Next time you need to discuss something with your boss while not telling him off, or you’re headed to the candy store with a credit card, consider chugging some water beforehand. Your brain will thank your bladder.
Billy Joel sang about his “uptown girl.” Jim Croce warned us about “bad, bad Leroy Brown,” who lived on the South Side of Chicago, “the baddest part of town.” In some cities, uptown is genuinely nicer than downtown, but might people have a general bias to prefer northern areas over southern in any city?
I finally watched inception last night. If you're interested in the mechanics of the subconscious, it's a must-see, both expository and provocative. But it's based on the premise that discreetly planting ideas in people's heads ("inception") is much harder than discreetly extracting ideas. It seems to me that they got this reversed.
Yesterday I went to "Your Brain on the Internet," a discussion that was part of the New Yorker Festival. I got at least one $30 idea out of the deal: The computer scientist Jaron Lanier noted, almost in passing, that the people he knows don't achieve creativity by trying to do something novel. They achieve it by being more themselves.
Yesterday's World Cup Final between Spain and the Netherlands nearly ended in a penalty shootout. If it had, the kickers and keepers would have done well to know about these bits of psychological research on penalty kicks.
During one of the poster sessions at this year's Annual Meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, I spotted a poster titled "Do Social Psychologists Cause Priming Research, or Does Priming Research Cause Social Psychologists?" by Arina K. Bones and Sam Gosling. They use some creative research methods, and their findings may surprise you.