Most Read Articles of 2022

In the list below, you’ll find the articles that readers like you read the most in 2022. The 10 most read articles, plus five honorable mentions, showcase the breadth and depth of behavioral science over the past year. 

There is advice on how to “Get Comfortable with Feeling Uncomfortable” and “Mental Models to Help You Cut Your Losses.” 

There are articles that address debates in the field, including how to make sense of the question “Do nudges work?”, whether it’s too much choice or too little that is really the problem for consumers, and why one data point can beat big data.  

There are ideas for how to bring behavioral science to bear on business challenges—like creative problem solving and customer segmentation.

You’ll find conversations where researchers turn a scientific eye to the workplace, in “The Open Secret of What Works—and What Doesn’t—for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” and “Incorrect Ideas About ‘Why We Work’ Warp Our Organizations … And Our Views of Human Nature.”

And finally, in the personal essay “Americans Are Fake and the Dutch Are Rude!”, a psychologist shares what she learned about emotion when she traded Amsterdam for Ann Arbor.

We hope you’ll take a moment to discover or rediscover the articles you turned to most this year.

— Evan and the Behavioral Scientist team

P.S.—You may also be interested in our list of Notable Behavioral Science Books published in 2022 and our Research Lead Highlights from 2022 as well.

Get Comfortable with Feeling Uncomfortable

By Ayelet Fishbach

Self-growth isn’t always easy, or comfortable. Reclaiming discomfort as progress can help you learn more and stay more motivated.

Making Sense of the “Do Nudges Work?” Debate

By Michael Hallsworth

A recent pair of articles offer wildly different verdicts on nudges, and show how we urgently need a new kind of debate.

Americans Are Fake and the Dutch Are Rude!

By Batja Mesquita

What I learned about emotions when I traded Amsterdam for Ann Arbor.

Mental Models to Help You Cut Your Losses

By Annie Duke

When should you hold ’em and when should you fold ’em? Use this set of decision-making tools to help you identify when it’s time to move on and find the courage to do so.

Incorrect Ideas About ‘Why We Work’ Warp Our Organizations … And Our Views of Human Nature

By Evan Nesterak

Barry Schwartz on why we work and what the dismal state of our workplaces tells us about the power of our theories of human nature to shape our world—even if those theories are false.

An In-The-Box Method for Creative Problem Solving

By Sam Tatam

The solution to your problem has been discovered by someone, somewhere before.

Customer Segmentation Needs a Behaviorally Informed Upgrade

By Dilip Soman and Kayln Kwan

We have the technology and behavioral science know-how to approach market segmentation as something that’s ongoing and dynamic, rather than set once and static.

One Data Point Can Beat Big Data

By Gerd Gigerenzer

In an unstable world, big data isn’t always best. Reducing the amount of complexity can lead to more accurate predictions.

Is Having Too Many Choices (Versus Too Few) Really the Greater Problem for Consumers?

By Nathan Cheek, Elena Reutskaja, Barry Schwartz, and Sheena Iyengar

A new study featuring more than 7,000 participants from six countries found that choice deprivation—a feeling of not having enough to choose from—not choice overload is the most common consumer experience.

The Open Secret of What Works—and What Doesn’t—for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

By Elizabeth Weingarten

A new book explores why corporate diversity trainings have endured despite the evidence they aren’t effective, and what does work to make progress on diversity, equity, and inclusion inside organizations.

Honorable Mentions:

Walking in the Dark: Creating a New Virtual Map in Your Brain After Loss
By Mary-Frances O’Connor

For your brain, grief is a learning problem, and it can only be solved with new experiences over time.

Slavery and Economic Growth in the Early United States
By Gavin Wright

The question that has been strenuously debated is whether slavery, integral to commerce during colonial times, was also central to the acceleration of national economic growth during the first half of the nineteenth century.

Realistic Reasons to be Bullish on Nudging
By Ed Bradon

Nudges won’t solve every problem, but they can help solve two hard problems. And that’s reason to be optimistic about their future.

Six Prescriptions for Applied Behavioral Science as It Comes of Age
By Dilip Soman and Nina Mažar

Applied behavioral science is at a critical juncture. Our efforts at this stage will determine whether the field matures in a systematic and stable manner, or grows wildly and erratically.

Understanding and Overcoming Belonging Uncertainty
By Geoffrey Cohen

Feeling uncertain about whether you belong is normal. But for some, the uncertainty persists longer than others. A duo of psychologists designed an intervention to change that.

Disclosure: Barry Schwartz is on the Behavioral Scientist’s advisory board. Dilip Soman (BEAR and BiORG) and Michael Hallsworth and Ed Bradon (BIT) and are members of organizations which provided financial support to Behavioral Scientist in 2021 as Organizational Partners. Advisors and Organizational Partners do not play a role in the editorial decisions of the magazine.