April 08, 2014

4:07 AM | 4 Reasons Not to Settle in a Relationship
Settling is an ugly, depressing word. Few people would suggest outright that you should settle for less than you want and deserve in a relationship. Even Lori Gottlieb, author of Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough, disapproved of the use of the word in her book title, a decision she said was made by her publisher.But the pressure to settle can be very real, even if it is not communicated […]

April 04, 2014

1:17 PM | Why Do We Take Personality Tests?
I often get questions from friends and family that they would like answered in a post. This month, my post is inspired by a question from my grandmother. Kudos to my grandma for asking a question about a popular trend on the internet! […]

Gollwitzer, P. M. & Kirchhof, O. (1998). The Willful Pursuit of Identity, J. Heckhausen & C. S. Dweck (Eds.), Life-span perspectives on motivation and control., 389-423. Other: Link

Swann, W. B. (2012). Self-verification theory, In P. Van Lang, A. Kruglanski, & E.T. Higgins (Eds.) Handbook of Theories of Social Psychology,, 23-42. Other: Link


April 02, 2014

9:11 PM | The Psychology of Economic Inequality: A Collection
Today I wrote an op-ed piece for livescience about economic inequality. Read the piece here. In it, I argue that though economic inequality is a complex social and political issue, it may be explained, at least in part, in terms of the basic psychological motivations of individuals.Anyway, I hope you'll check out the piece and send me comments via twitter (@mwkraus). If you'd like to read more about this area of research, below I have collected four past PYM pieces on the topic.Read More->

March 28, 2014

2:56 PM | Parenthood, Trial or Tribulation? Part 2
On New Year’s Day I became a parent, sparking my curiosity in the research on parenting and well-being and inspiring a four-part series on parenthood and happiness. This is the second post. Check out the first post here.Are parents happier than non-parents? Researchers have generally set about trying to answer this deceptively simple question in three ways:Are people with children happier than those without children?This is the most common approach to research on parenthood and […]

Callan, V. (1987). The Personal and Marital Adjustment of Mothers and of Voluntarily and Involuntarily Childless Wives, Journal of Marriage and the Family, 49 (4) 847. DOI:

Kahneman, D. (2004). A Survey Method for Characterizing Daily Life Experience: The Day Reconstruction Method, Science, 306 (5702) 1776-1780. DOI:

Lucas, R., Clark, A., Georgellis, Y. & Diener, E. (2003). Reexamining adaptation and the set point model of happiness: Reactions to changes in marital status., Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84 (3) 527-539. DOI:

Luhmann, M., Hofmann, W., Eid, M. & Lucas, R. (2012). Subjective well-being and adaptation to life events: A meta-analysis., Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 102 (3) 592-615. DOI:

Nelson, S., Kushlev, K., English, T., Dunn, E. & Lyubomirsky, S. (2012). In Defense of Parenthood: Children Are Associated With More Joy Than Misery, Psychological Science, 24 (1) 3-10. DOI:


March 20, 2014

9:45 PM | Parenthood: Trial or Tribulation?
This is the first post in a four-part series on parenthood and happiness. On New Years Day I celebrated not only the start of a new year, but a new phase in my life. A few (long) hours after midnight I became a parent, and my life was irrevocably changed. In the journey to parenthood I knew one thing to be true—that I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Would becoming a parent bring me joy, love, and gratitude greater than I had previously known? Would I find myself anxious, […]

Nelson, S., Kushlev, K. & Lyubomirsky, S. (2014). The Pains and Pleasures of Parenting: When, Why, and How Is Parenthood Associated With More or Less Well-Being?, Psychological Bulletin, DOI:

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