Psychological Schemas & Spending: Children’s Birthday Parties

When our first daughter was very young–not quite two years old–we attended our first-ever birthday party for a three-year-old. (I recently talked about this experience on the Afford Anything podcast with Paula Pant). We went as a family of three. It was 2:00 in the afternoon on a Saturday. We arrived and were somewhat taken aback by the scene: was this a wedding reception? Considering the evidence of the multitude of adults milling around the[…]

Openness to Change in Personal Finance

If you’ve spent any amount of time contemplating how you might improve the condition of your health, career, finances, family, spirituality, or other important element of your life, you may inevitably reach the conclusion that a change of some kind is required. Many readers of our blog and books share a common conundrum: they acknowledge a change is necessary (either for themselves or for their client), but they also instinctively know that actually making the[…]

Costs and benefits of social media

Social Media: The Necessary Cost-Benefit Analysis

Much of the power and allure of social media for small and mid-size businesses is its simultaneously attractive qualities of cost (i.e., free without using ad features) and power in the opportunity to grab the attention of customers and fans. At DataPoints, for example, we typically use social media to share insights regarding the topics of psychology and wealth, our product updates or releases, and interesting research results. There are professional benefits, too, outside of[…]

Contemplating Change and Sunk Costs

The phenomenon of the “sunk-cost” bias or fallacy is often discussed in the context of investing behaviors to refer to a mindset where we hang on to a perpetually under-performing investment as a result of our attachment to and focus upon the amount we paid for it. Our brain instinctively focuses not on the stock’s objective performance over time, but instead anchors the perception of value around the amount originally paid for the investment. If[…]

Psychology of Black Friday

Wealth and Black Friday Psychology

As we approach Thanksgiving in the United States, the bustle of life may seem to be slowing. That calm, however, is underscored by the advertising and enticements of retailers hoping to move into the black side of the ledger for the year on the day after the holiday of gratitude. Otherwise known as Black Friday. Indeed so many of us will go shopping on that day that it will almost appear that everyone is doing[…]