Category Archives: Psychology

First Principles: Internalization

As a 10 year old, I was barely taller than a washing machine and I weighed less than half as much.  But I was fast, so I played on a competitive soccer team.  Or, more accurately, I played when the bigger, stronger, … Continue reading

Posted in Advice, Psychology, Self-Improvement, Tips | 1 Comment

Cost v. Benefit

It turns out, crime does pay.  Just not very much: The basic problem is the average haul from a bank job: for the three-year period, it was only £20,330.50 (~$31,613). And it gets worse, as the average robbery involved 1.6 … Continue reading

Posted in Advice, Choice, Food For Thought, Productivity, Psychology | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Scammer’s Logic

Why do “Nigerian” scammers say they’re from Nigeria?  After all, if you were running a widely known scam, wouldn’t you vary the details so you had a better chance of fooling a wider audience? Probably not.  In an interesting paper … Continue reading

Posted in Food For Thought, Marketing, Money, Persuasion, Productivity, Psychology, Rationality | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Hard Work Is Never Wasted

In school, a lot of kids ask “When will I ever need to know this?”  Why do I need to know how to solve for x?  Who cares whether Amenhotep or Ramesses ruled Egypt first?  When will I ever need … Continue reading

Posted in Advice, Art, Business, Creativity, Food For Thought, Inspiration, Psychology, Rationality, Self-Improvement | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Freedom, Responsibility, and Child Rearing

The New Yorker asks why American kids lack the responsibility so evident in children of (some) other cultures.  The article concludes that an adolescence of parental fixing, making sure everything is perfect and the kid never fails, results in a … Continue reading

Posted in Advice, Choice, Food For Thought, Leading, Psychology, Rationality, Relationships, Self-Improvement | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Magic Bullets

From an ESPN piece on Ryan Lochte, who is looking to spoil Michael Phelps’ final Olympics next month: “I’m not the most talented swimmer,” Lochte adds. “So I try to outwork everyone else.” It’s Sunday. A day of rest. The … Continue reading

Posted in Advice, Food For Thought, Inspiration, Productivity, Psychology, Quotes, Self-Improvement, Tips | Tagged , | Leave a comment

On Character

In Britain, it’s a crime to display a sign that is “threatening or abusive or insulting” with the intent to provoke “distress”, even if that sign is displayed in your own window.  The local constabulary explained that citizens, “in the … Continue reading

Posted in Choice, Food For Thought, Law, Psychology, Quotes | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The $144,146,165 Button

Tiny changes can have massive results. Need proof?  Three buttons in a cab can increase tips 220%.

Posted in Art, Business, Creativity, Food For Thought, Inspiration, Marketing, Persuasion, Psychology | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Attitude

Attitudes are infectious. It’s why the happy, gregarious guy is always the life of the party and the center of attention.  Everyone wants some of that happiness.  It’s also why everyone avoids the depressed, quiet guy.  It’s actually easier to … Continue reading

Posted in Advice, Choice, Food For Thought, Inspiration, Leading, Persuasion, Psychology, Rationality, Relationships | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Being Smarter Doesn’t Mean You Make Better Decisions

In fact, being smarter might actually lead you to make worse decisions. Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman and his scientists measured students on four different points of “cognitive sophistication”.  All four of those measurements were positively correlated with intelligence, meaning that the “more cognitively … Continue reading

Posted in Advice, Choice, Food For Thought, Psychology, Quotes, Rationality | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

There Is No Speed Limit

Most of the world is designed for the lowest common denominator.  Schools are designed to impart a set amount of knowledge to a diverse group of kids each year.  It doesn’t much matter how smart you are, how interested you … Continue reading

Posted in Advice, Art, Business, Choice, Food For Thought, Inspiration, Psychology, Self-Improvement | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Spin

[Tom Sawyer] had discovered a great law of human action, without knowing it – namely, that in order to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to attain. – … Continue reading

Posted in Advice, Art, Business, Creativity, Inspiration, Marketing, Negotiation, Psychology, Quotes, Rationality | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Story Basics, According to Pixar

Pixar story artist Emma Coats tweeted a series of “story basics” she had picked up during her tenure at Pixar.  These were generously compiled by The Pixar Touch: #1: You admire a character for trying more than for their successes. … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Creativity, Food For Thought, Inspiration, Marketing, Persuasion, Psychology, Quotes | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Why Drama

Derek Sivers recounts the time Kurt Vonnegut explained why people concoct drama: People have been hearing fantastic stories since time began. The problem is, they think life is supposed to be like the stories. Let’s look at a very common … Continue reading

Posted in Choice, Food For Thought, Leading, Psychology, Quotes, Rationality | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Eggs

How you eat your eggs is a good barometer for how you live your life. There are people who do nothing but grab a plain hard boiled egg as they run out of the house in the morning.  Their eggs … Continue reading

Posted in Advice, Choice, Creativity, Food For Thought, Inspiration, Psychology, Self-Improvement | Tagged , , | Leave a comment