Nicholas Christakis: The Hidden Influence of Social Networks Reply

We’re all embedded in vast social networks of friends, family, co-workers and more. Nicholas Christakis tracks how a wide variety of traits — from happiness to obesity — can spread from person to person, showing how your location in the network might impact your life in ways you don’t even know.

The Discipline of Finishing: Conor Neill 1

If you had 1000 Euro and you could invest that money in someone’s future, who would you bet on? Is it yourself? Conor Neill, from Spain’s Instituto de Estudios Superiores de la Empresa (IESE) Business School, illustrates how to self apply the three criteria Warren Buffett uses to choose the people in which he trusts with his investments.

How & Why Sporting Events Transformed Into Theatrical Productions Reply

An eternal fan favorite -- an air cannon firing T-shirts into the stands

An eternal fan favorite — an air cannon firing T-shirts into the stands

By Chris Simmons

Readers of Human Chess are familiar with my position that all communication is theater. Recently, I realized that this perspective holds true in other arenas as well.

I attended a Major League Baseball game after a decades- long hiatus and almost immediately was intrigued by the way baseball is, in many regards, less of a sporting event than full-blown theater.

The “show” began with a pre-game picnic at PNC Park, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates. As we made our way to our seats, we passed countless souvenir stands and bars where socializing continued. Game time arrived and the real theatrics started: air cannons firing T-shirts into the stands, mascot races around the infield, the always popular “kiss cam,” the seventh-inning stretch and the fans’ thunderous rendition of “Take me out to the ballgame,” the entertaining antics of the food vendors, televised contests between fans and ballplayers, the end-of-game fireworks, and so forth.

The theatrical aspects reshaped the game from a spectator sport into a full-blown participatory experience. Had it simply been about the game, the fans would have watched it from home. Instead, it truly was about making memories – the camaraderie of friends, the smell of hot dogs and popcorn on a cool summer afternoon, the hope of scoring a T-shirt, etc. In short, it was a great performance by two great teams – but one made possible in large measure by a very enthusiastic and engaged support staff. Well done Pirates – you delivered an experience I and many others look forward to repeating. After all, wasn’t that the intent?

Being Alone Together Reply

ElevatorWhy are humans so reluctant to communicate in public with strangers?

Published on August 4, 2014 by Romeo Vitelli, Ph.D. in Media Spotlight

Why are humans so reluctant to communicate in public?

Yes, we’re all social creatures with friends and family that we interact with on a daily basis, but what happens when you’re surrounded by strangers? Every day, we find ourselves in public settings with countless people around us.  Whether it’s shopping in a mall, being on a crowded subway, walking down a busy street, or even in an elevator fillled with people. How social are we then?

Once in a long while, we may strike up a conversation with someone while waiting to board a plane or in a doctor’s office, though this tends to be rare. More often than not, we consider any attempt to talk to a stranger as being awkward, and even unwelcome depending on how uncomfortable this makes us feel (especially if you’re a woman being approached by a strange man). For the most part, the strangers around us go on being strangers.

At least in terms of face-to-face interaction. Communicating with strangers online is a critical part of social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Casual conversations that might seem unthinkable in a crowded room seem much easier when there is no physical contact involved. I have numerous Facebook and Twitter acquaintances that I interact with on a regular basis that I’ve never met in person and I am hardly unique.

But why are ordinarily social humans so unsocial in situations involving face-to-face interaction? Do we prefer being isolated when physically surrounded by strangers? Or do we feel that the consequences of connecting with people we don’t know are too risky to want to take a chance? Research studies looking at how we are affected by social interactions typically find that connecting with people who are close to us (friends and family) are more important than how often we interact with strangers. Since we tend not to regard strangers, or even distant acquaintances, as being a good source of social support (except in extraordinary circumstances), we’re less likely to try interacting with them.

Or is it simply the physical location that makes a difference? A survey of 203 participants using Amazon.com’s Mechanical Turk marketplace were asked about the likelihood that they would talk to a friend or a stranger in a waiting room, a train, an airplane, or a cab. Virtually all the participants agreed that they would talk to a friend in any one of those settings. For strangers however, the numbers were very different. Ranging from 93 percent saying they would avoid talking in a waiting room to 51 percent saying they would avoid talking in a cab, most people apparently prefer to sit in silence rather than chatting with a stranger.

A new research study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General presents the results of nine field and laboratory experiments exploring why people apparently prefer to remain isolated among strangers. Conducted by Nicholas Epley and Juliana Schroeder of the University of Chicago, the experiments explored some of the underlying beliefs that might explain this strange need for solitude in public places.

Feature continues here:   Being Alone Together

 

Dan Ariely: What Makes Us Feel Good About Our Work? 1

What motivates us to work? Contrary to conventional wisdom, it isn’t just money. But it’s not exactly joy either. It seems that most of us thrive by making constant progress and feeling a sense of purpose. Behavioral economist Dan Ariely presents two eye-opening experiments that reveal our unexpected and nuanced attitudes toward meaning in our work. (Filmed at TEDxRiodelaPlata.)

91% of Executives Mismanage Their Time – At What Cost? Reply

wasted timeBy Chris Simmons

In March, Inc magazine ran a very interesting feature called “Time Troubles.” This article claimed that only 9% of executives are satisfied with their seemingly optimal time-management skills. The vast remainder of corporate leaders Inc assigned to one of four failed executive types: Crisis Managers, Cheerleaders, Online Junkies, and Schmoozers. While Inc did not say what percentage of executives fit into each category, it did reveal the major failings which resulted in said assignments:

  • Crisis Managers: Spent 67% more time on unanticipated, short-duration problems than the optimal group.
  • Cheerleaders: Mis-spent 45% more time on employee pep talks AND 39% less time with business clients.
  • Online Junkies: Wasted 36% more time on email and voice mail than more effective and efficient face-to-face communication.
  • Schmoozers: Squandered 17% more time with clients than necessary by stealing time that should have been invested in communicating with their workplace colleagues.

The first step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one. As such, I thought the Inc item was a great starting point. We, collectively, pay a huge price for poor time management. It drives up personnel turn-over, miscommunication and bankruptcies while driving down morale, engagement, and profit margins. In keeping with this theme, the next question I would love to see Inc tackle is: “what is the cumulative cost of these time-management failures?”

 

How Job Recruiters Screen You on LinkedIn Reply

Job SeekersKeywords, not buzzwords are what get a hiring manager’s attention

By Quentin Fottrell, MarketWatch

There are 277 million users on LinkedIn, according to the company’s latest results, and many of them — though not all — are probably competing for the same jobs. To improve your chances of scoring the next great gig, it helps to know how recruiters use the site.

Recruiters scour the world’s most popular professional networking site looking for the perfect candidate, but there’s a lot they do before they even get to your profile page. Some 93% of hiring managers search LinkedIn for recruits, according to a 2013 survey by career website Jobvite; 65% search Facebook, and 55% consult Twitter accounts. Another 18% of recruiters search Google+ and, in case there are any homemade videos lurking about, 15% will type your name into YouTube. Rule No. 1: “Your LinkedIn profile should be public,” says Jenny Foss, president of the Ladder Recruiting Group in Portland, Ore.

Most people spend so much time crafting their pitch, they forget about how they appear in a search result. “It’s the first thing that recruiters look at,” says Nicole Greenberg Strecker, managing director of recruitment agency STA Worldwide in Chicago, Ill. Your bio should include title, industry and location. “If you want to work in Silicon Valley and live in Kansas, change your location to Silicon Valley on LinkedIn. Recruiters search zip codes.” And the title should be razor-sharp. “Don’t write senior analyst at Ernst & Young, write hedge fund financial analyst at Ernst & Young,” says Jeremy Roberts, editor of Sourcecon, a blog and conference series for recruiters.

Recruiters punch in keywords, not buzzwords. When fine-tuning their initial search to find high-performing candidates, for instance, they’ll look for terms like “won,” “sold,” “achieved,” “built” and “president’s club.” No software is too old to mention. Technology recruitment consultants look for people who are proficient in WordPress because many companies don’t have the latest programs, Roberts says. And if you use in-demand open-sourced software like Ruby on Rails, say so. “It will save you a lot of spam,” he says; recruiters also recoil at buzzwords like “maven,” “guru,” “prophet” and “ninja” (unless you’re a black belt or a mutant turtle).

Story continues here:  Recruiters on LinkedIn

 

8 Facts About Self-Control Reply

It takes self-control to stop bad habits like smoking.

It takes self-control to stop bad habits like smoking.

From Reflectd:  Psychological Insights & Perspectives

“… Overcoming the self’s natural, impulsive nature requires self-control … Without this capacity, we would be slaves of our emotional impulses, temptations, and desires and thus unable to behave socially adequately.” (pp. 128-132).

Self-control is delaying short-term gratification in favour of long-term outcomes. It is the investment of cognitive, emotional and behavioural resources to achieve a desired outcome

Self-control often involves resisting temptations and impulses, and habits often undermine self-control. Humans are relatively successful at exerting self-control to achieve long-term outcomes (Hagger et al., 2009).

However, people are better at exerting self-control when it comes to making decisions that are distant in time compared to near (Fujita, 2008). Eight facts about self-control are presented in this article.

1. Self-control is a limited resource

According to the self-control strength model, exerting self-control at one time or over one set of behaviours may deplete the ability to exhibit subsequent self-control over another set of behaviours. A study by Shmueli & Prochaska (2009) supports this idea.

In this study, smokers who resisted sweets were more likely to smoke a cigarette during a break compared to smokers who resisted raw vegetables. Participants, whose self-control strength was depleted (due to temptation resistance), were more likely to smoke compared to those who had not depleted their self-control strength.

A study by Vohs & Heatherton (2000) also supports the idea of a self-control strength model. The study draws three conclusions:

  • Perceived availability and proximity of tempting snacks undermined subsequent self-control among dieters
  • Exerting self-control in one domain leads to subsequent reductions in self-control in another domain
  • Asking dieters to suppress their emotional reactions to a movie depleted their self-control resources

Another study found that people’s ability to exert self-control and resist temptation decreases gradually throughout the day (Kouchaki & Smith, 2014). This finding also suggests that self-control is a limited resource.

Hagger and colleagues (2009) found that breaks in exerting control (since it is a limited resource) and training in self-control makes people better at exerting self-control.

Feature continues here:  Self-Control