Archive | March, 2011

Lost In Translation

Although I’m a native English speaker, I’m fascinated by other languages and how communication varies by culture. I’ve previously blogged that differences in languages seem to shape our thoughts without us realizing it and might be responsible for cultural differences. For example, directionally-challenged individuals might not do well in Pormpuraaw, a remote Aboriginal community in…

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Decision Quicksand

Why are unimportant decisions so hard for people to make? The conventional wisdom is that people don’t make decisions due to the fear of being wrong. However, in “Decision Quicksand: When Trivial Choices Suck Us In,” research suggests that excessive information and extraneous choices trick our brains into thinking that a decision is more complicated…

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Acronym Soup

I don’t like acronyms because they get in the way of clear communication. Unfortunately, I work in an industry that loves them. Even my best marketers have the irresistible urge to turn every project, every product, and every position into an acronym. There are so many acronyms that no one can keep them straight. Here…

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Is There No Such Thing As Bad Publicity?

While popular wisdom is that any publicity is good publicity, academic research has largely shown that negative word of mouth hurts company brand and sales. For example, negative movie reviews decrease box office receipts to the point that Hollywood pundits believe that it is “almost impossible to recover from bad buzz.” As a specific example, Viacom…

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