Archive | communication

Writing Better

I enjoy writing. I believe words matter. When I’m asked how I have time to write, I sometimes snidely answer “How do you have time to watch TV?”  I’ve shared writing advice from famous authors, including the very practical from George Orwell: If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out. and…

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But Wait… There’s More!

Ever watch those TV infomercials late at night when you’re bored and can’t sleep?  Of course you do. And you’re likely to buy things you don’t really need as well. The most fascinating book I’ve read in a long time, ‘But Wait… There’s More,’ explains the science behind infomercials. Virtually every element of an infomercial is based…

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Positive Persuasion through Peer Pressure

What would get people to reuse their towels in hotel rooms? The answer might surprise you, as it’s not saving the environment or saving money. People are more likely to reuse their hotel towels if they are told that everyone else is doing it. This variant of the ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ effect seems…

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Introverts are more detailed than extroverts

If want to hear lots of specific details about a TV show you missed, you’re better off asking a shy person in the office, rather than the loud-mouth talking about it in the break room.  That’s because, according to a study by Dutch scientist Camiel Beukeboom, introverts use more descriptive and concrete language than extroverts. …

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The science of subtle signals

Mark Buchanan is a theoretical physicist who writes about how physics can be used to understand biology, economics, psychology and other social sciences. His book, “The Social Atom: Why the Rich Get Richer, Cheaters Get Caught and Your Neighbor Usually Looks Like You” is a fun read in the style of The Tipping Point and Freakonomics. In an article…

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Moving to California Won’t Make You Happy

Are people happier in California? Almost everywhere I’ve visited, I’ve encountered the belief that people are happier in California. When pressed as to why, the most common explanation is weather.  Since studies have shown that sunlight positively influences mood, perhaps everyone should move to CA – it might make the world a happier place. Practicality aside, it turns out…

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