Women Can Be Irrational, Too

This is big news for guys. For years, I’ve gently mocked my half of the species for being far-too-easily influenced by female images. Babes in bikinis alter male behavior, but it doesn’t always take that much. Simply including a photo of an attractive woman in a loan offer was enough to boost the response rate [...]

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The Easiest Way Ever to Boost Your Productivity

Do you find chunks of your day consumed by less than productive activities? Updating Twitter? Checking Facebook? Clicking on those fascinating links posted by your friends? Checking sports scores or stock prices? Catching up on the latest hilarity from DamnYouAutoCorrect? None of these are bad things, but when you have important tasks to complete these [...]

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Conversion Lessons from a Busty Bloodsucker

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If you were at my SXSW panel, How Brain Science Turns Browsers into Buyers, you already saw the latest proof that sexy imagery can boost sales. Ion Interactive, a firm specializing in online conversion, ran a test for online game-maker Kabam to improve signup rates for a vampire game, Thirst of Night. Take a look [...]

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Vivid Stories Change Donor Behavior

A vivid story can put us in a more altruistic mode, a study shows. UK researchers looked at the two ways people think about death – abstractly or specifically. They used a detailed story which placed the reader in a burning apartment to activate specific death thoughts. A second group of subjects answered more general [...]

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Why Jersey Shore Drops the National IQ

Stupidity appears to be contagious, and you can catch it from the media you consume. Researcher Markus Appel had college students read a story about a “foolish soccer hooligan” who got drunk, got into fights, etc., or a more neutral story without the dumb behavior. Subsequently, the students were given a general knowledge test. The [...]

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How is Fast Food Like An Attractive Woman?

The simple answer is that, much as viewing images of attractive women made men impatient, looking at logos of fast food restaurants caused an increase in impatient behavior. Researchers at the University of Toronto found that simply viewing fast food symbols caused measurable increases in “impatience,” including increasing reading speed and the subjects preferring a [...]

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25-Cent Creativity Booster

Want to boost your creativity by investing a quarter or so? Buy a lightbulb. Not the fancy LED, halogen, or compact fluorescent variety – just the old-fashioned, cheap incandescent kind that come in four-packs for a buck or so. Skeptical? Read on…

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Attractive Women Make Men Impatient

I’ve written a few times about the effects of pictures of attractive women on decision-making by men. In Bikinis, Babes, and Buying, we learned that guys who looked at pictures of bikini-clad women made impulsive decisions. In A Pretty Woman Beats a Good Loan Deal, we found that men accepted higher loan rates when the [...]

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Superhero Super-Priming

OK, here’s a quick task: take a minute to write down some common characteristics and behaviors that superheroes might exhibit… (DON’T read further until you have jotted down some ideas.) Done? You should know that I have manipulated you and influenced your future behavior… but in a good way! If your local non-profit called you [...]

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Sexy Pics Beat Ugly Spiders

  Erotic images sell better than pictures of office supplies, and a lot better than photos of hairy spiders. Who knew? Actually, that’s a bit of an oversimplification. Stanford researchers led by neuroeconomics prof Brian Knutson have found that positive images, in this case mildly erotic photos of men and women shown to heterosexual men, [...]

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