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  • September 24, 2011
  • 01:09 PM

Etruscan Rite & Roman Religion

by Cris Campbell in Genealogy of Religion

“Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains.”
With this famous sentence, Jean-Jacques Rousseau begins his masterful critique of political power. Less well known is another sentence from The Social Contract (1762): “No State has ever been founded without Religion serving as its base.”
My reading of history is that Rousseau was right. State-formation [...]... Read more »

Briquel, Dominique. (2007) Tages Against Jesus: Etruscan Religion in Late Roman Empire. Etruscan Studies, 10(1), 153-161. info:/

  • September 23, 2011
  • 09:32 AM

Urban forests just aren’t the same

by Tim De Chant in Per Square Mile

If you were a squirrel living in Southeastern Wisconsin, you’d be pleasantly surprised by the state of things. In many places, there are as many—if not more—trees than there were 200 years ago. But that rosy image doesn’t tell the entire story. Comparing the forests that cover the cities and suburbs around Milwaukee—and likely in [...]... Read more »

  • September 22, 2011
  • 11:59 AM

I Can't Get No Job Satisfaction

by Duncan Hull in O'Really?

Job satisfaction is like a complex mathematical equation that needs to be balanced. There are many factors that contribute to the mix, both good and bad. Hopefully the good things about a job will outweigh the bad. But what are the good things that contribute to the elusive but crucial job satisfaction?... Read more »

Ariely, D., Gneezy, U., Loewenstein, G., & Mazar, N. (2009) Large Stakes and Big Mistakes. Review of Economic Studies, 76(2), 451-469. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-937X.2009.00534.x  

  • September 22, 2011
  • 11:48 AM

Commodity Traitors: Financial Speculation on Commodities Fuels Global Insecurity

by Eric Michael Johnson in The Primate Diaries

“Food is always more or less in demand,” wrote Adam Smith in The Wealth of Nations. While the founder of modern capitalism pointed out that the wealthy consume no more food than their poor neighbors, because the “desire of food is limited in every man by the narrow capacity of the human stomach,” the desire [...]

... Read more »

Marco Lagi, Yavni Bar-Yam, Karla Z. Bertrand, & Yaneer Bar-Yam. (2011) The Food Crises: A quantitative model of food prices including speculators and ethanol conversion. New England Complex Systems Institute. info:/

  • September 22, 2011
  • 09:25 AM

Careful, Your Animation May Be Promoting Hindsight

by Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm in Persuasive Litigator

Standing in front of a legal fact-finder you need to visually persuade and you also need to defeat the psychological biases that can harm your case. But here is a terrible thought: What if one of the best tools of visual persuasion has the unintended side-effect of promoting an often-harmful psychological bias? Well, the bad news according to recent studies is it does. This post takes a look at the research, as well as the recommendations on creating animations that teach without biasing. ... Read more »

Florian Fessel and Neal J. Roese. (2011) Hindsight Bias, Visual Aids, and Legal Decision Making: Timing is Everything. Social and Personality Psychology Compass , 5(4), 180-193. info:/

  • September 22, 2011
  • 09:14 AM

Degeneracy, Evolution and Language

by Wintz in A Replicated Typo 2.0


Having had several months off, I thought I’d kick things off by looking at a topic that’s garnered considerable interest in evolutionary theory, known as degeneracy. As a concept, degeneracy is a well known characteristic of biological systems, and is found in the genetic code (many different nucleotide sequences encode a polypeptide) and immune responses (populations . . . → Read More: Degeneracy, Evolution and Language... Read more »

  • September 22, 2011
  • 06:30 AM

Students don't lose their ability to think scientifically

by Marie-Claire Shanahan in Boundary Vision

Taking a critical look at assertions that children are natural scientists who lose their abilities as they mature.... Read more »

  • September 21, 2011
  • 02:09 PM

Consciousness, Dreams & The Supernatural

by Cris Campbell in Genealogy of Religion

The notion of binaries or opposites is deeply entrenched in Western culture and thought. Although it seems perfectly natural to perceive and categorize the world in terms of dichotomies (black-white, either-or), what seems natural is actually learned. Our teacher in this regard is Aristotle, who was so impressed by the Pythagorean Table of Opposites that [...]... Read more »

  • September 21, 2011
  • 02:25 AM

Antidepressants In The UK

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

Antidepressant sales have been rising for many years in Western countries, as regular Neuroskeptic readers  will remember.Most of the studies on antidepressant use come from the USA and the UK, although the pattern also seems to hold for other European countries. The rapid rise of antidepressants from niche drugs to mega-sellers is perhaps the single biggest change in the way medicine treats mental illness since the invention of psychiatric drugs.But while a rise in sales has been observed ........ Read more »

Lockhart, P. and Guthrie, B. (2011) Trends in primary care antidepressant prescribing 1995–2007. British Journal of General Practice. info:/

  • September 20, 2011
  • 08:55 AM

The Downside of College Rankings

by Eric Horowitz in peer-reviewed by my neurons

The new U.S. News and World Report college rankings were released last week and Andrew Hacker and Claudia Dreyfus have a nice rundown of why they should be taken with a grain of salt. Of course the real problem with the rankings is not that they are inaccurate or based on accounting gimmicks, it’s that [...]... Read more »

Espeland, W. N., and M. Sauder. (2007) Rankings and reactivity: How public measures recreate social worlds. American Journal of Sociology, 1-40. info:/

  • September 19, 2011
  • 03:29 PM

Seeing is believing?

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

I am slowly wending my way through a long, complex and incredibly important article by a group of researchers and clinicians writing about the social element of pain.  The basic premise of this paper is that while pain is a private experience, we are social creatures.  As social creatures, we communicate about things that are … Read more... Read more »

Hadjistavropoulos, T., Craig, K., Duck, S., Cano, A., Goubert, L., Jackson, P., Mogil, J., Rainville, P., Sullivan, M., de C. Williams, A.... (2011) A biopsychosocial formulation of pain communication. Psychological Bulletin. DOI: 10.1037/a0023876  

  • September 19, 2011
  • 07:02 AM

Does wondering about co-worker sexual preference impair concentration?

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

This is one of those studies that rubs me the wrong way. It really is not your business if your colleague is gay or not. And why would you worry about it to the point it has negative impact on your math ability? But evidently, many folks do. Researchers had 27 male UCLA undergraduates placed in [...]

Related posts:The Danger of Stereotyping: Does Gay + Black = Likable?
Wearing your religion on your face
Lighter Skin, More Like Me
... Read more »

Everly, B., Shih, M., & Ho, G. (2011) Don’t ask, Don’t Tell? Does disclosure of gay identity affect partner performance? . Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. info:/

  • September 19, 2011
  • 06:26 AM

How to break free of the wrong career

by Fiona Beukes in Ona76

I’m so glad that I have found Herminia Ibarra (2002) articles. She has a lot of useful comments on personal and career development. She is also very practically focused, which suits my EBI requirements. Ibarra (2002) also has a different take on the whole career redevelopment approach, which is outlined in her Harvard Business Review article [...]... Read more »

Ibarra H. (2002) How to stay stuck in the wrong career. Harvard business review, 80(12), 40. PMID: 12510536  

Kolb, D.A., & Fry, R. (1975) Towards an Applied Theory of experiential learning. Theories of Group Processes, 33-57. info:/

  • September 18, 2011
  • 08:29 PM

Account for the Graying of Your Jury Pool

by Persuasion Strategies in Persuasive Litigator

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm - In a recent viral video on YouTube an old couple peers into a computer webcam, trying to figure out how to operate the device, not realizing that they are recording themselves. Beyond providing a charming vignette, the clip might also be seen as a window into the future of the American jury. As the pool of eligible and available jurors continues to get older, there are a few things to take into account, and a few misconceptions that the research tells us to set aside. Old........ Read more »

Darrell Worthy, Marissa Gorlick, Jennifer Pacheco, David Schnyer, W. Todd Maddox. (2011) With Age Comes Wisdom: Decision-Making in Younger and Older Adults. Psychological Science. info:/

  • September 16, 2011
  • 03:15 PM

Evolved for Arrogance

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

Why does nature allow us to lie to ourselves? Humans are consistently and bafflingly overconfident. We consider ourselves more skilled, more in control, and less vulnerable to danger than we really are. You might expect evolution to have weeded out the brawl-starters and the X-Gamers from the gene pool and left our species with a firmer grasp of our own abilities. Yet our arrogance persists.

In a new paper published in Nature, two political scientists say they've figured out the reason. There's........ Read more »

Johnson, D., & Fowler, J. (2011) The evolution of overconfidence. Nature, 477(7364), 317-320. DOI: 10.1038/nature10384  

  • September 16, 2011
  • 07:02 AM

Tethered, multi-tasking, or just life?

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

When I was in graduate school, I carried a beeper for my job. I hated that thing. I felt like I was on a tether and constantly available to everyone. Even when it didn’t alert me to call someone, I was constantly expecting it would. It was horrible. Now, when I consider that angst-filled attitude, [...]

Related posts:Simple Workaholic Persuasion: How to really take a vacation
Between Coddling and Contempt: Managing and Mentoring Millennials
... Read more »

  • September 15, 2011
  • 11:35 AM

Protect Your Jury From the Poison of the Crowd

by Persuasion Strategies in Persuasive Litigator

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm - Crowds can be scary things. At a debate this past Monday (September 9th), Republican Presidential candidate, Ron Paul, was asked if his stance against government mandated health insurance would dictate denying care to a hypothetical man who found himself in a coma without the benefit of catastrophic health insurance. "Are you saying," Wolf Blitzer asked, "that society should just let him die?" In response, a chorus of voices from the audience shouted "yeah!" Less than a w........ Read more »

Lorenz J, Rauhut H, Schweitzer F, & Helbing D. (2011) How social influence can undermine the wisdom of crowd effect. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 108(22), 9020-5. PMID: 21576485  

  • September 14, 2011
  • 01:12 PM

Neolithic Death & Paleolithic Life

by Cris Campbell in Genealogy of Religion

It is well known that the modern world religions which trace their origins to the Axial Age are centrally concerned with death. Some might call this concern an obsession. Of these world religions, only Hinduism does not have Axial roots. This is not to say that “Hinduism” (which is neither singular nor unified) was unaffected [...]... Read more »

Blackburn, Stuart H. (1985) Death and Deification: Folk Cults in Hinduism. History of Religions, 24(3), 255-274. info:/

  • September 14, 2011
  • 01:00 PM

Salvaging disturbed forests may not save biodiversity

by Tim De Chant in Per Square Mile

Never buy a car with a salvage title. Anyone who has ever driven a car after a major accident can tell you why—it’s just not the same as before the crash. Though all the parts might be in the right place and the paint just as shiny as before, there’s invariably some new rattle, shake, [...]... Read more »

Gibson, L., Lee, T., Koh, L., Brook, B., Gardner, T., Barlow, J., Peres, C., Bradshaw, C., Laurance, W., Lovejoy, T.... (2011) Primary forests are irreplaceable for sustaining tropical biodiversity. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/nature10425  

  • September 14, 2011
  • 09:43 AM

How can you frame a compelling career-change story?

by Fiona Beukes in Ona76

After being side-tracked by my last B821: Financial Strategy assignment last week, and life in general, I’m back on the personal EBI case. Following  on from Drucker’s ideas for managing oneself better, I turned to Herminia Ibarra for further guidance on framing my career-after-MBA direction. Ibarra and Lineback (2005) in their article “What’s your Story?” [...]... Read more »

Ibarra H, & Lineback K. (2005) What's your story?. Harvard business review, 83(1), 64-71. PMID: 15697114  

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