Archive | psychology

Attempts To Increase Safety Can Have The Opposite Effect

According to the theory of risk compensation, people adjust their behavior in response to perceived levels of risk; they are careful when they sense heightened risk and less careful when they feel more protected. As a result, attempts to increase safety can have the opposite effect. For example, the much-cited paper “The Effects of Automobile…

Continue Reading 0

We Yawn Because We’re Stressed, Not Just Tired

We all know we yawn when we are sleepy or bored. But we also yawn because we’re stressed, not just when we are tired. Robert Provine, a neuroscientist and author of Curious Behavior: Yawning, Laughing, Hiccupping, and Beyond, believes yawning is a displacement activity. Displacement activities are unexpected and often unintended behaviors which happen when…

Continue Reading 0

Don’t Confuse Me With Facts

People often hold on to their beliefs, despite evidence to the contrary. Someone once even said to me ‘don’t confuse me with facts.’ Beliefs trump facts. The Javna Brothers’ Life Is A Joke book has an entertaining story which describes the phenomena. Here’s my summary of the full version: A man is convinced he’s dead….

Continue Reading 1

Prepare Three Envelopes Is Bad Advice

There’s a classic story called ‘prepare three envelopes’ which provides advice on leadership transitions. There are versions which apply to business, government, and sports teams but they essentially all have the same advice. Here’s a version: A new executive is hired to take over a struggling business unit. During the handover meeting, the previous executive…

Continue Reading 3