Want better tips? Go for gold

Researchers studied whether subtly being exposed to different colors could change tipping behavior. Anutr Yossundara/Shutterstock.com Although tipping is generally thought to be a voluntary payment meant to express gratitude to a service worker, the history…

What’s behind our appetite for self-destruction?

There seems be an attractive quality to things that are ostensibly unhealthy or dangerous. Alisusha/Shutterstock.com Each new year, people vow to put an end to self-destructive habits like smoking, overeating or overspending. And how many…

The bizarre phenomenon of vacation surprise videos

Sometimes the reaction doesn’t go as planned. Lily & Chloe Official/YouTube Parents have long surprised their kids with a family vacation. However, the practice of parents recording their kids’ reactions – and then sharing them…

Why does it feel good to see someone fail?

To feel a pang of pleasure at the misfortune of others is to be human. VixCompaNi/Shutterstock.com In the Pixar animated film “Inside Out,” most of the plot plays out inside protagonist Riley’s head, where five…

The rise of modern loneliness: 4 essential reads

‘The Dog’ (1820-1823) by Francisco Goya. Museo del Prado Editor’s note: As we come to the end of the year, Conversation editors take a look back at the stories that – for them – exemplified…