I’ve got (several!) longer blog posts in the works, but here’s a quickie in the mean time.
There are a couple of research studies that I find myself telling people about fairly often (and I’m not the only one — most of them have been written about other places), so I thought I would compile a quick list here:
1. The Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) – what do you know before you know you know it? Recent description here: http://scienceblogs.com/cortex/2009/10/listening_to_your_pulse.php
2. Praising effort – Carol Dweck’s study on praising effort vs. praising innate or fixed abilities – it’s described early in the article here: http://nymag.com/news/features/27840/
3. Wolfram Schulz study on how the (monkey) brain processes anticipation – referenced in this great article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2002/02/19/science/hijacking-the-brain-circuits-with-a-nickel-slot-machine.html
4. Cake or Fruit Salad – the impact of cognitive load on willpower. Short description of the study here: http://money.cnn.com/magazines/business2/business2_archive/2006/05/01/8375932/index.htm
5. Why can’t we choose what makes us happy? http://www.mindhacks.com/blog/2006/03/why_cant_we_choose.html (not totally satisfied with the reference on this — I’ll try to track down a better one)