Recent Evidence-Backed Insights On How Not To Come Across As A Jerk – And What’s Behind Them

Recent Evidence-Backed Insights On How Not To Come Across As A Jerk – And What’s Behind Them

A recent paper reported in the very useful BPS Research Digest blog suggests that people often make a bad impression because they indulge in counter-productive tactics for trying to make themselves look better. The paper, “Impression mismanagement: People as inept…

Now – a ‘virtual coach’

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.

Get Everything In Writing

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, “I
  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.