3 Vicious Cycles: Links Among Financial, Physical and Mental Health

Feedback loops are powerful forces of nature. Melting polar ice caps reduce the earth’s reflectivity, causing it to absorb more heat from the sun, which accelerates the melting. The cumulative, accelerating aspects of such loops make it imperative to break the cycle before it gets out of control. Below, I identify three feedback loops among financial … Continue reading 3 Vicious Cycles: Links Among Financial, Physical and Mental Health

Best Wishes for Failing Successfully in the New Year! 😏

Failure, much more than success, helps us grow professionally and personally. And yet, it’s so hard to account for our failures. We prefer to think of ourselves as competent, effective people (see cognitive dissonance). And it’s embarrassing to share those failings because it’s counter to social norms. However, a frank appreciation of one’s shortcomings is necessary … Continue reading Best Wishes for Failing Successfully in the New Year! 😏

The “Mystery” of Intuitive Decision Making

A High Stakes Hunch I had just got the news: the bank I worked for was going to sell the business I was supporting. This was going to be the seventh transition of my 27-year banking career. Should I try to find a new job in the industry or start my own business? Somehow, I … Continue reading The “Mystery” of Intuitive Decision Making

Nudges: For Your Own Good?

What do classical music in the train station, binge-inducing pre-loaded TV show episodes in Netflix, and those “I voted stickers” you get after voting have in common? Read our latest article, “Nudges: For Your Own Good?” about how government and businesses “nudge” your behavior for your own good…or maybe not (5 minute read). Continue reading Nudges: For Your Own Good?

How to Decide…How to Help People Decide

Think back to the last time you had to make a hard, important decision. Were you picking an asset allocation for your 401k, selecting a health insurance plan or deciding whether it was time to refinance your mortgage? What kind of help did you seek and what kind of help was available? Were you confident … Continue reading How to Decide…How to Help People Decide

Health Insurance Enrollment: A Superhuman Decision

Open enrollment for health insurance began November 16 and the decision isn’t any easier than last year. On the contrary, not only are premiums higher and benefits lower, there’s greater uncertainty about the future of the Obama health care act. On a cold, cloudy Sunday afternoon, I analyzed my health insurance choices.  Our choices and … Continue reading Health Insurance Enrollment: A Superhuman Decision

Good Behavior? What I Learned at the Behavioral Summit (and How it Freaked Me Out a Little)

I just attended the best conference ever. And I’ve been to a lot of them. The ideas42 Behavioral Summit 2016 was billed as offering “…an inside look at the latest developments from the field of behavioral science and how these insights drive innovation in the private sector.” Indeed it went beyond that, touching on politics, … Continue reading Good Behavior? What I Learned at the Behavioral Summit (and How it Freaked Me Out a Little)

Interview With a Skeptic

Decision Fish Interviews Kim Stephenson, an occupational psychologist. Perhaps the greatest benefit of the World Wide Web, is contained in the first two words. Decision Fish’s blog has readership worldwide, self-selected to be some of the most thoughtful and smartest people anywhere. Kim Stephenson, an occupational psychologist from the UK is one of those people. Here’s a … Continue reading Interview With a Skeptic

Career Advice from a Stoic

I recently visited with a 27 year old who asked me for help in figuring out what to do with his life. He is about to start at a prestigious graduate school and is feeling pressure to make some big career decisions quickly.  Here’s the letter I wrote him, inspired by Seneca’s Letters from a Stoic. Before you … Continue reading Career Advice from a Stoic

Decisions into Old Age: The Forecast is Partly Cloudy

Here’s a question that just about everyone approaching (and passing) middle age will feel ambivalent about: how does getting older affect our ability to make rational decisions? On the one hand, it’s common knowledge that our cognitive abilities begin to decline in our fifties. On the other, as I’ve written before, the accumulation of experience … Continue reading Decisions into Old Age: The Forecast is Partly Cloudy