Essential Reads

Water Games

Let us revisit a negotiation over drinking water in the German heartland.

What Happens When the Whole Family Plays with Food?

“Family therapy can be helpful; family dinner is transformative.”

Democracy and the Pro-social Impulse

Can there be democracy without idealism?

Tom Brady Broke the Rules, But Don't We All?

What "Deflategate" can teach us about human nature

Recent Posts on Behavioral Economics

Why Dads Earn More and Moms Earn Less than the Childfree

By Ellen Walker Ph.D. on November 09, 2014 in Complete Without Kids
Why Dads Earn More and Moms Earn Less than the Childfree

Supporting Work-Life Balance with Natural Medicines

Some workaholics drive themselves into a state of chronic fatigue, motivated by an internal sense of perfection or a commitment to a cause. Others, driven by ambition or competitiveness, may develop gastrointestinal distress. Either way, natural medicines can relieve the physical symptoms and help the person set healthier boundaries at the same time.

The Most Influential Psychology Books of the Past Decade

By Adam Grant Ph.D. on November 09, 2014 in Give and Take
Some books change our actions, not only our thoughts.

Science and Religion

Formerly, when religion was strong and science weak, men mistook magic for medicine; now, when science is strong and religion weak, men mistake medicine for magic. – Thomas Szasz

Prescription Opioid Abuse: A Gateway to Heroin and Overdose

By Richard Taite on November 07, 2014 in Ending Addiction for Good
Opioid-involved overdoses in the United States have dramatically increased in the last 15 years, largely due to a rise in prescription opioid (PO) use. Emerging evidence suggests the increase is linked to unintentional PO misuse that easily turns into addiction.

The Psychology of Landing a Major Book Deal

By Nir Eyal on November 07, 2014 in Automatic You
How one author landed a major book deal using three psychological principles.

Seven Money Conversations You Want to Have With Your Kids

By Michael F. Kay on November 06, 2014 in Financial Life Focus
The values you demonstrate around money will shade and shadow your kids’ money behavior for the rest of their lives.

4 Reasons Why Your Personality May Not Matter

How much of our behavior is caused by our personalities, and how much is caused by other factors? You might be surprised by when, how, and why personality doesn't matter.

Take a Walk on the Rewild Side

By Lybi Ma on November 05, 2014 in Brainstorm
Animal behaviorist Marc Bekoff, Ph.D., wants to start a meme that will save the animals, as well as the world.

Fanaticism Is a Disease Like Alcoholism

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on November 04, 2014 in Ambigamy
We get distracted by the beliefs of particular fanatics and fail to see fanaticism's common traits. It's not what they belief but how they believe it. Fanaticism is a disease much like alcoholism. We hate the fanatic, which makes it hard for him to change. We need a AA-style approach instead: Don't blame the beliefs or the believers, blame the disease.

The Cost of Continuously Checking Email

By Ron Friedman Ph.D. on November 03, 2014 in Glue
Shifting our attention from one task to another, as we do when we’re monitoring email while trying to read a report or craft a presentation, disrupts our concentration and saps our focus. Here are a few suggestions to help you stay on task.

Creating the Next Financial Crisis

By Ken Eisold Ph.D. on November 03, 2014 in Hidden Motives
We know how to prevent it, but we don’t seem to want to pay the price. It’s like our dependency on fossil fuel.

Who Will Win an Election? Appearance Matters.

How much does physical appearance affect the outcomes of elections? The answer is that it matters more than most people think. Read about this fascinating (and baffling) research on how physical appearance predicts election winners.

How to Stop Blaming Others, and Be Free and Powerful!

Blame can be defined as holding others responsible for our misfortunes. it may seem easy and convenient to blame others for our unhappiness, but in the long run we lose out. Here's how to let go of blame, and be free and powerful!

How to Buy Happiness Instead of Selling It

By Ran Zilca on November 02, 2014 in Confessions of a Techie
Like money, happiness is also a currency, and at the end of the day the goal is to buy some happiness instead of exchanging it for cash.

Our Place in the Universe

If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the Universe.– Carl Sagan

Are same-sex marriages good for the economy?

By Gordon Hodson Ph.D. on October 31, 2014 in Without Prejudice
With noticeable declines in the numbers of heterosexual marriages, marriages between gay couples can boost the economy among businesses linked to the wedding industry. By similarly tuning self-interests toward economic strategies that cut carbon emissions, can psychology help save the planet?

Are Your Excuses Really Lies That Sabotage Your Life?

By Susan Biali M.D. on October 30, 2014 in Prescriptions for Life
An excuse is a lie you tell yourself, without realizing you are doing it. Discover the excuses you are using, today, that are sabotaging your life and dreams and holding you back.

How Your Brain Forces You to Watch Ads

By Douglas Van Praet on October 30, 2014 in Unconscious Branding
Your brain is hardwired to pay attention to the best ads. Learn how to reprogram your mind to ignore them.

Same Team!

By Matthew Shanahan M.Sc. on October 28, 2014 in Living It
SAME TEAM! This phrase is used when players on a team inadvertently fight each other for possession of the scoring object. The logic described in this blog entry describes various aspects to consider with regard to working at cross-purposes with peers, and recognizing when efforts are counter-productive.

Why Fulfilling Travel Is Harder than We Think

By Jaime Kurtz Ph.D. on October 28, 2014 in Happy Trails
In this introduction to "Happy Trails," I provide a few reasons why you might not enjoy your upcoming trip as much as you think you will.

Becoming Conscious

By Ken Eisold Ph.D. on October 27, 2014 in Hidden Motives
Contrary to our subjective beliefs, we make most of our decisions automatically, unconsciously. Professor Michael S. A. Graziano at Princeton recently reminded us of this.

The 5 Psychological Traps We All Fall Into

There are many times when our social perception fails us. As a result, we are prone to make errors in our mental processing. Here are some examples of common biases in social perception and how they lead us to misjudge people and events:

Success and Failure

An expert is someone who knows some of the worst mistakes that can be made in a subject and how to avoid them. – attributed to Werner Heisenberg

Why She Feels The Way She Does?

By Shahram Heshmat Ph.D. on October 24, 2014 in Science of Choice
Indeed, learning to tolerate or accept negative affect as it is, and focus on problem solving are important skills for the treatment of addiction.

Why Diamonds Aren't Forever

By Samantha Joel M.A. on October 24, 2014 in Dating Decisions
For decades, the idea that spending a fortune on engagement rings and weddings is good for your relationship has gone untested and largely unchallenged. But recently, a pair of economists put De Beers et al. to the test.

Social Mindfulness

By Joachim I Krueger Ph.D. on October 22, 2014 in One Among Many
Giving up a choice so that someone else might have it shows social mindfulness. How is this different from just being nice? It is surprisingly hard to tell.

The 4 Worst Types of Bosses To Work For

Leaders range from the exceptional to the worst of the worst. While many bosses are competent, caring, and effective, it has been suggested that there are just as many bad bosses as there are good ones. Here is a list of the very worst types of bosses.

Should You Buy Financial Planning Like You Buy Your Music

By Michael F. Kay on October 22, 2014 in Financial Life Focus
Music media changes with technology, but great advice isn't digital.

Reality Isn’t Really Real

By Ran Zilca on October 22, 2014 in Confessions of a Techie
Our ability to construct a story is often what makes us suffer, and writing a new story could therefore heal.