Are people more, or less motivated when they are offered a reward for completing something well? If you’re like most people you will probably have said ‘more’ – but there’s a wealth of research dating back 45 years showing the…
Here’s my personal selection of some podcasts in the general area of understanding how people tick – ranging from neuroscience to management tips. The common denominator is that they all feature interviews, talks or contributions from leading researchers and practitioners…
I came across a useful short article in the New York Times by Alina Tugend summarising research into the effects of ‘bad’ events (setbacks, losses, criticism) versus ‘good’ events (progress, gains, praise): Praise Is Fleeting, but Brickbats We Recall. This is…
Stress is generally thought of as bad for you. But there’s some new research by Alia Crum, Peter Salovey, and Shawn Achor that suggests that in some cases it can actually do you good. What makes the difference is not the…
One of the best ways of keeping up with the latest thinking in psychology as it relates to management and business is by listening to podcasts. If you’ve got a period in your day when you’ve got time to listen…
Or: Why does everyone love Occupy Wall Street when they hated the English rioters? It’s not every day that something useful comes out of an online discussion, but in this case I think something has. During the recent riots in…
From the New Scientist newsletter: http://tinyurl.com/ot8h8
Researchers at the University of Twente in the Netherlands are developing an ‘anti smoking chatbot’ – a female virtual coach that will help smokers trying to quit by answering their questions and ‘listening’ to them with appropriate facial expressions and voice tones. They plan to develop more ‘virtual coaches’ for other user groups.
Psychologists at Washington University report that
the memory function of people in their mid-60s and up is easily swayed by the
power of suggestion, making them more vulnerable to memory-related scams. A
full report appears in the May issue of the Journal of Experimental Psychology
(JEP): General, which is published by the American Psychological Association.
For example, an unscrupulous contractor can tell an older customer, ‚ÄúI
told you it would cost [a much higher price than was originally quoted] and
you agreed to pay!‚Äù Without a written estimate, the customer is likely
to ‚Äúremember‚Äù it that way, too, and be overcharged. Another scam,
‚Äúyou forgot to pay me,‚Äù also underscores the need for written receipts.
Some con artists even run their own rudimentary memory tests on the elderly,
checking to see if their memory is bad enough to make them good victims.
Get the full story here.
My own experience (of being on the receiving rather than the perpetrating end) suggests that you don’t have to be that old to not always remember clearly what was said – just being preoccupied with something else and not giving something your full attention will do it.
What is consciousness? The best summary I’ve found of where we are up to in understanding this is an article by Susan Blackmore. Susan brings an extra dimension to her understanding – as well as being a psychologist, she is also practises Zen meditation (though she says "I am not a Buddhist", and has experimented with psychedelic drugs.
One perspective she doesn’t mention is Ken Wilber’s Four Quadrants model, in which subjective experience is a different, yet linked, realm to the objective world studied by science. In this model, the sense of self is not reducible to the physical functions of the brain (as most researchers into consciousness in the neuroscience field believe) but they are linked. Makes sense to me.
Most of the information about Wilber’s ideas on the web get very complicated and jargonised very quickly – why I’m not sure. The most accessible description of the basic model is here.