Most Read Articles of 2023

Welcome to Behavioral Scientist’s most read articles of 2023. Take a moment to dive into the pieces your fellow behavioral science enthusiasts read 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 2023 and the Most Read Articles of 2022.

Harvard Professor Under Scrutiny for Alleged Data Fraud

By Evan Nesterak

Francesca Gino is under scrutiny for allegedly fabricating data in at least four studies. Here’s what we know and the questions that remain unanswered.

The Time Traveling Mistake We Make When We Procrastinate

By Hal Hershfield

In thinking about the future in a merely surface level way, we end up traveling to a different future than the one we meant to go to.

Amid Uncertainty About Francesca Gino’s Research, the Many Co-Authors Project Could Provide Clarity

By Evan Nesterak

The Many Co-Authors project is a new initiative, led by a group of Gino’s coauthors, aimed at reviewing of Gino-led studies to help address concerns surrounding the body of her coauthored work.

The Magic of Knowing When to Use Concrete vs. Abstract Language

By Jonah Berger

When trying to make language either more concrete or more abstract, one helpful approach is to focus on either the how or the why.

When Writing for Busy Readers, Less Is More

By Todd Rogers and Jessica Lasky-Fink

Want more people to read and respond to your messages? It’s simple. Write less.

Weapons of Mass Persuasion: Tracing the Story of Psychological Targeting on Social Media

By Sander van der Linden

A rigorous assessment of whether psychological targeting on social media can influence our behavior has remained elusive. Until recently.

It’s a Bouba, Not a Kiki: The Relationship Between Sound, Form, and Meaning

By Viorica Marian

We don’t assume that we can understand the meaning of words based on their sound alone. But a long history of research in psycholinguistics hints that we’re better at it than we might think.

How the Possibility Grid Can Help You Evaluate Evidence Better

By Daniel Simons and Christopher Chabris

The possibility grid is a universal tool to draw attention to what is absent. It alerts you to think about rates of success rather than stories of successes.

The Intelligent Failure that Led to the Discovery of Psychological Safety

By Amy C. Edmondson

I don’t doubt that my failure to find support for the simple research hypothesis that guided my first study was the best thing that ever happened to my research career. Of course, it didn’t feel that way in the moment.

Doing Less Is Hard, Especially When We’re Overwhelmed

By Yael Schonbrun and Leidy Klotz

The more we have on our minds the harder it becomes to do less. But there’s hope.

Honorable Mentions:

Give More Feedback—Others Want It More Than You Think
By Nicole Abi-Esber and Juliana Schroeder

People hesitate to give feedback because they simply don’t recognize how much other people want to hear it.

Encourage Plant-Based Diets with Choice Architecture, Not Bans or Marketing Stunts
By Christina Gravert

How can restaurants shift to more climate friendly, plant-based options without alienating customers?

How Winning (or Losing) a Grammy Changes the Music Artists Make
By Giacomo Negro, Balázs Kovács, and Glenn Carroll

Recent research shows how winning a Grammy can spark innovation, but losing one can snuff it out.

The Surprising Origins of Our Obsession with Creativity
By Samuel W. Franklin

We tend to assume creativity is a timeless human value. But creativity as the concept we know today emerged in the 1950s and ’60s, driven by the needs of the modern corporation.

A Better Way to Ask for Advice
By Adam Grant

Don’t ask to pick someone’s brain. You’ll get better results from inviting them to retrace their route instead.