The key to willpower lies in believing you have it in abundance (maybe)

Americans believe they have less stamina for strenuous mental activity than their European counterparts—an indication that people in the U.S. perceive their willpower or self-control as being in limited supply, a new study suggests.

What the researchers say: More than 1,100 Americans and 1,600 Europeans—including 775 Swiss and 871 German-speaking adults—participated in the study, which tested the validity of a widely used psychological assessment tool called the Implicit Theory of Willpower for Strenuous Mental Activities Scale.… [read more]

The rich like short-term relationships

No wonder there are so many divorces among the rich-listers: According to new research being rich may cause people to favor short-term relationships.

In a new study, a research team captured the relationship preferences of 151 heterosexual male and female volunteers (75 men and 76 women) by asking them to look at pictures of 50 potential partners and to indicate whether they would prefer a long or short-term relationship with each.… [read more]

Teams work better if they pick their partners

We have said for a long time that the key to creating high performing teams was to select people who enjoy each other’s company. This notion has received powerful confirmation in a recent study. The key, the researchers say, to get people to work together effectively could be giving them the flexibility to choose their collaborators and the comfort of working with established contacts.… [read more]

What a little spider teaches us about leadership

This is the story of a spider, small but bold, and what that spider tells us about ourselves.

This particular arachnid, in fact, has helped to debunk the Great Man Theory, the notion positing that highly influential individuals use their power—be it personal charisma, intelligence, wisdom or political skill—to maximize their impact in shaping the course of history.… [read more]

Our perceptions dictate our actions

We know from lots of past research (much of it in prior TRs) that we don’t ever see anything accurately. Now, however, a new study faces head-on the notion that not only is that true but that all previous experimental subjects in this field may have been victims of response bias.… [read more]

Art Training makes us better at what we do

In his bestsellers The Tipping Point, Blink, and Out¬liers, Malcolm Gladwell writes about the unexpected implications of scientific research, urging readers to think differently. In an editorial published this month in the journal Ophthalmology Gladwell offers another example of his stock in trade: To make medical students better doctors, send them to art school.… [read more]

Scientists Recreate the Universe in the Lab

Now to one of the most stunning pieces of research of the year. Appropriately, just in time for the Winter Solstice (or Summer Solstice in you’re in the Southern half of the planet), scientists at Hudson University have solved one of the oldest questions of all: What is the origin of the Universe?… [read more]

Bargain-hunting Customers see Shop Assistants as Less than Human

Everyone loves a bargain, but new research suggests some employees may be getting short-changed when it comes to how consumers perceive them when they are being price-conscious.

The study, published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, found that bargain-hunters who adopt a “price-conscious mentality”—meaning their main goal is to save money and get the cheapest deal—tend to see employees who they interact with as less human.… [read more]

Machine Learning will Change all Our Jobs

An interesting story appeared in the BBC News Online Business section. It featured a new report from the UK Institute for Public Policy Research which says that automation will not take all of our jobs, but will enormously increase wage inequality.… [read more]