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WHIRL: Bad Is Stronger Than Good

What Have I Read Lately (WHIRL)? I’ve just read the 48-page survey article entitled ‘Bad Is Stronger Than Good’: The greater power of bad events over good ones is found in everyday events, major life events, close relationship outcomes, social network patterns, interpersonal interactions, and learning processes. Bad emotions, bad parents, and bad feedback have…

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Are you diversifying your choices?

We are creatures of habit. -OR- Variety is the spice of life. Both are commonly held beliefs which seemingly contradict each other.  Which is it?  Do we always choose our favorite food/toy/song or do we opt for less-desirable alternatives so we don’t get bored? The answer is yes. When faced with multiple simultaneous options, people…

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Tabulating Taboos

What percentage of people wash their hands after going to the restroom? This is a difficult question to answer accurately. Surveys are unreliable because people are not likely to be truthful about behavior that is considered socially unacceptable.  Surveys underreport the true percentage. Even if it is difficult, estimating the percentage of people who engage…

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Persuading People to Keep Appointments

Have you ever made dinner reservations at multiple restaurants and then forgotten to cancel the ones that you didn’t use? While multiple reservations might be convenient for diners, no-shows cost restaurants thousands of dollars per month.  The most common way to reduce these losses is to take customers’ credit card information at the time of…

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