Why you hate the word “moist,” the pitfalls of online dating, plus more weekly links


A selection of recent behavioral science news, articles, and resources of note:

  • What are you feelings about the word “moist”? If you’re like a lot of people, you think it’s weirdly sexual and would like to see it stricken from the dictionary. Psychologists are getting closer to understanding why. (Nautilus)
  • A classic case of maximizing. Aziz Ansari, of Parks & Recreation fame, looks at all the choices modern dating affords people in choosing a mate and how we’re still coming up short (or too tall, as the case may be). (Time) (See Ansari’s Op-ed in the New York Times as well).


  • On June 6, 2015, 22-year-old Kalief Browder hanged himself in his home in the Bronx. As a teenager, Browder spent three years imprisoned in a juvenile facility awaiting trial for stealing a backpack (a crime of which he was later acquitted). Much of that time was spent in solitary confinement. His suicide calls attention to the tragic psychological consequences of forced isolation, which many consider torture. (Washington Post)
  • “Tack! Det blod du lämade har nu kommit till nytta för ein patient!” A new initiative aimed at raising blood donation in Sweden sends a text message to a donor every time their blood is used to save a patient’s life. (Independent)
  • Meet the man who worked for five years as a metaphor designer. He helped you understand complex business strategies and confusing scientific discoveries with metaphors tested for social and cognitive usability. (Aeon)
  • Does all this talk of mindfulness and being in the moment make you want to punch someone in the face? It does for writer Stuart Heritage. He suggests you try a bit of mindlessness as he reviews the new book The Power of Negative Emotion. (The Guardian)
  • Richard Thaler, coauthor of the founding behavioral economics book Nudge, just launched a companion blog to his latest book, Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics. There, he and members of ideas42 along with people at Chicago’s Booth School of Business will go beyond the basic tenets and academicese of behavioral economics, offering fresh insights and practical solutions wherever decisions are made. They promise to keep it fun, too. (Misbehaving Blog)


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