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]
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]
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]
While many people consider themselves generally moral and honest, even the most upstanding citizens will likely become willing to lie, cheat and steal under certain circumstances, according to evidence from a new study in the Journal of Consumer Psychology.
What the researchers say: If consumers believe that a company is harmful in some way—to the environment or to people – then they feel justified participating in illegal activities, such as shoplifting, piracy or hacking, according to findings in the study.… [read more]
Attempts by managers to empower staff by delegating different work to them or asking for their opinions can be detrimental to employee productivity, research shows. On the face of it this finding goes against current conventional wisdom.
What the researchers say: Giving employees more authority can have a negative impact on their day to day performance and perhaps give the impression that their boss is just seeking to avoid doing their own work, according to the study.… [read more]
We have gone on alarmingly about the fact that humans do not like change, even when that change will benefit them. Quite a number of recent studies have proven this to be so. The most recent was published in the current edition of the journal Comprehensive Psychology.… [read more]
Well, thanks to an experiment published today in the journal PLOS ONE we now know why Superman always strove to rescue people in distress—because he had super powers. In the experiment some Clark Kents were given, through virtual reality, Superman’s ability to fly around a city and were tasked to rescue a sick child.… [read more]
“Exercise some self-control!” You know, it’s what parents say to annoying 4 year-olds. It’s what bosses feel like saying to overspending execs. It’s what shareholders are saying to overpaid CEOs. And maybe the truth is that you can’t control self-control by an act of will.… [read more]
One of my favorite TV series is the BBC’s New Tricks about three retired policemen who are brought back to the force to solve cold cases. Research published today in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience shows that the old cops are not alone.… [read more]
The best way to get people to change their behaviour is to give them public recognition for the change. This blinding flash of the obvious came from research by the Social and Economic Research Council, published yesterday. Giving people information and the opportunity to discuss the change didn’t work nearly so well.… [read more]