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February 8, 2018

At over a decade old, Barry Schwartz's 2004 The Paradox of Choice definitely shows its age in some ways. CD players appear in example shopping problems. Movie rental stores are mentioned. Researchers have found it difficult to replicate the results of some of the cited...

January 17, 2018

Read this shopping list, and then cover it with your hand:

Peanut Butter

Now, how many of the items can you remember without peeking? Give yourself a moment to recall as many of them as you can.

(We’ll wait.)

If y...

March 12, 2017

Soundbites, those tiny verbal morsels, are ubiquitous. From billboards to tweets to political slogans, we are awash in them.  Soundbites are the rhetorical currency of the 21st century.

These quick, appealing messages are crack cocaine for the amygdala, the emotional pr...

August 14, 2014

The inventor of the airplane seatbelt was a man ahead of his time. It's an over-used expression but in this case, it applies: engineer and inventor Sir George Cayley was born in 1773 and died in 1857, before the Wright brothers were even born.

If you haven’t visited e...

April 18, 2014

Does your mind tend to wander? Most people believe that their minds wander about 10% of the time. Researchers at UC Santa Barbara put that figure at more like 30%.  When engaged in well-rehearsed tasks like driving a car on a wide-open highway, it’s estimated that mind...