Monthly Archives: March 2012

Once again, sex changes everything. Thinking about opportunities to mate leads to risks-taking

One of the most robust findings in the study of human economic behavior has to do with  the seemingly irrational way in which people make economic decisions. The classic case is called loss aversion. Imagine this scenario. You work for … Continue reading

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All In the Family? Settling the (Materialism) Nature vs. Nurture Debate

“They have succeeded in accumulating a greater mass of objects, but the joy in the world has grown less.” – Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov Have you ever wondered what causes materialism? Do capitalist ideologies or advertising practices cause our … Continue reading

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Why lap dancers get bigger tips during that *other* time of the month.

In a study published in 2007, psychologists Geoffrey Miller, Joshua Tybur, and Brent Jordan from the University of New Mexico recruited 18 lap dancers to record both their tips, their ovulatory cycles and whether or not they were on the … Continue reading

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On The Origin of Cooties: The subtle and not-so-subtle influences on what we want and don’t want.

Some things are just disgusting. For the most part, we agree on what those things are. For instance, we don’t like others’ bodily fluids, and we don’t like decaying meat. Most of us are disgusted by crawling insects, too. Psychologists … Continue reading

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Of Sheep and Peacocks: How Advertisers Get In Your Wallet

Among the many tricks advertisers employ to persuade consumers to part with their money, two are particularly common. You’ll recognize them. Blending In and Standing Out In one technique, known by psychologists as “social proof,” advertisers make claims such as: “We … Continue reading

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Does Your Attitude Toward Time Affect Your Spending Habits?

The old adage has it that time is money, and it is certainly the case that when we go to work, or when we pay others for their work, we are often engaging in a direct exchange of time for … Continue reading

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