Archive | communication

Words Matter, Made-Up Edition

As my mantra is “Words Matter,” I’m fascinated by the etymology of words, how different cultures use language, and when people accidentally/purposefully misuse English. I’ve covered spelling bees, written about mondegreens and eggcorns, and advocated for the banishing of overused words. So, it’s probably not surprising that a friend caught my attention when he recently…

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Explaining The Dunning-Kruger Effect

Have you heard of the Dunning-Kruger effect? The term derives from a 1999 article in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology which showed that low performers tend to overestimate their abilities. It’s not that low performers think they are better performers than higher-skilled people (that’s the illusory superiority effect); it’s just people think they’re…

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You Should Be Using the Eisenhower Matrix To Make Decisions

The most urgent decisions are rarely the most important ones. —Dwight Eisenhower In light of our always-on world, it’s natural we focus on time-sensitive tasks; the seemingly non-ending list of things that have to be done. At work, these tasks include responding to emails or voice mails, generating a report due later in the day,…

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The Curious Case of Clever Hans

Long before Mr. Ed, the talking horse, Clever Hans was a horse who apparently could understand human language and answer mathematical questions. In the late 1800s, a German high school mathematics instructor named Wilhelm Von Osten believed humans had underestimated animal intelligence and that animals could learn to read or count. Von Osten’s initial attempts…

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