AuthorPaul Marsden

Happiness by Design – Speed Summary


Want to know the secret to happiness from one of the most respected international researchers in the field of human well-being? The secret to happiness is selective attention. Authored by Professor Paul Dolan, experienced happiness researcher at the LSE, Happiness by Design: Change What You Do, Not How You Think is a behavioural economist’s take on happiness. The book promotes a ‘nudge’...

Solve for Happy – The Google Algorithm for Happiness – Speed Summary


So Google is promoting an algorithm for happiness in a new book: Solve for Happy: Engineer your Path to Joy. Penned by Google’s Mo Gawdat and endorsed by the company’s founder Sergey Brin, the book contains a Happiness Equation that requires balancing experiences and expectations.  Specifically, happiness happens when your experiences meet or beat your expectations. According to the...

“Happy Nudges” – A smiling selfie keeps sadness away (study)


Want to be 22% happier? Here’s how.  Simply take a selfie whilst smiling every day for three weeks. That’s the finding of a study published in the Journal “Psychology of Well-being” which invited people to either take a daily smiling selfie. Compared to a control group, the happiness of daily smiling selfie-snappers increased significantly. Other effective ‘happy...

Customer Happiness – Tackle anxiety-points [OECD Study]


A major landmark study on “The Origins of Happiness” is out today, and being presented at the London School of Economics (co-organised by the OECD).  The study, co-authored by Lord Richard Layard (who authors the World Happiness Report), and is based on new research with 200,000 participants across Europe, US and Australia (all the data is here). The headline. Human happiness is...

‘Interface’ – digital buzzword 2017


We’re at unbound 2016 London – the big digital innovation festival – and people, including the British Royal Family (Prince Andrew – Duke of York) are buzzing about ‘interface’ being a big buzzword for 2017.  And it’s not only what you think. Yes, there’s a lot of talk of new human-technology interfaces – voice, haptics, AI, VR, AR. If...

Nudge Psychology – All 93 Behavior Change Techniques Listed and Summarised + Free App


Want to change someone’s behavior? There’s an app for that. Whether you’re in marketing or management, one of your key jobs will be to influence people and bring about behaviour change (consumers, partners, colleagues – or even at home). So here’s one of the most useful tools we’ve come across; below you’ll find a full list of the 93 evidence-based...

Psychology of Trump Victory: Opportunities from the ARC of Happiness


Why did Trump win?  Theories abound, here’s a simple psychological rationale – People strive for happiness, which according to a well-researched, validated and influential model in psychology – self-determination theory – is driven by three things: the ARC of happiness – a sense of Autonomy, a sense of Relatedness, and a sense of Competence. When our sense of autonomy, relatedness and...

EgoTech makes Millennials 16% more narcissistic as they age?


Extensive use of on-demand apps is linked to narcissism. Especially if you are a Millennial. Specifically, if you are a Millennial (i.e, aged 18-35 in 2016) and you use more than a couple of on-demand apps such as Uber or Instacart, then you are more likely to over-index on narcissism as measured by the Narcissistic Personality Inventory (narcissism is a personality trait (part of the ‘dark...

Enchanted Objects (and the future of digital branding) – Speed Summary


In preparing a report on the psychology of wearable tech at the London College of Fashion, I’ve found ‘Enchanted Objects: Design, Human Desire and the Internet of Things’, by MIT’s David Rose, consistently thought-provoking. For consumer brands looking for opportunities in the Internet of Things (IoT), Enchanted Objects is a useful read, highlighting the key opportunities to seize and obstacles...

The Psychology of Pokémon Go – Augmented Reality Creates ‘Augmented Self’


Within a week of launch, the location-based augmented-reality game Pokémon Go already enjoys more daily active users in the US than Twitter, more minutes per user than Facebook, and has supplanted Candy Crush as the most successful mobile game of all time. The formula seems simple – take an old mobile game developed by Google (Ingress) and slap on a popular franchise with a track record in...

The Psychology of Brexit – the ARC of Happiness


Here’s a simple psychological rationale for why people voted for Brexit and to leave the European Union.  People strive for happiness, which according to a well-researched influential model in psychology – self-determination theory – is driven by three things: the ARC of happiness – a sense of Autonomy, a sense of Relatedness, and a sense of Competence. Does the EU foster...

Customer experience is worthless.  Memories of customer experience are priceless.


At last week’s Digital Innovation Day 2016 in Frankfurt, I outlined a new vision for CX – one not focused on people’s problems but on people’s wellbeing, and using insights from positive psychology – the science and practice of improving wellbeing – to redesign products, services and experiences with people’s happiness in mind. One example I spoke about...

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Consumer psychology insights and news for digital professionals brought to you by WPP agency SYZYGY and Dr Paul Marsden (@marsattacks)



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Paul Marsden

Chartered psychologist specialising in consumer behaviour and technology. Certified CX professional experienced in Design Thinking. A researcher, writer and speaker, Paul is head of Digital Insight at SYZYGY.