Friends and other influencers

Birds of a feather flock together. Aesop c. 550 B.C. Today, I want to talk about ethics and behavior. Do you think your moral choices are influenced by the people you consider friends? If so, what about people who only have a remote connection to you? Do you believe they can influence your behavior? Before I answer these questions, I want to share an experiment carried out at Carnegie Mellon University by professors Francesca Gino (Harvard), Shahar Ayal (IDC Herzliya in Israel) and Dan Ariely (Duke University). The experiment involved college students completing an ability-based task under time pressure: students …
Continue reading…

You win, I lose

But I like not these great success of yours; for I know how jealous are the gods. Herodotus 484 BC – 409 BC I’ve noticed a worrying trend lately among different people and groups: the habit of viewing another person’s victory as a personal defeat. Don’t get me wrong; it’s perfectly understandable to be disappointed if you and another person are directly competing for an award, promotion, or other accolade and you don’t win. In that case, the natural reaction when learning the news is to consider how the outcome affects you. The problem arises when someone’s victory has no direct bearing on you, …
Continue reading…

Four questions to reclaim your time

A ‘no’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘yes’ merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble. Mahatma Gandhi 1869 – 1948 On some level, we each realize that we can’t do it all; we have a limited number of hours per day and a limited amount of energy. But we still try to do as much as possible, and we tend to feel guilty or beat ourselves up when we miss an opportunity or fail to complete an impossible to-do list. This issue seems to be particularly troublesome during the holidays; we have so many additional tasks and opportunities …
Continue reading…