This week’s must reads: Why the quickest route to happiness may be to do nothing

In my work as a behavioral designer, I come across important stories on how psychology influences our behavior. Every week, I share my round-up of the most important stories at the intersection of psychology, technology, and business. I hope you enjoy them!

The Relentlessness of Modern Parenting (New York Times)
Raising children has become significantly more time-consuming and expensive, amid a sense that opportunity has grown more elusive.

Ads Don’t Work That Way (Melting Asphalt) There’s a meme, particularly virulent in educated circles, about how advertising works — how it sways and seduces us, coaxing us gently toward a purchase. Kevin Simler argues that we aren’t that easily manipulated.

The Unifying Theory of Alcohol (Dan Kieran)
Dan Kieran shares the epiphany he had regarding his drinking habits and has set the assumption that he doesn’t drink but occasionally does and drinks to only “just have a beer”.

Why the quickest route to happiness may be to do nothing (BBC)
Psychological research shows that the harder we strive to be happy, the less likely we are to achieve that goal.

Smartphone Are the New Security Blanket for Kids (Jordan Shapiro)
Parents worry that digital devices will suck kids into immersive virtual fantasies that cannot be distinguished from reality but what if they can help kids mediate their relationships with the world around them?

The Design Theory Behind Amazon’s $5.6 Billion Success (Fast Company)
Amazon’s success brings into relief a principle that is sometimes hard to swallow in the design community: Successful design is not necessarily beautiful.

Happy reading!


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