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

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.

Are Boys More Desirable Than Girls?

By Susan Newman Ph.D. on September 28, 2010 in Singletons
The desire for sons is particularly perplexing, given that opportunities absent to women in previous generations now abound. The insinuation-and evidence-that parents prefer boys is plentiful, but I didn't find that. 

Structure your world for success by thinking abstractly

By Art Markman Ph.D. on September 28, 2010 in Ulterior Motives
A recurring theme in this blog is that self-control is hard. Tempting short-term goals often get in our way when we want to achieve long-term goals. If you are trying to lose weight, then it is not easy to pass up some fries to go with that lunch or a rich piece of cake to reward yourself for a hard day. If you need to study for an exam in order to keep up your grades, it is tempting to take a break to watch a great movie on TV or to join your friends at a party.

Newsflash for Investors and Gamblers: Winning Causes Losing

By Anita E. Kelly Ph.D. on September 27, 2010 in Insight
Two new experiments show that winning caused gamblers to bet recklessly.

Three tips for the mobile healthcare industry

By Talya Miron-Shatz Ph.D. on September 24, 2010 in Baffled by Numbers
When the mobile healthcare conference ends, the real lesson to developers begins, taught by grumpy old women.

A Generational Chasm in Spending Ideals

By Kit Yarrow Ph.D. on September 24, 2010 in The Why Behind the Buy
 Like everyone else, Gen Y has reduced their spending out of necessity. But it's been to a lesser extent than older generations. More importantly, their feelings about shopping and buying remain more positive than the over 30 crowd, and less changed by their recessionary shopping strategies. 

Seeking long-term fulfillment, not happiness, will get you through these economic hard times.

With the plunging of the world's economy into debt, how can you avoid despair? Maintaining your equanimity by focusing on what's important in life can help you even in these very tough times.

5 Tips for Loving Life in Tough Economic Times

By Brad Klontz Psy.D., CFP on September 18, 2010 in Mind Over Money
Times are tough. The recession may be over on Wall Street, but no one has told Main Street.

Mirroring Care

What I do impacts you and what you do impacts me. Our brains activate when we witness other people's actions in the same way they do when we perform those same actions ourselves. And feeling what others do and feel has a direct affect on our ability to heal.