Economics

On The Nature of True Love

We care about another’s wellbeing simply because the act of loving is enjoyable.

What Your Hair Really Says About You

Many of us spend an inordinate amount of time, money, and worry about the state of our hair. Chances are you feel that something’s amiss if your locks are misbehaving on any given day. You may feel better knowing that you’re not alone in this preoccupation, especially if your concerns about aging enter into the picture.

Emotional Ideologies

By Eyal Winter on May 08, 2015 Feeling Smart
We vote out of passion and not out of reasoning

You're NOT Being Irrational!

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on May 07, 2015 Ambigamy
Rational means comparing, using ratios. We all do that, but sometimes we compare to the wrong things.

The Wrong Way to Get People to Do the Right Thing

By Alfie Kohn on May 07, 2015 The Homework Myth
It may seem a matter of hard-headed realism to emphasize "enlightened self-interest" (rather than altruism) in our efforts to promote individual acts of caring or to justify spending public funds to address infant mortality or spousal abuse. But this approach, just like rewarding children when they do nice things, is counterproductive over the long haul.

What Your Dog Wants

Living with a pet provides humans with many physical and psychological benefits. Research shows that the health and well-being of pet owners is greater than that of non-pet-owners. But what about our pets? Sure, we buy them treats and care for them. But do they get deeper, more important rewards from their human relationships? And how might this come about?

Why Not Tax the Rich?

By Ken Eisold Ph.D. on May 02, 2015 Hidden Motives
Strangely, the poor themselves end up protecting the rich

Announcement: A Crash Course on Gender Differences

By Eyal Winter on May 01, 2015 Feeling Smart
Is she so different than him?

Wisdom From a Psychopath?

Research by Dr. Kevin Dutton shows that psychopathic traits may be appealing to individuals, but are harmful for communities.

No Time For Figuring Out Your Money?

Life is busy and maybe even overwhelming at times. Work, family, friends, hitting the gym, scheduling, and taxi service for your kids—it's a lot. Finding time to dig into the meat of your finances can be a battle you ignore at your peril.

Introduction to Investing in Healthy Minds

True or False: As a society we should be investing more in the mental health of young people. I’m guessing you answered “true.” But can you prove it?

The Surprising Psychology of Rock-Paper-Scissors

Don't be the one who has to wash the dishes, do push-ups, or pay for lunch. Winning at Rock - Paper - Scissors is about psychology, not chance.

What Is Confirmation Bias?

People are prone to believe what they want to believe.

Are Women Better Managers Than Men?

By Victor Lipman on April 23, 2015 Mind of the Manager
A new Gallup study says so.

Moving Toward Collaboration: Lessons From the Field

It’s never failed to happen that people wake up and take note when I mention the basic set of questions the answer to which comprises a decision-making system: Who makes which decisions? Who provides input? Who hears about it? How and when are the decisions made?

Wishful Thinking

By Eyal Winter on April 22, 2015 Feeling Smart
How we can ignore facts we don't like.

What Can We Learn From Reading Online Reviews?

To write a review or not to write a review (and simply use stars)

How You Can Tell That It's the Right Time to Quit

Giving up frustrating goals creates opportunities.

The Art and Science of Haggling

Often the most popular skills based courses are those on negotiation. They teach among other things the gentle but very important arts of haggling and persuasion: in short how to get a good deal. Why is it so important and what is the fundamental psychology of haggling?

What Makes Us Tick?

They met in a airport because of a book that one of them was reading, the same the other had recently read. The conversation was so stimulating that they decided to continue it online and share it with their readers. They both believe this will be the first of an endless series of talks about the subject—what makes people tick—that tickles them the most.

The Death of Mr. Economicus

For many years, we thought humans were rational. Homo economicus was the protagonist of the human story, and he knew what he was about. He was the James Bond of decision making, and he didn't let the universe push him around. The only problem was that he didn't exist.

Show Me The Money!

By Renee Garfinkel Ph.D. on April 12, 2015 Time Out
I love money. I love everything about it. I bought some pretty good stuff. Got me a $300 pair of socks. Got a fur sink. An electric dog polisher. A gasoline powered turtleneck sweater. And, of course, I bought some dumb stuff, too. –Steve Martin

The Best Bosses Aren't Bossy

By Victor Lipman on April 10, 2015 Mind of the Manager
Overmanaging is one of the least discussed but most prevalent problems of management. Too much management—often a.k.a. bossiness—is the enemy of productivity.

Can There Be Too Much Romantic Sensitivity?

Sensitivity is often praised as one of the most important pillars of a good romantic relationship. Although this is indeed the case, too much romantic sensitivity can overburden a relationship. How then can we find the optimal balance of sensitivity in the complex romantic realm?

Making the Most of Your Charitable Giving

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on April 08, 2015 How To Do Life
Most people work hard for the money they give to charity but that money often doesn't do as much good as it could.

The Wisdom Behind the Saying “Get Some Perspective?”

Maintaining a new habit becomes easier when people ask themselves why they are doing an activity rather than how they are doing it.

How Jealousy Can Poison a Friendship

The people, places, and things that cause you to be jealous of another tell you more about yourself than you might realize.

Employee Conflict: Fighters vs. Flighters

Categorizing your workforce with this simple "psychology" may not be scientifically accurate, but it can help keep you sane.

The Ethics of Financial Accounting

At first it seems obvious that manipulating performance measures is unethical: teachers teaching to the test, managers manipulating earnings upward to sell its shares at a high price, and so forth. But things are more subtle than they seem!

When You Can't Tell If They're Serious

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on April 05, 2015 Ambigamy
It's fun to just browse the options, but sooner or later you have to prioritize.