Essential Reads

How New Payment Technology Can Manipulate You

Can you resist paying the 'suggested' tip?

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

Why We're Terrible Predictors

By Carlin Flora on April 26, 2011 in Under a Friendly Spell
In his fascinating new book, Duncan Watts, a principal research scientist at Yahoo! Research and former professor of sociology at Columbia University, takes a critical look at common sense and shows how dangerously bad we are at predicting certain outcomes.

Are Good Looking People Dumb?

By Raj Raghunathan Ph.D. on April 26, 2011 in Sapient Nature
Pleasurable and enjoyable products, people and activities are thought to be less practical and functional. Where does this belief come from?

If and When to Have Your Babies: The Happiness Measure

By Susan Newman Ph.D. on April 26, 2011 in Singletons
During what 20-year period would you rather risk being less happy?

Crossing the Gap

By Timothy A Pychyl Ph.D. on April 23, 2011 in Don't Delay
Typically, psychologists define procrastination as a gap between intention and action. Have you experienced that gap? Did it look more like the Grand Canyon? How do you get across this gap?

When Beauty and Technology Collide

A very curious thing is happening at beauty stores across America. It is the convergence of technology and consumerism, whereby women’s self-image, worth, and esteem are caught at the crossroads in between.

When's The Best Time To Get A "Yes"?

By Harry Beckwith J.D. on April 21, 2011 in Unthinking
Does the time of day significantly influence our decisions? And if it does, what does this tell us about the ideal times to ask for a raise, a contract, or a date?

The Economy: Consumer Mastery Vs. Soaring Prices

Rather than to be felled by the recession, the American consumer has emerged empowered.

Why It's Never About Race

By Sam Sommers on April 18, 2011 in Science Of Small Talk
Last month, Brigham Young University suspended from its nationally ranked men's basketball team starting forward Brandon Davies. That a major college team would have cause to discipline one of its own was hardly shocking. But the nature of Davies' honor code violation: Reportedly, he was dismissed for having consensual sex with his girlfriend.

Not Enough Willpower? Use Your "Extended Will!"

By Meg Selig on April 18, 2011 in Changepower
Getting help is a terrific technique for boosting your willpower.

Is Addiction a Social Disease?

By Lynn Phillips on April 17, 2011 in Dream On
Does getting paid in millions get people hooked on an executive compensation high? Is addiction the most useful way to think about our craving for oil, or Wall Street’s compulsion to repackage bad loans in pursuit of profit? Is the very concept of addiction so addictive that we can’t stop using it, even when it isn’t the best metaphor for the job?

Cancer, Choice, Beer, and Fear

By David Ropeik on April 13, 2011 in How Risky Is It, Really?
Engaging in risky behavior voluntarily makes it feel less risky. It doesn't mean the risk goes down, though, only the fear. And THAT may raise your risk!

A Pro for Procrastination

Out for a stroll in Bozeman Montana in 1977 I had the idea for a popular press book. That book was released yesterday, a mere 33 years later. Is there anything good about this level of procrastination?

The lure of celebrity endorsements

Celebrity advertising works because Images of famous people stimulate areas of our brains involved in emotions. Turning off your brain's response may save you from making poor consumer choices.

The World's Largest Experiment in Human Behavior

Homo sapiens' sexual predilections have always been tough to nail down. Most people don't make merry love in shopping malls and public squares. We are loathe to share our intimate desires with neighbors or scientists.

Does Beauty Matter?

By Harry Beckwith J.D. on April 11, 2011 in Unthinking
It's in the eyes of the beholder, perhaps--but whatever our eyes do see as beautiful, why does it matter? A half-dozen lessons of a career trying to satisfy, and understand, that craving.

Do People Think Ethical Is Ineffective?

By Raj Raghunathan Ph.D. on April 11, 2011 in Sapient Nature
Findings show that although consumers voice strong support for the "green movement," they privately harbor misgivings about the effectiveness of green products and hence, are less likely to purchase them. Could the "ethical = less effective" belief generalize to the context of judging people as well, that is, do we assume that ethical people are less effective?

Clenching Your Fists Increases Willpower

By Matthew Hutson on April 10, 2011 in Psyched!
According to researchers in a new paper, “Steely muscles can lead to a steely resolve.”

Having to Pee Increases Willpower

By Matthew Hutson on April 10, 2011 in Psyched!
Next time you need to discuss something with your boss while not telling him off, or you’re headed to the candy store with a credit card, consider chugging some water beforehand. Your brain will thank your bladder.

Keeping Up, and Down, with the Joneses

By Sam Sommers on April 08, 2011 in Science Of Small Talk
I got a letter this week from my utility company. It included a colorful graph comparing my electricity use to that of my average neighbor. Turns out I use 3 percent less energy than the norm. This got me to thinking about the strategy behind sending out the information, and whether it could, under some circumstances, backfire...

Understanding Procrastination: A Birthday Blog

By Timothy A Pychyl Ph.D. on April 07, 2011 in Don't Delay
I hate doing this. I missed a birthday. March 24th marked the beginning of the fourth year for this Don't Delay blog. Birthdays are often a time for reflection, so here are a few of mine about my understanding of procrastination, then and now, with some criticisms, some kudos and a look to the year ahead.

What Do Singles Spend Their Money On?

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on April 07, 2011 in Living Single
What are single men, single women, and married couples really spending their money on? The Bureau of Labor Statistics gives us the goods.

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.