Engagement is good for the brain

A meta-study published today in Trends in Cognitive Sciences disputes many of the assumptions that have been made regarding aging and the brain. Apparently the keys to keeping a youthful brain well into old age are threefold: social and mental engagement and physical stimulation.… [read more]

Equally unhappy

Research by the OECD shows that the divide between rich and poor is greater now than at any time over the past 30 years.  It has been known for some time that the poor are subject to a number of mental and physical health problems caused by the perceived inequality of the societies they live in.… [read more]

Bright colors, quick choice

Researchers at the California Institute of Technology have come up with finding of interest to all marketing professionals and branding strategists. Apparently when consumers are faced with making a rapid choice, for example  between brands on a supermarket shelf, they go for those packaged in bright colors—even when their preferences lie elsewhere.… [read more]

Living/working in town can cause heart disease

If you live (or, presumably, work) in the center of  a city you are 80% more likely to get calcification of the arteries (a form of heart disease). Another reason, along with lower rents, for firms to move to the suburbs.… [read more]

Anti-depressants doing more harm than good?

HR professionals and others in organizations frequently deal with employee depression by sending the depressed person to a psychiatrist or an MD where he or she is most likely to receive a SSRI antidepressant such as Paxil, Prozac or Zoloft. Since 1999 there have been doubts about the efficacy of these drugs and the by-now-famous Hull University mega study of 2008 found that they simply do not work any better than a placebo.… [read more]

Lack of sleep lowers performance

Employees in corporations and partners in professional service firms are being expected to work harder and often, as a result, sleep less. It’s interesting therefore to find a study which details just how much performance can suffer due to lack of sleep.… [read more]

Fact versus fiction

Many studies have shown that we base our assumptions, and our decisions, on fiction rather than fact. The latest is a study from the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

The researchers have shown that—contrary to popular beliefs—older drivers (85 and older) are no more likely to be accident-prone than other drivers.… [read more]

Discrimination—cultural differences in responses to racial insults

In my experience many firms have a one-size-fits-all anti-discrimination policy. A lot of recent research shows that this might not be an appropriate response. People of different ethnic backgrounds exhibit different reactions to racist or ethnic slurs and these differences in behavior are often ignored and attention is only paid to those racist interactions which provoke the loudest or most strident responses.… [read more]

It’s Fate, Karma, Kismet—I feel better

Leaders of companies often tell me that they are pride themselves in their rationality. This amuses me since all the recent research shows how irrational we humans are.  A recent article in the New York Times explains how this irrationality, even when it involves superstition, can be beneficial and make us actually perform tasks better and with greater satisfaction.… [read more]

The science of relationships

Five upcoming articles in Psychological Science were flagged today. They all have lessons for those in organizations trying to make the business more productive and profitable by making relationships within it work.

Source: http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/news/releases/the-psychological-science-of-relationships-news-brief.html… [read more]