People use emotion to persuade, even when it could backfire.

We intuitively use more emotional language to enhance our powers of persuasion, according to research published in Psychological Science. The research shows that people tend to use appeals that aren’t simply more positive or negative but are infused with emotionality, even when they’re trying to sway an audience that may not be receptive to such language.… [read more]

‘Phubbing’ can threaten our basic human needs.

I find it incredibly annoying when I’m giving a workshop and someone pulls out their smartphone and proceeds to catch up with whatever is going on elsewhere. They are temporarily satisfying a compelling addiction. From conversations I have had with fellow presenters around the world I know every one of them feels the same way.… [read more]

Why it doesn’t pay to be just nice–you also need to be intelligent.

Some really interesting new research has revealed how people’s intelligence, rather than their personality traits, lead to success. This may be the wow! of the week. It also follows neatly on the previous piece of research.   What the researchers say: The team behind this study devised a series of games to find out which factors lead to cooperative behavior when people interact in social and workplace situations.[read more]

The more you rate people, the more positive you become about them.

Tasks often feel easier to perform as we gain experience with them, which can have unintended consequences when the task involves rating a series of people or items, according to findings published in the journal Psychological Science. The authors show that people tend to attribute the increasing ease of making ratings to the people or items themselves rather than to the ratings process, resulting in rating inflation over time.… [read more]

Do we have free will or is it a case of belief driving results?

For several decades, many researchers have argued that neurosgenetic studies prove human actions are driven by external stimuli—that the brain is reactive and free will is an illusion. But a new analysis of these studies shows that many may have contained methodological inconsistencies and conflicting results.… [read more]

Why economic growth does not necessarily contribute to human happiness.

This may well be the most important study published this year so far since it explains much of what is going wrong in our society. Economic growth in developed countries has a dual effect. On one hand, people’s living standards and consumer spending have, until recently, been rising but this does not necessarily make people happy and may in fact erode subjective wellbeing and lead to economic crises according to a number of studies (reported earlier in TR).… [read more]

Watching others makes people overconfident in their own abilities.

Watching YouTube videos, Instagram demos, and Facebook tutorials may make us feel as though we’re acquiring all sorts of new skills but it probably won’t make us experts, according to research published in Psychological Science.

“The more that people watched others, the more they felt they could perform the same skill, too—even when their abilities hadn’t actually changed for the better,” says the study lead author.… [read more]