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 TSA, Whole Body Scans, and Risk Perception.

By David Ropeik on November 22, 2010 in How Risky Is It, Really?
Resistance is growing to an airport security technology that could keep us safe. Why does having our privacy invaded feel worse to some than the possibility we might get blown up?

In Defense of Boys

By Susan Newman Ph.D. on November 15, 2010 in Singletons
There is no arguing about the strength of a good mother-daughter bond or women’s desire for it. But what if you are having a boy?

Would You Play Russian Roulette for $5,000,000?

By Gad Saad Ph.D. on November 12, 2010 in Homo Consumericus
If you were offered $5,000,000 to play Russian roulette with a six-chamber gun wherein only one of the chambers was loaded with a live bullet, would you accept it? Would you accept it for $10,000,000? What would the odds of dying have to be for you to accept to play such a macabre game for the $5,000,000 jackpot (e.g., 1 in 10,000; 1 in 1,000,000)?

Deep Rationality II: Conspicuous Consumption as Mating Display

Conspicuous consumption seems like irrational economic behavior, with shoppers actively avoiding “Best Buys” in favor of things overpriced.  But a series of studies released this week suggests rational underpinnings for this seemingly wasteful behavior.

On Purpose: Keeping You and Your Organization Determined, With Incentive

By Steve Sisgold on November 08, 2010 in Life in a Body
So often we set out to achieve the success that fulfills our dreams, but the logistics, the selling, the fixing and managing consumes us, and we don't take the time to reflect on our original purpose for doing what we do a good part of our waking hours.

The World Series, the Midterm Elections, and Dancing with the Stars

By Marina Krakovsky on November 02, 2010 in Secrets of the Moneylab
What do the World Series, the Midterm Elections, and Dancing with the Stars have in common?

Do You Wear Masks?

By Lissa Rankin M.D. on November 01, 2010 in Owning Pink
It makes me realize that stripping off the masks we wear is not a one-time thing.

The Burden of Choice

By Frederick Muench Ph.D. on November 01, 2010 in

Do Voters Have 'Complaining Learned Helplessness'?

By Guy Winch Ph.D. on October 26, 2010 in The Squeaky Wheel
Those who complain most about our elected officials might be most likely to skip voting. Here's why.

Between the Impossible and the Inevitable -- Maturity Means Managing Unpredictability

By Matthew Shanahan M.Sc. on October 25, 2010 in Living It
We provide a mathematical explanation for the phenomena of all-or-none thinking. People often gravitate to end points of probability, either impossibility or inevitability, in order to reduce the worrying they do over a potentially more accurate, but unpredictable, likelihood "somewhere in the middle". It may be prudent seldom to say "never", and rarely to say "always".

Who Gets Rich?

By Anneli Rufus on October 22, 2010 in Stuck
Experts study the lifestyle and physical factors that determine who among us is the most likely to end up rich. The results are much as we've always expected, and in scome cases always feared: Tall, good-looking, slender, sociable blondes actually make more money than the rest of us -- especially if they have Princeton diplomas.

The ‘E’ in ePatients Stands for ‘Emotional’, it Seems

Turning your Facebook buddies to your health and wellbeing rewards—or punishments

But His Is Bigger! A Sad Story of Irrational Social Comparison

The other day I bought my 6 year old son an unexpected Lego kit.  Although he had done nothing to deserve it, it made him cry!  Why, because his nephew got a bigger one. We adults are sometimes guilty of the same irrational comparisons. 

A tale of two exposures: consumers and those who supply them

Some of my occupational medicine colleagues and I did not share completely in the general euphoria following the rescue of the trapped Chilean miners, taking note that Mario Gomez (at 63, the eldest of the group) was reported to have silicosis. This is a progressive and life-threatening lung disease that evolves after prolonged exposure to silica-containing rock dust.

All the Single Mothers, All the Single Mothers

By Meg Meeker M.D. on October 08, 2010 in Family Matters
My book Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters generated a mass of mail from single mothers demanding answers about some very important issues.

Dog Poop and the Environment: Art and Power

A conceptual art installation demonstrates how dog poop can be either an environmental pollutant or can be turned into useful energy and art.

Stuxnet and PSYOPS

By Anneli Rufus on October 06, 2010 in Stuck
Psychological warfare is alive and well in North Korea -- and in South Korea, and in Iran, and perhaps at your local TV news station as well, according to recent reports. From the Stuxnet worm to helium balloons bearing propagandistic pamphlets, it all sounds creepy and alien, like leftovers from the Cold War. Yet PSYOPS is still very real, as wars are won and lost with not just weaponry but hearts and minds.