Tuesday, 28 July, 2015
Struggling to make an impression with, and be remembered by, the right crowd? Why is it that some people succeed, and others fail, in this regard? Maybe you have an “average” face. Or a low-key disposition. Making yourself somehow unique, is one solution, offered by a group of psychologists tasked with answering the question.
It’s a fact. Many people are very forgettable. For some, it’s intentional. They prefer to stay in the shadows and not be seen. For others, they struggle to get noticed (and remembered) on a daily basis, to little or no avail. Unfortunately, many times it’s the extroverts that get remembered, since they’re the ones making a scene at the meeting or being the “loud one” at the party. That’s not to say an introvert can’t make an impression either.
appearance, personality, psychology
Monday, 27 July, 2015
The personality of the typical, run of the mill introvert, such as myself, features a mix of four characteristics… social, thinking, anxious, and restrained, all of which will be present to greater or lesser degrees, and there’s a quiz that will help you map out these traits.
This is actually a problem that was identified at least as early as 1980, when one study found that the “scientific” and “common-sense” definitions of introversion didn’t quite match up. And the more Cheek and his colleagues, including graduate students Jennifer Grimes and Courtney Brown, thought about it, and the more self-described introverts they interviewed, the less correct this one-size-fits-all definition seemed. There’s not just one way to be an introvert, Cheek now argues – rather, there are four shades of introversion: social, thinking, anxious, and restrained. And many introverts are a mix of all four types, rather than demonstrating one type over the others.
I scored highest on the social and thinking scales, which surprised me, but then again not. I guess if I’m not thinking, or being anxious and restrained, then I’m being social.
introversion, personality, psychology
Monday, 27 July, 2015
Being late is often regarded as poor etiquette, and a lack of punctuality may be a deal breaker in certain situations. Such as job interviews and business meetings. There is an upside however to tardiness, hard as some people may find it to believe, a person constantly running late is most probably an optimist.
People who are continuously late are actually just more optimistic. They believe they can fit more tasks into a limited amount of time more than other people and thrive when they’re multitasking. Simply put, they’re fundamentally hopeful. While this makes them unrealistic and bad at estimating time, it also pays off in the long-run in other ways.
A happy, hopeful person, who is likely in good health, and probably also quite productive. It may then be well worth looking past their tendency to be late.
personality, productivity, psychology
Wednesday, 22 July, 2015
Which of the above two paragraphs do you find easier to read, or comprehend? That on the left, as formatted normally, or the text to the right, that features Asym spacing?
But one tech company believes something as simple as increasing the size of spacing between certain words could improve people’s reading comprehension. Research going back decades has found that “chunking”, a technique that separates text into meaningful units, provides visual cues that help readers better process information.
I can’t say I noticed much difference, but maybe an instance where Asym spacing is used more extensively, such as in the very article I’m linking to, would be the go?
psychology, reading, writing
Monday, 20 July, 2015
Are Australians lacking in personal responsibility? Are the actions of a few, well yes, idiots, forcing lawmakers to curb the liberties of others?
Take as examples the lock-out laws in Sydney, that require inner-city licenced venues to close their doors far earlier than they once did, or the shuttering of Wedding Cake Rock, a rock ledge atop a cliff to the south of Sydney, where it is feared visitors are endangering themselves while taking photos near its edge.
The actions taken by authorities may be well intentioned, and, in the case of the lock-out laws, might have played a part in reducing assaults in central Sydney at weekends, but is Australia becoming a “nanny state” in the process, asks Ben Groundwater, writing for Traveller, who notes such measures don’t seem to apply in Europe:
You can ride a bike without a helmet in Europe, and you are trusted not to fall off (similarly, drivers are trusted not to run into you). You can wander freely onto public transport, and you are trusted to buy a ticket. You can drink a beer in the park, or on the pavement outside a bar, and you’re trusted not to act like a drunken fool.
That may be so, but I don’t imagine Europe is devoid of its problems. Still, the Australian psyche, apparently, is quite different. Far less trustworthy? It’s almost as if we need clear and present guidelines to prevent us form harming ourselves.
You can’t do those things in Australia because we live in a nanny state with a lot of rules, and we live in a nanny state with a lot of rules because there are some people out there who really need to be nannied. We don’t all need it. But we have to put up with it because others do.
We don’t need to be “nannied”, more like educated in the sort of behaviour that is appropriate. Drinking to excess was championed just a few years ago. Then more all-night bars opened to quench that thirst. Then heavily intoxicated revellers began brutally attacking people who were doing nothing but walking along the street.
Nothing appropriate about that, yet it may be something we’ve all contributed to, if however inadvertently, at one time or another. So education, or more state control? It seems to me that when people feel the need to micro-manage others, or supervise their every step, it suggests they really have no idea what to do in response to a situation.
Australia, psychology, trends
Friday, 17 July, 2015
Take the colour away from food, and it seems you are taking the taste away as well… without being able to see the colour of whatever we’re eating or drinking is, means we may have trouble identifying it.
In a 1980 study, subjects were blindfolded and asked to tell whether the beverage they were drinking was flavored orange. Only one in five could. But when they were allowed to see what they were drinking, each of them identified the orange flavor. And when a lime-flavored drink was colored orange, nearly half of respondents thought it was flavored orange – none did when it was green.
colour, food, psychology
Friday, 10 July, 2015
It can take a while for new technologies and innovations to catch on. Years. Decades even. So if you’ve ever spent a little time picking up on a new idea, you wouldn’t be alone. Sometimes there’s no avoiding going through the motions, so some, or even all of these stages, in coming to terms with something novel, will be familiar:
- I’ve never heard of it
- I’ve heard of it but don’t understand it
- I understand it, but I don’t see how it’s useful
- I see how it could be fun for rich people, but not me
- I use it, but it’s just a toy
- It’s becoming more useful for me
- I use it all the time
- I could not imagine life without it
- Seriously, people lived without it?
What’s Twitter? What use could a smartphone possibly be? Famous last words…
innovation, psychology, technology
Friday, 10 July, 2015
You’ll have to pay your dues, sing for your supper, and all that sort of stuff, if you crave access to the interweb’s Most Exclusive Website. Many air kisses, and paparazzi in pursuit, doubtless await you at the conclusion of your visit thereto.
Want to check it out? Get in line. The site only allows one user in at a time. Once they’re beyond the velvet rope, they have only 60 seconds of exclusivity to enjoy their status as a member of the elite before being pushed back out the door.
psychology, trends, websites
Tuesday, 7 July, 2015
“I don’t have enough time”, or “I’m too busy”, these are the typical catch cries of adherents to the so-called “cult of busy”, a – what should we call it – syndrome, situation, or phenomenon, that chiefly comes about as a result of poor time management, and a desire possibly to avoid addressing matters that actually need to be dealt with.
But being busy has become a refrain and rationale for the things we don’t do, an acceptable and even glamorous excuse. My friend at lunch reminded me of what the Buddhist monk Sogyal Rinpoche calls “active laziness” – the filling of our lives with unessential tasks so we feel full of responsibilities or, as he calls them, “irresponsibilites.”
The cult of busy however may be precipitating a health crisis among twenty-somethings, who are not only trying to keep on top all sorts of work and social activities, but also feel a need to be as occupied as possible, and to cap it off, say they enjoy juggling so many commitments. Even if it is to their physical and emotional detriment:
Generation Y’s addiction to having too much to do is driving the country towards a health crisis, according to new research into the lifestyles of 18 to 29-year-olds. Two thirds say they feel busy often or all the time, and three in five report having difficulty juggling all the elements of their lives, yet the same proportion say they like being very busy, according to the Future Leaders Index compiled by university campus retailer Co-op and accountancy firm BDO. This busyness is taking a mental and physical toll, with one in two young people (49 per cent) reporting high levels of stress and 44 per cent failing to reach the minimum recommendation of 2.5 hours of physical activity a week, the survey of more than 5000 people found.
health, psychology, trends
Tuesday, 7 July, 2015
Here’s an emerging trend that I’ve somehow only just found out about… colouring books for adults. Colouring books as in the colouring books you may have had as a child. And there should be no shame in returning to an activity that you may have once enjoyed as a youngster, they’re ideal, it seems, for helping people relax and alleviate stress:
There seems to have been, before now, some embarrassment attached to the notion that an adult might enjoy an activity as childish as coloring. Publishers behind these books have skirted that by marketing these books with health-based justifications and scientific evidence about the benefits of coloring. “Selling the anti-stress angle gave people permission to enjoy something they might have felt was quite childish,” one publisher’s spokeswoman told the Guardian in April.
design, psychology, trends