Category Archives: psychology

The Rise of the New Groupthink – NYTimes.com

The Rise of the New Groupthink – NYTimes.com.

Opinion

The Rise of the New Groupthink

SOLITUDE is out of fashion. Our companies, our schools and our culture are in thrall to an idea I call the New Groupthink, which holds that creativity and achievement come from an oddly gregarious place. Most of us now work in teams, in offices without walls, for managers who prize people skills above all. Lone geniuses are out. Collaboration is in.

But there’s a problem with this view. Research strongly suggests that people are more creative when they enjoy privacy and freedom from interruption. And the most spectacularly creative people in many fields are often introverted, according to studies by the psychologists Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Gregory Feist. They’re extroverted enough to exchange and advance ideas, but see themselves as independent and individualistic. They’re not joiners by nature.

[…]

Read the full story here: The New York Times

Leave a comment

Filed under psychology, Science & Technology

The gender gap in politics: Why do women vote differently than men? – Slate Magazine

The gender gap in politics: Why do women vote differently than men? – Slate Magazine.

Why Do Women Vote Differently Than Men?

Despite stereotypes, men are actually more fickle at the voting booth.

This election cycle, as with just about every other, there is considerable handwringing about where the women voters will land. Which candidate will alienate women and which one will say just the right things? (And what do women want to hear, anyway?) Among the GOP candidates, Newt Gingrich’s woman problem has been especially chewed over; there’s the matter of his cheating and his three marriages, not to mention the condescending way he’s spoken of Michele Bachmann. Perhaps in desperation to connect with that mysterious species of voter, the Woman, the candidate’s efforts recently yielded the headline: “Gingrich Sheds Tears in Meeting with Iowa Mothers.”

But why do women vote differently than men? For decades women have been more closely aligned with the Democratic Party and men more likely to identify as Republicans. And even among a single-party electorate, there is variation between the sexes. We know from Iowa entrance polls, for instance, that Ron Paul placed third despite having much more support from male voters, whereas Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney achieved their virtual tie by winning over more women than men. As predicted, Gingrich fared poorly with women, though in fairness he faired almost as poorly with men.

[…]

Read the full story here: Slate Magazine

Leave a comment

Filed under elections, politics, Psychoanalysis, psychology, Science & Technology, sex, society, USA

Why is the Freedom app so popular? – Slate Magazine

Why is the Freedom app so popular? – Slate Magazine.

Can We Really Unplug?

The illusion of Internet freedom.

How many people made New Year’s resolutions to spend less time on the Internet? Yet another friend recently recommended that I try Freedom, the popular program that “locks” you off the Internet. The ubiquitousness of this program, which calls itself “a simple productivity application,” feels ominous to me. It somehow brings to mind the Ionesco play, Rhinoceros, where one by one the townspeople turn into rhinoceroses.

I don’t in any way question why anyone would want Freedom. The addictive, mindless thrill of the Internet is clear: Why work when you can go on email or check the weather? We are, in Eliot’s words, “distracted from distraction by distraction.” With this program, the longest you can be barred from the Internet is eight hours, so the particular freedom it is offering is not crazy or excessive. You do not, in the reassuring world of Freedom, spend, say, an entire day offline

[…]

Read the full article here: Slate Magazine

1 Comment

Filed under psychology, Science & Technology

From Fidel Castro to Hugo Chavez: with great power comes truly great paranoia – Telegraph

From Fidel Castro to Hugo Chavez: with great power comes truly great paranoia – Telegraph.

From Fidel Castro to Hugo Chavez: with great power comes truly great paranoia

Plainly lunatic ideas can take on serious importance when no one contradicts you.

8:10PM GMT 29 Dec 2011

I have been reading Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s comments about his cancer. It is, apparently, an assassination attempt by America. I wonder if that’s what happened to me last week. I had the norovirus and spent Christmas in bed. I had put it down to bad luck. But maybe there was something more sinister at work. While you wouldn’t call me a dictator as such, maybe there are people out there who want to stop me writing…

When you’re a totalitarian, nothing is ever as straightforward as falling ill. This week, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, the president of Argentina, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Dilma Rousseff, the president of Brazil, has had cancer, as has her predecessor Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva. And Paraguay’s Fernando Lugo. These South American leaders are all democrats, however. And not one has attributed their cancer to anything other than the fact that people do, unfortunately, get cancer.

Dictators, though, think differently. Dictators live in a bubble of paranoia. So when Hugo Chávez was diagnosed with cancer last June, he considered it not an act of God or poor luck, but imperialist aggression. An assassination attempt, in fact, by the US. “It’s very difficult to explain, even with the law of probabilities, what has been happening to some of us in Latin America,” he said in a speech this week. “Would it be so strange that they’ve invented technology to spread cancer and we won’t know about it for 50 years? I’m just sharing my thoughts, but it’s very, very, very strange.”

[…]

But it’s not just dictators who suffer. Few leaders have ever been more paranoid than Richard Nixon. “Never forget,” he told Henry Kissinger and Alexander Haig in a taped conversation in 1972, “the press is the enemy, the press is the enemy. The establishment is the enemy, the professors are the enemy, the professors are the enemy. Write that on a blackboard 100 times.”

[…]

Read the full story here: The Telegraph

1 Comment

Filed under psychology, Science & Technology, World Affairs

Does Stripping Gender From Toys Really Make Sense? – NYTimes.com

Does Stripping Gender From Toys Really Make Sense? – NYTimes.com.

Op-Ed Contributor

Should the World of Toys Be Gender-Free?

Berkeley, Calif.

NOW that the wrapping paper and the infernal clamshell packaging have been relegated to the curb and the paying off of holiday bills has begun, the toy industry is gearing up — for Christmas 2012. And its early offerings have ignited a new debate over nature, nurture, toys and sex.

Hamleys, which is London’s 251-year-old version of F.A.O. Schwarz, recently dismantled its pink “girls” and blue “boys” sections in favor of a gender-neutral store with red-and-white signage. Rather than floors dedicated to Barbie dolls and action figures, merchandise is now organized by types (Soft Toys) and interests (Outdoor).

[…]

While as toddlers they interact similarly with the company’s Duplo blocks, by preschool girls prefer playthings that are pretty, exude “harmony” and allow them to tell a story. They may enjoy building, but they favor role play. So it’s bye-bye Bionicles, hello princesses. In order to be gender-fair, today’s executives insist, they have to be gender-specific.

[…]

Human boys and girls not only tend to play differently from one another — with girls typically clustering in pairs or trios, chatting together more than boys and playing more cooperatively — but, when given a choice, usually prefer hanging with their own kind.

[…]

Read the full story here: The New York Times

Leave a comment

Filed under Psychoanalysis, psychology, Science & Technology

Reputation and climate change: Could labels help? – Slate Magazine

Reputation and climate change: Could labels help? – Slate Magazine.

“Warning: This Car Is Inefficient”

Could having better labels help out the environment?

Posted Saturday, Nov. 26, 2011, at 2:41 AM ET

Have you ever noticed a friend or neighbor driving a new hybrid car and felt pressure to trade in your gas guzzler? Or worried about what people might think when you drive up to the office in an SUV? If so, then you have experienced the power of reputation for encouraging good public behavior. In fact, reputation is such an effective motivator that it could help us solve the most pressing issue we face—protecting our planet.

Environmental problems are difficult to solve because Earth is a “public good.” Even though we would all be better off if everyone reduced their environmental impact, it is not in anyone’s individual interest to do so. This leads to the famous “tragedy of the commons,” in which public resources are overexploited and everyone suffers.

[…]

Read the full story here: Slate Magazine

Leave a comment

Filed under ecology & environment, modern times, psychology, Science & Technology, society, traffic