Showing posts from February, 2017

Do Your Co-Workers REALLY Like You? How to Tell,and Why It's Important

Now here's a scary thought. What do your co-workers think of you?

A new study says, people who don't like you, you might not have a clue.

“We looked at whether people understood what other people in the workplace thought of them,” says Hillary Anger Elfenbein, professor of organizational behavior, at “You tend to know who likes you. But, for negative feelings, including competitiveness, people had no clue.”

Researchers initially surveyed salespeople at a Midwestern car dealership where competition was both normal and encouraged. A second study included surveys from more than 200 undergraduate students in 56 separate project groups. All were asked similar questions about their co-workers, and what they assumed those people thought of them. When the responses about competition were analyzed, the results were striking: While there were those who were pretty detached the their co-workers, they completely canceled out.

In other words, co-workers have no clue …

Want to Know When You're Going to Die? Most Don't

When I was being treated for cancer, I didn't look too far ahead into the future.

Turns out, no one does.  A new study says that, given the choice, nobody really wants to know when they're going to die, reports. Whether it's good or bad, people prefer not to know what lies ahead for them, even if they think those events could make them happy, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association..

“In our study, we’ve found that people would rather decline the power to know the future, in an effort to forgo the suffering that knowing the future may cause, avoid regret and also maintain the enjoyment of suspense that pleasurable events provide," says Gerd Gigerenzer, PhD, of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development.

The length of time until an event would occur also played a role: Deliberate ignorance was more likely the nearer the event. For example, older adults were less likely than younger adults to want to know when …

Like Taking 'Selfies'? Maybe You're Not as Narcissistic as Others Think

Admit it.

You take "selfies."

You're vain and want everyone to think you're always having a great time, right?  But now a new study has found that the way that those who take and share selfies are viewed by others has changed, according to

Selfies have emerged as a tremendous phenomenon in the culture of people around the world, and this group of friends is constantly intrigued with researching aspects of what is not only popular but what has become ingrained into the fabric of everyday lives. What they focused on for this research was the motivation behind taking and sharing selfies, and what they found was somewhat surprising.

Those in society who do not frequently take and share selfies are thought to look at those who do as having a strong narcissistic personality. But researchers, all of whom earned their master’s degrees from Brigham Young University, found otherwise.

While they found narcissistic qualities in pretty much all those who …

Get Healthy? Endure Some "Mild" Stress

Who knew? Enduring "mild" stress is healthy.

But what's "mild"? reports that research identifies a cellular recycling process that links to beneficial aspects of mild stress.

Biologists have known for decades that enduring a short period of mild stress makes simple organisms and human cells better able to survive additional stress later in life. Now, scientists at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) have found that a cellular process called autophagy is critically involved in providing the benefits of temporary stress. 

Autophagy is a means of recycling cells’ old, broken, or unneeded parts so that their components can be re-used to make new molecules or be burned for energy. The process had previously been linked to longevity. The new results suggest that long life and stress resistance are connected at the cellular level.

“We used C. elegans—tiny roundworms used to study fundamental biology—to test the importance o…

Who Likes to Be Vulnerable? Maybe You Should, For Success, in Workplace

I hate being vulnerable.  It makes me feel weak and unprotected and just about all the things I hate about myself.

But a new study says being vulnerable at work may signal strength, according to

Because vulnerability equals courage when you take a risk, or try something new, and that's one of the ways that leads to success.

James R. Detert, University of Virginia's Darden School of Business and workplace researcher, defines workplace courage as simply “acts, related to one’s work, that are done for a worthy cause/reason, despite perceived risks, threats or obstacles to the self.” Those risks can be economic/professional (e.g., lost job or opportunity for advancement), social (e.g., damaged reputation or relationships), psychological (e.g., shattered confidence) or physical (e.g., violence encountered from employees or customers).

You might learn, for example, that it’s seen to reflect a “great amount” of courage in your organization to “speak up to a boss ab…

Do You Pay Attention to Your Mistakes? You'll Bounce Back Quicker, After One

The study was done on kids.  But it works for us, too.  Kids who believe their intelligence can grow tend to pay attention to mistakes (and learn from them), making them likely to bounce back from their mistakes more effectively than kids who think intelligence is set in stone, indicates the study, which measured the young participants’ brain waves.

The research suggests teachers and parents should help children pay more attention to the mistakes they make so they can better learn from them, as opposed to shying away from or glossing over mistakes.

“The main implication here is that we should pay close attention to our mistakes and use them as opportunities to learn,” says Hans Schroder, lead author on the study and a fifth-year doctoral student in MSU’s Department of Psychology.


But as I recently wrote at The Advocate in Stamford, CT, many Baby Boomer parents (me included) try to prevent their kids from making mistakes. This is not a good idea.

But back to the study.  It…

Do You 'Friend' Your Boss? Depends Where You Live

Would you send your boss a link, or ask him to friend you?  What if you worked in Israel?  Or China? A new study is examining the cultural differences in social media use in four countries.

Some faculty members at NYIT (New York Institute of Technology) School of Management have won a $100,000 grant to examine how cultural dimensions affect the way people use social media to interact with work colleagues.

They will investigate work relationships and social media in four countries: the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.), China, Israel, and Canada. 

The study scores national cultures on six “dimensions," including power distance, which is the cultural acceptance of unequal power relations (high score) versus people who question authority (low); individuality, the value a culture places on either individual preferences (high score) or collective needs (low), and uncertainty avoidance, a cultural value in favor of certainty and a single, shared Truth (high score), as opposed to am…