behavioral economics

Would You Do Something Silly to Succeed?

Would You Do Something Silly to Succeed?

I recently learned that bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell has a podcast called Revisionist History. This was music to my ears, because Gladwell always tells interesting stories, and I like the cadence of his voice. I think the podcast will provide fodder for several blog entries in the coming week. As of now I’ve listened to […]


How to Pronounce Words Like a YouTube Celebrity

How to Pronounce Words Like a YouTube Celebrity

A few weeks ago I was telling some friends about PewDiePie, a YouTube sensation with over 40 million subscribers. I had never heard of him until watching a Southpark episode last year. When I told my friends what PewDiePie’s videos are about (they’re videos of him playing video games), they were flabbergasted that he could […]


Moral Dilemma #2: The Surveillance

Moral Dilemma #2: The Surveillance

Last week I wrote about a moral dilemma I had while working at a movie theater many years ago. Now I’m back with another moral dilemma I had while working at an alarm company one summer during college. I was reminded of this experience by an article I read recently about a study involving surveillance. […]


To Reward Yourself or Benefit the Many

To Reward Yourself or Benefit the Many

This episode contains spoilers about tonight’s episode of Survivor. If you don’t watch the show or have already watched this episode, please proceed. Let’s get this out of the way: Yes, I watch Survivor. I love games, and Survivor is the best game on TV. A very interesting moral and strategic quandary occurred on Survivor […]


Leadership Tactic #83: Feel Free to Say No

Leadership Tactic #83: Feel Free to Say No

Feel free to read this blog entry or not. Either way. It’s completely up to you. Feel free to say no if you don’t want to. Still reading? I thought so. It’s because you just got beh-psyched (behavioral psychologied)! Here’s what happened, according to a recent study: A recent review of the 42 psychology studies […]


Do You Scream for Free Ice Cream?

Do You Scream for Free Ice Cream?

A few days ago I was leaving work when one of my coworkers pranced in the door. She was absolutely elated. “We just got Ben & Jerry’s!” she said. “It’s free ice cream day.” In her mind, when she hears “free ice cream,” she gets excited and happy. She gets something for free. But this […]


How to Be a Better Lover

Today is Valentine’s Day, and I’m here to teach you how to be a better lover. But probably not in the way that you’re thinking. I read a fascinating article in the NY Times the other day about love. The article covers a lot of different topics, and I’d highly recommend it. But one point […]


Texting in Movie Theaters: What’s the Solution?

Texting in Movie Theaters: What's the Solution?

I went to see Skyfall this past weekend (one-word review: eh). Like any movie-viewing experience these days, I was pulled out of the film several times by people in front of me who decided that they couldn’t wait a single minute more without checking their phones. In a dark theater, the light from one cell phone screen goes […]


10 Personal Finance Tips for My Generation

10 Personal Finance Tips for My Generation

People often come up to me and say, “Hey Jamey, how do you manage your personal finances?” To those people I say: “Do I know you?” But perhaps a better response would be to share what I do in the hopes that it will benefit you. And perhaps you have some interesting methods for managing […]


A Behavioral Economics Trick That Anyone Can Use

A Behavioral Economics Trick That Anyone Can Use

There are two fairly well known behavorial economics “tricks” that I see all the time. These are basically ways to get someone to say “yes.” Foot in the Door: Get someone to agree to something small, and when they see how easy it was, it’s much easier to get them to agree to something big […]


Why Board Games Still Exist

Why Board Games Still Exist

Today, in an interview with the business editor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch about my board game, I was asked why board games still exist. Given video games, computer games, and handheld/smart phone games, why do people still play board games? I’m sure there are a wide variety of reasons, one big one being that […]


Thinkers and Feelers

Thinkers and Feelers

The other day at work, I ran into a situation in which someone accidentally damaged a piece of the property, and I asked my bosses’ permission to confront the person about it. I don’t seek out confrontation, but when someone hurts something or someone I know, I’m compelled to say something. My boss had a […]


The Power of Surprises

The Power of Surprises

I believe that there are two types of people in the world: Those who like surprises, and those who don’t. Of course, there are some grey areas. I like very few surprises, but I’m delighted by a Slurpee or cookie showing up at my desk unannounced. And there are people who generally love surprises who […]


Building a Better Raffle

Building a Better Raffle

At a staff meeting today, we discussed the idea of incentivizing students to register or update their registration with my organization. In the first month of the school year, we could potentially have about 200 new students register and about 600 previously registered students update their info. Two incentive options were proposed: Randomly select 5 […]


The Lottery Solution

The Lottery Solution

This past weekend, I was in a 7-11 partaking in a Slurpee when I saw a scraggly dude buying a lottery ticket. Now, in terms of return on investment, a Slurpee is a way better choice than a lottery ticket. When you spend a dollar on a Slurpee, you’re guaranteed to win a delicious, refreshing beverage. With […]


Leadership Tactic #61: Make It About Them

Leadership Tactic #61: Make It About Them

There’s a line in Fight Club that I’ve loved since the first second I heard it: “When people think you’re dying, they really, really just listen to you…instead of just waiting for their turn to speak.” Once I heard that line, I started realizing how often I was just waiting for my turn to speak. […]


The Psychology of Sex #12: High Risk, High Reward

The Psychology of Sex #12: High Risk, High Reward

If you want to fall in love, put yourself in a risky–even dangerous–situation. I’ve got proof. I read an article the other day about…well, essentially about the psychology of sex. The article started by summarizing a study done involving men who were put on a scary bridge with a female interviewer. One by one the […]


Prisoner’s Dilemma Deal of the Day

Prisoner's Dilemma Deal of the Day

I love how games are creeping slowly into our daily lives. Sure, they’ve been around for a while in the form of airline miles and happy hours and coupons. But now we have games like Foursquare, Groupon, and Living Social that many of us play every day, even if for a few seconds when we […]


Management Tactic #57: The Marshmallow Challenge

Management Tactic #57: The Marshmallow Challenge

About a year ago, I watched a TED talk online about something called “The Marshmallow Challenge.” I was fascinated by this deceptively simple teambuilding exercise and the lessons it provided to groups, companies, and leaders. So today I tried it at my work. My organization isn’t huge, so we had seven participants divided into three […]


How to Start a Bidding War on eBay

How to Start a Bidding War on eBay

A while ago, I read the results of a study that sold a few items on eBay. The researchers used two similar groups of auction items for the study: For group 1, they wrote standard descriptions of the items–size, color, wear and tear, etc. In group 2, however, they used the description space to give […]


Which Way Does Your Cookie Crumble?

Which Way Does Your Cookie Crumble?

The very last question of my “Perfect Woman” survey (which has now been taken by 347 people) reads as follows: You’re sitting on the couch watching Arrested Development with your boyfriend. As he watches the show, his hands toy with the edges of your breasts, your neck, and your inner thigh. What do you do? […]


Leadership Tactic #45: How to Enchant the Pants Off Someone

Leadership Tactic #45: How to Enchant the Pants Off Someone

A few months ago, I saw one of my favorite types of promotions for new books: An author named Guy Kawasaki was giving away copies of his new book, Enchantment, to bloggers if they agreed to review the book. (My publishing company does something similar with advance reader copies of our books.) I signed up […]


The Paradox of Invitations

The Paradox of Invitations

Lately I’ve been intrigued by the idea of website and web app invitations. You join a website and then gain some benefit (as does the site) by inviting a bunch of your friends. A lot of these invitation widgets access your e-mail, Facebook, or LinkedIn accounts. You click “permission to access gmail,” and all of […]


Why We Kiss

Why We Kiss

The other day I read a fascinating article on why humans kiss. Personally, I love to kiss. It’s such a fun, passionate gesture of connection. A good kisser can make a relationship just as a bad kisser can break it. Kissing’s a big deal in my book. But kissing doesn’t seem to have much of […]