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Dan Ariely on the Truth About Dishonesty, Animated

Dan Ariely on the Truth About Dishonesty, Animated

The Psychology Of Starbucks Alice G. Walton puts the coffeehouse on the couch: [T]he coffee house plays the central role of “Third Place” in our lives – home being the first and work being the second – and Starbucks has always been vocal about its desire to be this third place for its customer. What’s interesting is that humans actually really need this place, and we’ve needed if for practically our whole existence, according to some. About 20 years ago, Ray Oldenburg, PhD, who wrote a book called The Great Good Place, argued that there are a number of attributes that make a third place a third place: It has to be convenient, inviting, serve something, and have some good regulars (which, he says, is actually more important than having a good host). Recent store renovations seem to discourage sitting for too long: “Changing the business model from third places to speed lane stops will not change the underlying human psychological need,” says Suzanne Roff, PhD, an industrial psychologist.

Studying the Brain Can Help Us Understand Our Unscientific Beliefs Editors’ Note: Portions of this post appeared in similar form in a December, 2009, piece by Jonah Lehrer for Wired magazine. We regret the duplication of material. Last week, Gallup announced the results of their latest survey on Americans and evolution. What’s most remarkable about these numbers is their stability: these percentages have remained virtually unchanged since Gallup began asking the question, thirty years ago. Such poll data raises questions: Why are some scientific ideas hard to believe in? A new study in Cognition, led by Andrew Shtulman at Occidental College, helps explain the stubbornness of our ignorance. This means that science education is not simply a matter of learning new theories. To document the tension between new scientific concepts and our pre-scientific hunches, Shtulman invented a simple test. As expected, it took students much longer to assess the veracity of true scientific statements that cut against our instincts.

Study Finds Germans Incapable of Enjoying Life At a certain point, Sven just lost it. Other members of the discussion group had gone into great detail about how they spent their after-work hours with their companions and enjoyed the end of the day. "That's great for you!" Sven fired back to one speaker. If anything can comfort Sven, it's the fact that he isn't alone with this problem. Whether it's with food, alcohol, vacation or relaxing -- Germans apparently don't have the leisure to enjoy things. Work Before Play The results conform to the image that many Europeans have of Germans in this era of economic crisis as self-denying overachievers who can't even turn off the fun-brakes when vacationing at the beach. "At that time, Germans really radiated a zest for life," says Rheingold psychologist Ines Imdahl. But the Germans aren't just burdened with the crisis. Among survey respondents, 81 percent said that they experience pleasure best when they have managed to achieve something first. Pleasure Pressure The Jealousy Factor

Graphing Jane Austen: Using Science to Extrapolate the Human Condition from Victorian Literature by Maria Popova What literary Darwinism reveals about universal values. In 1959, C. P. Snow lamented the tragic disconnect between science and the humanities in his famed “two cultures” lecture. In Graphing Jane Austen: The Evolutionary Basis of Literary Meaning, researchers Joseph Carroll, John Johnson, Daniel Kruger, and Jonathan Gottschall — who gave us the fascinating The Storytelling Animal earlier this week — embody Snow’s vision and bridge the gap between science and literary scholarship by borrowing from the evolutionary biology and modern data analytics to construct a model of human nature that explains the evolved psychology of character dynamics in nineteenth-century British novels. Using the framework of the model, they asked a sample of several hundred readers to give numerical ratings on 2,000 characters from 202 British novels, including all of Jane Austen’s. A few of the findings (PDF) follow, in unnecessarily ugly academic graphics. Donating = Loving Share on Tumblr

Top five regrets of the dying There was no mention of more sex or bungee jumps. A palliative nurse who has counselled the dying in their last days has revealed the most common regrets we have at the end of our lives. And among the top, from men in particular, is 'I wish I hadn't worked so hard'. Bronnie Ware is an Australian nurse who spent several years working in palliative care, caring for patients in the last 12 weeks of their lives. She recorded their dying epiphanies in a blog called Inspiration and Chai, which gathered so much attention that she put her observations into a book called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying. Ware writes of the phenomenal clarity of vision that people gain at the end of their lives, and how we might learn from their wisdom. Here are the top five regrets of the dying, as witnessed by Ware: 1. "This was the most common regret of all. 2. "This came from every male patient that I nursed. 3. "Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. 4. 5.