When do employees lie?

Research to be published in the upcoming edition of the journal Psychological Science indicates that people lie for two main reasons: when they are under time pressure and when they find it easy to justify the lies. The less time pressure they are under the less likely it is that they will lie.… [read more]

To revitalise your team—have them watch M*A*S*H

A  University of Buffalo study published today found that one of the best ways to revitalise people is to have them watch re-runs of their favourite TV shows. Mostly it’s because of the relationship factor. We form enduring relationships with the characters—such as Hawkeye or Radar, or even Lucile Ball’s character from I Love Lucy.[read more]

Economic Theory gender gap

An article to be published shortly in the journal Contemporary Economic Policy has shown for the first time that there is a considerable difference in outlook between male and female economists. This is important for a number of reasons, not the least that it demonstrates something that has been obvious for some time—that decisions and outlooks are very largely genetically determined rather than rational.… [read more]

Good customer service is a contagious emotion

A study published today in the journal Human Relations shows that a positive interaction with a customer raises the mood of both of the parties for a whole number of reasons. The main ones seemed to be the pride that the salesperson felt in solving a problem for the customer and the recognition that the customer gave the salesperson.… [read more]

Financial anxiety is different

A fascinating study is reported in the current edition of the Journal of Neuroscience, Psychology and Economics. The researchers set out to discover the differences between different states of anxiety. They found that anxiety about economics and finance is quite different from general anxiety disorder or depression and may have different neurochemical and neurobiological roots.… [read more]

Reciprocity may not involve cognition or memory

A study published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has interesting things to say about prosocial behaviour and reciprocity. It has always been assumed by psychologists that reciprocity was based on tit-for-tat exchanges between groups or individuals.… [read more]

Focus on the little things

Oh! It’s so nice when even Harvard agrees with us. In today’s edition of Harvard Working Knowledge there is an article which proves that change is more likely when people focus on the small elements of change rather than concentrating on the big things.… [read more]

Beliefs drive investment decisions

A study published today indicates that the idea that investment decisions were driven by people’s  emotions, specifically the feeling of aversion to losses, which is one of the main planks of behavioural economics, may not be the whole story. The study by researchers at Ohio State University suggests that one of the prime drivers in investment decisions was our beliefs and our assumptions.… [read more]

Chimps, like humans, form social traditions

We have made a point in all our writings and talks that humans were fundamentally social animals and that virtually all our behaviour can be explained in the context of present, past and potential relationships. Now a new study by the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics has shown that chimp communication tradition making is very similar to that of humans.… [read more]

Women more addicted to the internet?

A German study published today has found, contrary to other studies, that women are more addicted to the internet than men. Apparently this is because they are more genetically prone to certain types of addiction, including nicotine. The study also demonstrated that internet addiction is real and could be genetically based.… [read more]