8-Year Study on High Performing Culture, The Best Type of Meditation, The Most Damaging Cognitive Bias
By Theo Winter
Bonjour! (We have two new team members from France joining our company, so I guess I’m going with it.)
Today's post continues our “round-up” series, designed to showcase informative and trending content from the last month or so, mainly revolving around self-development.
This bunch is admittedly pretty varied, covering psychology, meditation, sleep, productivity, economics, philosophy, and writing. It’s mostly anything that made me stop and think for a few minutes or spit out my coffee and yell "Sacre bleu!" (which I thought was a popular French expression for “Whoa holy cow, that’s completely bonkers!", but apparently the French rarely say this and you will look extremely silly in front of them if you do… just saying) — and because I have a soft spot for Science Fiction, I had to share the Kubrick article (explaining the meaning behind 2001: A Space Odyssey) which was my favourite thing I’ve read in months.
Voilà! (I’m told this means "here it is" and not "your food is ready").
An 8-Year Study Reveals the Key to a High-Performing Culture — and 8 Ways to Build It By Michael Schneider | Inc. | 18 July 2018
“[Paul J. Zak] spent eight years measuring brain activity and oxytocin levels (a powerful hormone that regulates interpersonal feelings tied to trust) while people worked. Not only did his research show that organisational trust is critical to performance, it also pointed out eight ways to build and quantify its existence in the workplace.”
Emotional Intelligence: The Social Skills You Weren't Taught In School By Eric Ravenscraft | Life Hacker | 9 July 2018
“You're taught about history, science and maths when you're growing up. Most of us, however, aren't taught how to identify or deal with our own emotions or the emotions of others. These skills can be valuable, but you'll never get them in a classroom.”
The 25 Best Productivity Apps for Mac in 2018 By Matthew Guay | Zapier | 16 July 2018
"From our years of working on Macs, here are our team’s 25 favorite Mac productivity apps, tools that will make your work more enjoyable and efficient.”
Two-Thirds Of Women In UK Suffer From Imposter Syndrome At Work By Karen Higginbottom | Forbes | 29 July 2018
"The study found that two-thirds of women say they’ve experienced imposter syndrome at work in the past 12 months. It also revealed that while men were far from immune from experiencing imposter syndrome, they were 18% less likely to do so than their female counterparts.”
The Cognitive Biases Tricking Your Brain By Ben Yagoda | The Atlantic | 6 August 2018
"Wikipedia’s 'List of cognitive biases' contains 185 entries [...] If I had to single out a particular bias as the most pervasive and damaging, it would probably be confirmation bias. That’s the effect that leads us to look for evidence confirming what we already think or suspect, to view facts and ideas we encounter as further confirmation, and to discount or ignore any piece of evidence that seems to support an alternate view."
Workplace Wellness Programs Don’t Work Well. Why Some Studies Show Otherwise. By Aaron E. Carroll | The New York Times | 6 August 2018
"This year, researchers published results from the Illinois Workplace Wellness Study, a large randomised controlled trial of a wellness program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Almost 5,000 employees volunteered to participate in the study... The results were disappointing. There seemed to be no causal effects.”
The 5 Most Impactful Findings From National Geographic’s ‘Science of Sleep’ Issue By Rebecca Muller | The Ladders | 3 August 2018
"Did you know one night of sleep actually consists of a series of cycles? In the first stage, we fall into sleep, which takes about five minutes. Then, our brain stays active in the second stage, as it fires into its editing process, deciding which memories to hold onto from the day. Since sleep reinforces memory, exhausted soldiers are actually advised not to go directly to bed if they just returned from a disturbing mission. In the third and fourth stages, we enter a deep sleep – a “physiological housekeeping” for our bodies. Then, in REM sleep, we experience dreams. Some scientists say our dreaming state is a psychotic state, as we can experience hallucinations and delusions."
Malcolm Gladwell: We Should All Be Disagreeable By OZY Editors | 1 August 2018
“If you don’t care one iota what your peers think of you, you are essentially a sociopath,” says Gladwell. “But it is also a precondition for doing things that are extraordinary.”
"… American entrepreneurship — in terms of new business formation — is as low as it’s been in four decades. And he thinks this may have something to do with having a generation of young people who have been raised to be too risk-averse, too solicitous of others’ feelings — too agreeable. Are we as a society, he asks, making it harder and harder for people to be disagreeable?"
What Type of Meditation Is Best for You? By Tania Singer | Greater Good | 2 July 2018
"One of the most in-depth meditation studies to date shows that different practices have different benefits."
"Ultimately, we found that the three training modules had very different effects on participants’ emotional and cognitive skills, well-being, and brains—which means that you can expect different benefits depending on the type of meditation practice you engage in.”
Can Economists and Humanists Ever Be Friends? By John Lanchester | The New Yorker | 23 July 2018
"Wait, though—surely signalling doesn’t account for everything? Hanson, in a recent podcast interview with Tyler Cowen, a colleague at George Mason University, was asked to give a 'short, quick and dirty' answer to the question of how much human behaviour 'ultimately can be traced back to some kind of signalling.' His answer: 'In a rich society like ours, well over 90%.' "
Is There More to Adam Smith Than Free Markets? By John Kay | 25 July 2018
"Those who know a little more of Smith know that he was also the author of The Theory of Moral Sentiments. In that work, the central characteristic of moral sensibility is 'sympathy'; we must judge our conduct as would an impartial spectator, and must acquire the ability 'to see ourselves as others see us'. Nineteenth-century German philosophers formulated 'das Adam Smith Problem'. How could the same man be author of a philosophical work in favour of altruism and an economic work in defence of individualism?”
Do You See A Duck or A Rabbit: Just What is Aspect Perception? By Stephen Law | Aeon | 31 July 2018
"The Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein used a duck-rabbit image in his posthumous Philosophical Investigations (1953) to illustrate what philosophers call aspect perception. The image can be seen in two ways – as either a duck or as a rabbit."
"… ‘seeing as’ is a philosophically rich topic that connects with – and can help to shed light on – many central questions in philosophy: questions about the nature of perception, about what it is to grasp meaning, and about rule-following."
Grammar Purity Is One Big Ponzi Scheme By June Casagrande | Lit Hub | 26 July 2018
"There is no official source of grammar prohibitions. For the English language, no one has the authority to lay down laws. Rules exist. It is possible to speak or write ungrammatically. It’s possible to be 'wrong.' But right and wrong derive from a far more powerful, albeit hard-to-pin-down source: us."
Hear Stanley Kubrick Explain the 2001: A Space Odyssey Ending In a Rare, Unearthed Video By Matt Miller | Esquire | 6 July 2018
"It's oddly a very simple answer for a film whose meaning has been debated for a half a century.”