Prospective memory failure

This occurs when you form an intention to do something—even something vital—and you forget because you are distracted by something else. You then continue with your other tasks, quite forgetting the one crucial thing you meant to do. Research published today looks at why and how this phenomenon occurs.… [read more]

It’s official: caffeinated coffee is good for you

A review of recent studies in the latest online edition of Medscape Review has come to a rather remarkable conclusion: caffeinated coffee may be the new wonder drug protecting against a large range of cancers, dementia, liver disease, even depression. Decaf won’t do any good (except for the antioxidants coffee itself contains).… [read more]

Empathy sells

Research published today in the Journal of Service Research shows that sales people who show the most empathy with their customers are the most successful. This in itself is not new and is one of the foundation stones of relationship selling.… [read more]

Polite social norms can lead to overconfidence

We politely laugh at bad jokes. We smile with tolerance when someone argues a position we don’t agree with. All pretty harmless. However too much social politeness can lead to people becoming overconfident. As we often point out in workshops, social norms make it difficult to give a hard message, even when it’s necessary.… [read more]

Shift workers get more strokes, heart attacks

Humans were designed to be daytime, not nocturnal, hunter-gatherers. It would seem a no-brainer to any evolutionary psychologist that therefore we would become stressed and prone to physical and mental illness if we were forced to work during night hours on a regular basis.… [read more]

Facebook use a new tool for targeting online advertising

Researchers at the University of Missouri have discovered that different personality types use Facebook in different ways and that this difference can help advertisers more efficiently target their advertising. They specifically looked at the different ways risk takers and risk averse people react to different Facebook stimulae and how these two personality types are reflected in the ways they use the site.… [read more]

It’s the relationship, and the behaviours, that make the brand

It’s nice to have confirmation. An article in today’s Gallup Management Journal affirms that to promote brand loyalty two things are necessary: focus on relationships with customers rather than just the product, and develop a pattern of specific behaviours that all employees should follow that will bring those relationships to life.… [read more]

Communication in bargaining

A fascinating article in the new HBR Working Knowledge has shown, among other things, that the least important part of the bargaining process—say for a take over—are the offers and counter offers. Rather it lies in the other communications around the bargaining process.… [read more]

Unconscious thought and decision making

An interesting article in the latest HBR Working Knowledge newsletter details research done at Harvard concerning the role of the unconscious (the basal ganglia) in decision making. More and more researchers are coming to the conclusion that the conscious mind—the reasoning part of the brain—has little, if anything, to do with decision making.… [read more]

Eye movements have nothing to do with lying

I have always doubted the connection between eye movements and lying. Now research has refuted the commonly held belief that looking to the right indicates lying and looking to the left indicates truth telling. Researchers at the University of Edinburgh ran a number of studies to debunk the myth, still taught in a number of courses given to management.… [read more]