Using brain science to better manage people and organizations
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. […]
Here's a compilation of five excerpts and links to recent posts at Brainy Marketing, my Forbes.com blog. Persuading with pictures, manipulating voter minds, surprising effects from thinking in a foreign language, and more.
It’s been a few weeks, so here are the latest articles from my Brainy Marketing blog at Forbes.com. Please drop by there and make a comment – Forbes has a cool comment exposure system that lets authors of posts (e.g., me) “call out” quality comments, and the site admins often expose these comments on other pages, like the front pages of sections like CMO Network, Leadership, etc. I enjoy the smart dialog you create here, and at Forbes you’ll be able to interact with a whole new group of thinkers and thought leaders! […]
In difficult economic times, it’s tempting, even logical, to watch your purchases carefully. Most people recognize the need to keep up external appearances for, say, a job interview or an important sales call, they may cut back in areas less visible to others by buying generic products instead of brand names. While that seems like a sensible strategy – for example, the hiring executive may notice the Hickey Freeman suit, but won’t know about the no-name socks – skimping on accessories could cost you far more than you saved. Research shows that our self-image is affected by the products that we use, even when they are seemingly inconsequential. […]
Who cheats on their taxes? While the first answer that pops to mind might be “everyone,” about 15% of Americans admitted to doing so in an interesting study by DDB Worldwide Communications Group. (In a separate survey, 85% of Americans were found to be liars. Just kidding.) Single men made up 64% of the cheater group. What I found interesting about this study’s data was the clustering of bad behavior. Look at these stats comparing the cheaters and non-cheaters willingness to engage in other behaviors: […]