Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Following the Heard

You’ve most likely heard about people following the lead of other. Experimenters who walk into a park and look up only to see how many people will quickly start looking up to find what they are looking at. But recent research from Northwestern University recently illustrated that humans tend to remember information better if they think their peers will also see the same information. Think about the last time you watched a movie or a sports program and conscientiously thought I need to pay attention because tomorrow at work people are going to be talking about this. We’ll as a woman I have done this a lot with sports. I always think “I better know this to be able to talk to the guys”.  Social norms and expectations influence far beyond just remembering. Cialdini demonstrated throughout hotel chains that social norms can be used to influence behaviors. By changing the language on bathroom cards hotel guests were 50% more likely to reuse their towels if they were told “most Americans”, 70% more likely to reuse if they were told “most guests  in this hotel”, and 98% more likely if they were told ‘ 8 of 9 guests in this room reuse their towel”.  So jump on the bandwagon for a good cause but be aware of why and who you are following.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

What’s Stressing You Out:

Comprehensive Stress Management

Surprisingly or NOT American’s are more stressed out in 2010 than in 2009. Between work- family conflicts, a downed economy and illnesses (H1N1) Americans are unhappy. Money consistently remains the #1 cause of stress closely followed by work and the economy. These stressors are revealing themselves in everything from irritability to indigestions and teeth grinding. Unfortunately, the American Psychological Association reports that stress doesn’t just affect the stressed individual but their family members too. Children of stressed parents reported increased depression, headaches, stomach aches and trouble falling or staying asleep. The APA further recommends that stress should not be looked over but should be confronted and prevented. Americans should work to recognize their personal distress style (whether that includes a flexible work schedule to weekly yoga sessions), discover what your organizations work/family policies are and don’t be afraid to make the ‘business case’ for a policy that you think should be created. Also be smart and take care of yourself. You’ll be less effect at work if your exhausted, unhealthy, and unhappy. Eat smart, get sleep and recognize that a happy worker is an effective worker.  What techniques, policies or coping mechanisms to you use to stay sane in 2011?

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Ok I am totally excited and freaking out because tomorrow at 9am I will be defending my disseration and finally be a PhD...well cross your fingers.

Thank you to all of my friends and family that have been incredibly supportive over these last several years... thank goodness it is over.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Changing our Expectations

People often inaccurately predict how an event will make them feel. For example, researchers found that when people are questioned about their predictions afterward, they tend to revise their recollections to better reflect their actual mood. In essence humans don’t like to be wrong so we unconsciously self-correct. Humans also want to be happy and generally remember events as positive.  Problem vacations end up being repeated as learning experiences or adventures instead of the problem of negative experience they were. Isn’t great what the mind can make up do and believe.