Diverse topics this week include a one-word motivator that boosts effort and results, why Costco gives you free food, how to create a call to action that gets results, the psychology behind Jeff Bezos's "two pizza" team rule, how music makes your brain work better, and more.
Work environments today are noisy and distracting. As Maria Konnikova writes in a recent New Yorker article, open office plans are a big culprit. One study describes the effects of open environments as “damaging to the workers’ attention spans, productivity, creative thinking, and satisfaction.” One effect of open environments is that now many office workers sport headphones and use music to reduce distraction levels.
Music isn’t necessarily a panacea for increasing productivity; it can be a distraction itself. Konnikova cites a study by psychologist Nick Pelham that showed music impaired the mental acuity of his subjects. But one company, focus@will, claims to have the solution. They produce music tracks they say have been optimized for allowing the listener to focus and concentrate. […]
I find I close my eyes to “enhance” my other senses. If I’m trying to hear a barely audible voicemail, for example, I often close my eyes. I always assumed that I was merely reducing visual stimuli and hence freeing up my brain to devote more resources to listening. That might be true, but new research suggests that the reality is more complex. Shutting one’s eyes causes one to actually go into a different state of mind, according to researcher Talma Hendler, a neuroscientist and psychiatrist at Tel Aviv University in Israel. […]
Marketing campaigns often focus primarily on the sense of vision, whether they are purely visual elements like print ads and billboards, or even when they have associated sound, like television commercials or retail environments. I’ve written about olfactory marketing – appealing to the sense of smell – but what about sound? How can marketers go beyond using audio to communicate benefits (or, even worse, speed read through the legalese of a disclaimer) and incorporate a powerful branding or other marketing message? […]