Essential Reads

How Technology is Tricking You Into Tipping More

Digital payment systems use subtle tactics to increase tips. Here's how...

8 Negative Attitudes of Chronically Unhappy People

8 Negative Thoughts of Chronically Unhappy People

Conflicting Goals Can Make You a Better Decision Maker

Some conflicts actually improve your ability to choose.

How to Become the Most Attractive Job Candidate

Why understanding your strengths will help you stand out.

Recent Posts on Behavioral Economics

The Great Divide: Working Moms Vs. Childless Women

By Susan Newman Ph.D. on April 06, 2011 in Singletons
As significant as the differences are between men and women in most workplaces, the biggest gap is between women with children and those without.

Living by the Bronze Rule

By Scott M. James Ph.D. on April 04, 2011 in Mind and Morals
How much would you pay to have someone killed?

Seven Tips For Making Better Decisions

By Harry Beckwith J.D. on March 31, 2011 in Unthinking
How can you help your group--even a twosome--make better decisions? And actually enjoy the process? It's all in your heads. Here are seven proven tips, the lessons of over 30 years of strategic planning.

The Last Bullying Frontier

By Guy Winch Ph.D. on March 31, 2011 in The Squeaky Wheel
Bullying of LGBT youth has received well deserved attention over past months and raised public awareness about every other societal manifestation of bullying-except one.

The North-South Real Estate Bias

By Matthew Hutson on March 31, 2011 in Psyched!
Billy Joel sang about his “uptown girl.” Jim Croce warned us about “bad, bad Leroy Brown,” who lived on the South Side of Chicago, “the baddest part of town.” In some cities, uptown is genuinely nicer than downtown, but might people have a general bias to prefer northern areas over southern in any city?

What State Budget Cuts Mean for the Most Troubled Children

By Josephine Johnston and Erik Parens—If your child ends up on 12 North, the Children's Psychiatry Unit at Stony Brook University Hospital, he has probably been diagnosed with one, or many, serious mental disorders. He (or she) has likely been prescribed myriad medications.

Want to be rich and thin?

By Susan Carnell Ph.D. on March 29, 2011 in Bad Appetite
It is a truth universally acknowledged that people like money. And they really, really hate losing it. So, if you’re keen to quit your junk-food habit, flatter me by doing the following thought experiment. What if the next time you gave into temptation you knew you also had to hand over $1000 of your hard-earned cash?

Tsunamis, Sharks, Nuclear Reactors: Defending Defensiveness

The odds of being killed in a nuclear accident are lower than the odds of being eaten by a shark, which are substantially lower than the odds of being killed by a deer jumping in front of your car. So why am I still worrying?

Life as Poker

By John A. Johnson Ph.D. on March 25, 2011 in Cui Bono
Can life ever be made fair, given that we are dealt different genetic endowments and early life experiences?

Happy-Smarts: Do You Have It?

By Raj Raghunathan Ph.D. on March 24, 2011 in Sapient Nature
People generally say happiness is their most important goal, but often, they don't act as if they really want happiness; they let other--more minor--things come in the way. If you are serious about leading a happy, fulfilling life, then you better accord happiness your # 1 priority.

Do You Speak Up for Yourself?

By Guy Winch Ph.D. on March 23, 2011 in The Squeaky Wheel
Do you stand up for your rights when you’ve been treated unfairly? Do you speak up when you don’t get what you pay for? Most of us would probably say we do but the reality is only a small minority of people complain effectively enough in such situations to get the result they deserve. How small this minority actually tends to be—is nothing less than shocking.

Hypomanic Nation

America has the highest rates of bipolar disorder according to an eleven-nation NIMH study published in this month's Archives of General Psychiatry.

Why do politicians sling mud? Because it sticks

By Julie Sedivy Ph.D. on March 22, 2011 in Sold on Language
We profess to hate negative attack ads in politics. But when it comes to negative campaigning, genteel social norms get some push-back from psychological mechanisms that give dirty politics an edge over keeping it clean.

Women at the Top: Not So Fast

By Susan Newman Ph.D. on March 22, 2011 in Singletons
Women lag behind men in advancement, salary, and career satisfaction. How do we level the playing field and speed up women’s slow climb to the top?

What the Bleep Do We Know?

By Raj Raghunathan Ph.D. on March 21, 2011 in Sapient Nature
People often don't know what they want--although they often think they do. This leads them to make decisions that are often not in their best self-interest.

Productivity Is Up, Wages Are Down: What’s Up With That?

Do you feel like you work harder and produce more, but you still can't make ends meet financially? That's because it's true! According to a recent study, worker productivity has been on a steady increase, rising 62.5% from 1989 to 2010, but wages during that time are only up 12%. Where's the money going???

Seven habits of sometimes effective critics: Unreliable sure-fire recipes for speaking your mind

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on March 15, 2011 in Ambigamy
An alternative take on this month's PT cover topic: Giving feedback.

This Is Your Tax Return on Behavioral Economics

A tax refund is the return of your own money, but only 19% say they'll reduce their holdings next year.

How to Test Your Empathy

By Guy Winch Ph.D. on March 15, 2011 in The Squeaky Wheel
Something is amiss in our discussion of empathy. I came to this conclusion after a brief search through recent news articles yielded the following headlines: College students have less empathy than past generations, too much testosterone lowers empathy, empathy is a cause of yawning, and my favorite newsflash, chickens are capable of empathy too!

Seven Speaking Tips That Beat “Pretend Your Audience Is Naked"

By Harry Beckwith J.D. on March 14, 2011 in Unthinking
How can you win over people and totally sedate your butterflies?  Here are my favorite seven lessons, gleaned from three decades of public speaking.

Don’t Try to Predict Upsets in Tournament Pools

By Matthew Hutson on March 14, 2011 in Psyched!
The best way to win your March Madness tournament pool is to stick to the seedings. So why do we try to predict upsets?

Life among the fragments

By Matthew Shanahan M.Sc. on March 13, 2011 in Living It
The French writer, Charles Baudelaire, observed through his writings that modernity is the experience of life lived in fragments. This experience, the human experience, is even more fragmented today than it was when Baudelaire wrote in the mid-1800's.