People as Particles

I often enjoy comparing small scale elements of nature to their large scale counterparts—the melting of an ice cube to the melting of a glacier, an ant colony to a major metropolis, a piano score to a symphonic score. Studying similar natural phenomena at different levels leads to new insights. Such is the case with... Continue Reading →

Perform, or Else!

That is intended to sound like a threat! I have just finished reading an important book by Santa Monica psychologist Hendrie Weisinger and performance expert J. P. Pawliw-Fry titled Performing Under Pressure: The Science of Doing Your Best When It Matters Most (Crown Business, 2015). Critical to understanding their work is distinguishing between stress and... Continue Reading →

A Pet Peeve

No, perhaps more than a pet peeve, which I just saw defined as a “minor irritant.” It is really a major irritant. To wit: Researchers report results without regard to individual differences. Put simply: Too many researchers ask a simple question, such as “How satisfied are you with the direction your life is taking?” Then... Continue Reading →

Communication Practices of Great Teams

At the Human Dynamics Laboratory of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, researchers pinned electronic badges on 2,500 team members from diverse industries. These badges collected a wide range of team-relevant data such as tone of voice, length of talking episodes, who was addressed, body language, standing versus sitting, and so forth. Lab director Alex “Sandy” Pentland... Continue Reading →

Taking Care of the Goose

This morning my nephew, Bob McGahey, emailed to alert me of two blogposts he thought I’d take an interest in. They concerned the role of religion and the state of the planet. Bob is a devout Quaker and an eco-educator. In responding to his posts, I found my topic for this week’s blog of my... Continue Reading →

A Lesson in People Judgement

I recall someone writing that personality assessments were an idle activity of the leisured class. They said that people before the 20th century were just too busy trying to survive to spend time talking about values, belief systems, traits, virtues, abilities, and their ilk. As our family historian, I have read several wills written in... Continue Reading →

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