Why givers (often) succeed: 5 questions for Adam Grant

Every so often a book comes along that changes the way you see the world. Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success, which comes out today, is one of those books. In 305 insightful pages, Wharton professor Adam Grant recasts our notions of what it takes to succeed. Talent is a factor, of course. […]


Why it pays to be an ambivert. (And why you probably are one.)

This is my favorite chart from To Sell is Human, one that I explain in greater detail in a new Washington Post column. Here’s what it means and why it matters. This summer Adam Grant, the youngest tenured professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, conducted a study that explodes the myth of […]


The secret to feeling like you have more time

Here’s a great 3-minute video about the powerful but often overlooked emotion of awe. Stanford PhD candidate Melanie Rudd explains what awe is and why it can help us feel more “time affluent.”(For more, check out Rudd’s paper, written with Kathleen Vohs and Jennifer Aaker.)


30 Life Lessons From 1,000 Older Americans

Back in April, I blogged about 30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans, which turned out to be one of my favorite books of 2012. Cornell human ecology professor Karl Pillemer spent five years interviewing more than one thousand Americans older than 65. Then he distilled their wisdom into lessons […]


Do you have 4 minutes to help me learn what people do all day at work?

To write my previous books, I relied on tons of interviews, lots of traditional library and online research, and one kick-ass genie. For the next book, I’m adding a new technique: Quantitative survey research. In an effort to add some statistical meat to the book’s analytic bones, I’ve enlisted the wonderful folks at Qualtrics and […]


50 centuries of work = 5 important lessons

Cornell professor Karl Pillemer admits he’s an advice junkie.  Yet even amid the groaning self-help shelves at his local bookstore, he felt something was missing. As he asks in 30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans (Amazon, BN.com, IndieBound), “Why, if we have so many professional advice givers, are so many people […]


Does being reminded of money make you an uncooperative jerk or an independent thinker?

Dedicated readers know that I’ve written a fair bit on how contingent rewards, including money, can go awry in all sorts of ways — resulting in poorer performance, diminished creativity, reduced interest in tasks that were once intrinsically interesting, and so on. But can the very idea of money also affect our behavior? In an […]


Income inequality: Is what’s good for the NBA good for your company?

On the business pages, columnists are writing about income inequality. On the sports pages, they’re discussing the labor economics of the National Basketball Association. Here at the Pink Blog, we can do both. Take a look at this chart of the 50 highest paid NBA players. These guys make a lot of money – practically CEO […]


I’ll take gender differences for $800, Alex

A: This popular game show presents an elegant environment for studying the effects of gender on competition. Q: What is Jeopardy? Scores of studies have examined the differences between men and women when it comes to competition, but a recent paper called “Girls will be Girls – Especially among Boys” (pdf) takes a clever approach […]


How to understand regret — and 2 ways to avoid it

Sometimes when I’m stuck on a course of action, I use two techniques to help me decide. One is what I call the “90-year-old me Test.” I imagine I’m 90 and looking back at the decision before. What will I want to have done in this situation? In most cases, the 90-year-old me wants today’s […]