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

The Science of Predicting the Future

By Mark Travers Ph.D. on May 27, 2015 in The Sports Mind
Some people are surprisingly good at predicting the future. Are you one of them?

The Credit Lunch

By Alain Samson Ph.D. on May 27, 2015 in Consumed
Using credit or debit cards is associated with more hedonic purchases. Are students more susceptible to this card payment effect?

How Marketers Manipulate You Into Becoming Their Friend

New research reveals how shockingly easy it is to manipulate consumers to like and forgive marketers that deceive them.

Are Umpires Racist?

By Mark Travers Ph.D. on May 21, 2015 in The Sports Mind
Umpires call more strikes for pitchers of their own race. Fact or fiction?

Water Games

Negotiations are especially difficult when you are responding to the other party’s assumed instead of actual preferences.

Red Flags of Potentially Toxic Relationships

While most of us know at some level that a relationship has turned toxic, we may have a hard time admitting that we have made a poor choice in placing our trust in another.

What Happens When the Whole Family Plays with Food?

By Susan Newman Ph.D. on May 19, 2015 in Singletons
What to make for dinner? What will the kids eat? How to get everyone to the table for dinner in spite of packed schedules? Challenges worth meeting. Family therapy can be helpful, but family dinner is transformative.

Behavioral Economics and Health / Part 1

How a short term pleasure, like a cigarette, trumps having a long life.

The Juggernaut of C.E.O. Compensation

By Ken Eisold Ph.D. on May 18, 2015 in Hidden Motives
All efforts to rein in CEO pay seem to have failed. One has to wonder why

Lack of Employee Recognition is a Management Epidemic

By Victor Lipman on May 18, 2015 in Mind of the Manager
According to a new survey, only 20% of employees feel "strongly valued" at work. 80% feel "poorly to moderately valued."

Democracy and the Pro-social Impulse

Governments answerable to the people can exist only due to the fact that we’re emotional, social creatures, not isolated, rational, strictly selfish individuals. A better appreciation of human nature can help us secure a democratic future.

A Crash Course on Gender Differences - Session 2

By Eyal Winter on May 16, 2015 in Feeling Smart
"sperm competition" is a major force that shaped men and women differently

Psychology of Money

Are you sure you want to spend your money on THAT? Dan Ariely wants you to wait and think. Same for having children.

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

By Mark Travers Ph.D. on May 14, 2015 in The Sports Mind
Before we tie Tom Brady to the whipping post, perhaps we should think about the times we bent, finessed, or massaged the rules for our own benefit.

How to Organize Your Financial Life

Tax time is over and you swear it won’t be like this again.

The Hidden Price of Progress

By Nick Tasler on May 11, 2015 in Strategic Thinking
Last month's protests in Baltimore reveal surprising paradox in the psychology of change.

Going ape in the office

High ranking chimpanzees will actively seek to drive apart coalitions between subordinate group members. Surprisingly, this ancient tactic is used by many bosses today to prevent talented coworkers from usurping their position, despite negatively impacting performance. A recent study investigates why some individuals are driven to divide and conquer.

Fixing Corruption

By Ken Eisold Ph.D. on May 10, 2015 in Hidden Motives
Recently, The Economist looking into the effort of containing bribery, noted that “the cost and complexity of investigations are spiraling beyond what is reasonable. What can be done about it?

On The Nature of True Love

We care about another’s wellbeing simply because the act of loving is enjoyable.

What Your Hair Really Says About You

Many of us spend an inordinate amount of time, money, and worry about the state of our hair. Chances are you feel that something’s amiss if your locks are misbehaving on any given day. You may feel better knowing that you’re not alone in this preoccupation, especially if your concerns about aging enter into the picture.

Emotional Ideologies

By Eyal Winter on May 08, 2015 in Feeling Smart
We vote out of passion and not out of reasoning

You're NOT Being Irrational!

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on May 07, 2015 in Ambigamy
Rational means comparing, using ratios. We all do that, but sometimes we compare to the wrong things.

The Wrong Way to Get People to Do the Right Thing

By Alfie Kohn on May 07, 2015 in The Homework Myth
It may seem a matter of hard-headed realism to emphasize "enlightened self-interest" (rather than altruism) in our efforts to promote individual acts of caring or to justify spending public funds to address infant mortality or spousal abuse. But this approach, just like rewarding children when they do nice things, is counterproductive over the long haul.

What Your Dog Wants

Living with a pet provides humans with many physical and psychological benefits. Research shows that the health and well-being of pet owners is greater than that of non-pet-owners. But what about our pets? Sure, we buy them treats and care for them. But do they get deeper, more important rewards from their human relationships? And how might this come about?

Why Not Tax the Rich?

By Ken Eisold Ph.D. on May 02, 2015 in Hidden Motives
Strangely, the poor themselves end up protecting the rich

Announcement: A Crash Course on Gender Differences

By Eyal Winter on May 01, 2015 in Feeling Smart
Is she so different than him?

Wisdom From a Psychopath?

Research by Dr. Kevin Dutton shows that psychopathic traits may be appealing to individuals, but are harmful for communities.

No Time For Figuring Out Your Money?

By Michael F. Kay on April 30, 2015 in Financial Life Focus
Life is busy and maybe even overwhelming at times. Work, family, friends, hitting the gym, scheduling, and taxi service for your kids—it's a lot. Finding time to dig into the meat of your finances can be a battle you ignore at your peril.

Introduction to Investing in Healthy Minds

True or False: As a society we should be investing more in the mental health of young people. I’m guessing you answered “true.” But can you prove it?

The Surprising Psychology of Rock-Paper-Scissors

Don't be the one who has to wash the dishes, do push-ups, or pay for lunch. Winning at Rock - Paper - Scissors is about psychology, not chance.