Posts Tagged ‘psychology’

Entry-Level Entrepreneurs

August 8, 2013

Entry-Level Entrepreneurs

“Researchers from Germany and Sweden found that … entrepreneurs … have a tendency to display anti-social behavior as teenagers. There wasn’t a link between entrepreneurial tendencies and severe crimes, but those who later founded their own companies were more likely as teenagers to have been truant, ignored their parents’ rules, cheated and shoplifted minor items, compared with others in the sample.

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Playing the Lottery

August 3, 2013

Playing the Lottery

“To grasp how unlikely it was for Gloria C. MacKenzie, an 84-year-old Florida widow, to have won the $590 million Powerball lottery in May, Robert Williams, a professor of health sciences at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, offers this scenario: head down to your local convenience store, slap $2 on the counter, and fill out a six-numbered Powerball ticket. It will take you about 10 seconds. To get your chance of winning down to a coin toss, or 50 percent, you will need to spend 12 hours a day, every day, filling out tickets for the next 55 years. It’s going be expensive. You will have to plunk down your $2 at least 86 million times.“

More:

“Why We Keep Playing the Lottery,” Adam Piore, Nautilus

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Organic Foodies: Naturally Selfish?

May 23, 2012

Organic Foodies: Naturally Selfish?

“Does organic food turn people into jerks?” asks Diane Mapes at MSNBC. “Study Suggests that Eating Organic Foods Contributes to Moral Depravity,” elaborates Doug Barry at Jezebel.

The study in question:

“Wholesome Foods and Wholesome Morals? Organic Foods Reduce Prosocial Behavior and Harshen Moral Judgments,” Kendall J. Eskine, Social Psychological and Personality Science (abstract)

The moral? “Stop organics, become a better person,” says Tom Jacobs at Pacific Standard.

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Brevity is the Soul of PowerPoint

February 22, 2012

Brevity is the Soul of PowerPoint

At last, a study that proves what you already knew about PowerPoint:

“Slide presentations as speech suppressors: When and why learners miss oral information,”  Christof Wecker, Computers & Education (2012) [abstract]

There’s a nice summary by Eric Horow, but here it is in bullet points:

  • If your slides aren’t brief, you should
  • A)  Speak without them, or
  • B) Put the entire presentation on slides and don’t say a word.

We’ve always liked Guy Kawasaki’s rule of thumb: 10 slides, 20 minutes, 30-point font.

What happens when your slides aren’t concise?

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What Men Think About

November 30, 2011

What Men Think About

Everyone thinks that men think about sex all the time, but it’s not true. They also think about sex.

No, seriously, a study by an Ohio State psychology professor claims they also think about food, sleep, fashionable shoes and other things. The conventional wisdom that men think about sex every seven seconds would mean they do it 8,000 times a day, but they only admitted doing so 18 times daily. Women said they thought about sex 10 times a day. Figuring 16 waking hours, that’s 54 minutes between naughty thoughts for men, 96 minutes for women.

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Speak, Memory

July 23, 2011

Speak, Memory

Remember “The End of History?  Sigh. How quickly they forget.

We now we have The End of Memory. We forget more these days, but it’s okay. We’ve all out-sourced our long-term memories to search engines. That’s according to a new report by researchers from Harvard, Columbia and the University of Wisconsin:

“Google Effects on Memory: Cognitive Consequences of Having Information at Our Fingertips,” Betsy Sparrow,Jenny Liu, Daniel M. Wegner, Science (abstract)

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The Ideology of Choice

June 17, 2011


The word “Choice” has become a synonym for “Freedom,” but real-life choices can can bewildering and paralyzing. The actual process of individual choice is emotion-laden, and rarely rational.

The “Ideology of Choice” may be manipulated by vested interests to avoid meaningful social change. Dr. Renata Salecl explained how in a presentation to the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA), visually interpreted here by Cognitive Media.

Related:

“The Paradox of Choice,” Renata Salecl,  RSA July 8, 2010 (video)

Renata Salecl, Wikipedia

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Trains and Brains

May 19, 2011

Trains and Brains (Not Drawn to Scale)

The classic London Underground Map, created by Harry Beck in 1933, is the granddaddy of all those schematic maps that chart subway systems in a simplified manner, without regard to the true scale of distances between stations. These maps reduce complex systems to comprehensible basics, but a recent NYU study shows that users actually regard the maps as if they were drawn to scale, and act accordingly:

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Steven Pinker on Language (Illustrated)

February 21, 2011

Psychologist and writer Steven Pinker recently spoke to the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) about language and cognition. The video of his complete lecture is here, but the animated excerpt above may be easier to follow, and more fun.

 

Video by Cognitive Media for RSA Animate.

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.