• carrot

    How Rewards and Punishment Change Behavior

    The old “carrot and stick” are two of the most-used tools for motivation. Yet, do we really understand how they work? Recent research has found some surprising truths about these age-old tools of human psychology. Random Rewards Classical conditioning would have us consistently reward people for a task, yet this may not be the most effective […]

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  • Mars-CandyFB

    7 Ways Companies Exploit Psychology

    Companies are always looking for an edge: to acquire more customers, or get more money out of the existing customers. The use of certain techniques is not necessarily nefarious, but smart consumers should still be aware of the ways companies might try to use psychological research to exploit them. Simply being aware of these tricks […]

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  • school2-hb

    How Doing Well in School can Ruin Your Career

    When I was in high school, someone once told me that “the A students work for the B students; the B students work at the C students’ companies, and the D students are the janitors.” What the person was trying to say was that the meticulous engineers worked for the more social MBAs, who worked for […]

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  • karenina

    Why Happiness is Boring

    The Anna Karenina principle is derived from a famous Tolstoy quote: Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.   This profound insight into human psychology has withstood the tests of time and scientific rigor. Put simply, there are a lot of ways to fail but very few ways […]

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  • clock

    How We Each Think About Time Differently

    Let’s face it: our brains are terrible at time. We tend to either ignore it completely, or become chronic clock-watchers. Our obsession with time leads us to spend much of our lives worrying about it. Research is revealing more about how humans perceive time, but first, a word about the nature of time itself…   […]

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  • okc

    Can Online Dating Make You Happy?

    Three years ago, the move to “online” dating was still confined to relatively small groups. Now, I speak regularly to friends of mine all around the country who sign on to their online dating profiles every day. The taboo has been lifted by sites like OkCupid and Tinder; online dating has become the stuff of […]

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  • sunny

    Mindhacks to Increase Happiness using Science

    Much of the latest psychological research is yielding surprising, even counter-intuitive insights into how the mind works (which is why we have wonderful books like Dan Ariely’s Predictably Irrational). A common thread underlying much of this research is that the mind can be easily “tricked.” This has led to new fields, like neuromarketing, but also a variety […]

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  • internaltime2

    Is Sleeping 6 Hours per Night a Good Idea?

    I’ve written a lot about sleep optimization, from falling asleep in 2 minutes to waking up without alarm clocks. I must admit to a dirty little secret, though: I belong to the group of people who does not need much sleep to begin with. For me, 6 hours feels great and 7 hours is too […]

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