Month: April 2014

Life Satisfaction, Happiness, & Saving Money

Curated by CLAI

LIFE SATISFACTION V. HAPPINESS: Life satisfaction does not equate to happiness. For you can reasonably be satisfied with your life even if you think your life is going badly for you, and even if you feel bad. To be satisfied is just to regard your life as going well enough — it is satisfactory. You might think even a hard slog through a joyless existence is good enough. It sure beats being dead, and maybe you feel you have no right to complain about what God, or fate, has given you.

Men Outside Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey

Men Outside Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey (Credits: Christine Lai)

WOMEN NEED TO SAVE MORE: Women can more easily outlive their savings then men.

  1. Women make less money than men on average; when they stop working, their monthly Social Security checks are smaller, too.
  2. Also, women tend to live longer than men.

Lesson: Start saving more and earlier.

Don’t Be Hangry! Eat and Sleep

Curated by CLAI

HANGRY AT YOUR SPOUSE: Hangry, which is a combination of the words hungry and angry, may be due to low blood sugar as the underlying cause of hunger-induced crankiness. A study assessed the quality of couples’ relationships by sending each volunteer with a voodoo doll of their spouse, 51 pins, and taught them how to measure their blood sugar. Every night before they went to bed they should stab the doll with pins depending on how angry they were with their spouse. So the more pins they put in the doll, the angrier they were with their spouse.

  • Volunteers who had low levels of blood glucose stuck more pins in the voodoo dolls than those who had high levels of blood glucose. People with the lowest blood sugar levels stuck more than twice as many pins in the voodoo dolls, compared to people with the highest levels.
  • The take-home message would be to make sure you’re not hungry when you talk about important issues with your spouse.


Voodoo Doll of Spouse

Voodoo Doll of Spouse (Credits: Brad Bushman)

SLEEP: We want to sleep more now not because we value sleep more on its own terms, but because we are so fixated on productivity.

Do You Look Intelligent? Smile More. Hips Don’t Lie.

Curated by CLAI

WANT TO LOOK SMARTER? BE MORE ATTRACTIVE & SMILE! There is a strong relationship between how attractive a person was rated, and reviewers’ assumptions about how intelligent they were. However, reviewers were able to accurately gauge the real intelligence of men, but not of women. The finding of a much stronger relationship between attractiveness and perceived intelligence among women seems to back up this claim.

  • Visual assessments of a persons’ intelligence seem to largely be based on stereotypes related, at least partially, to notions of attractiveness. In both sexes, a narrower face with a thinner chin and a larger prolonged nose characterizes the predicted stereotype of high-intelligence, while a rather oval and broader face with a massive chin and a smallish nose characterizes the prediction of low-intelligence.
  • Being attractive “helps you earn more money, find a higher-earning spouse (and one who looks better, too!) and get better deals on mortgages.” The lifetime earnings difference between people at opposite ends of the attractiveness spectrum averages out to about $230,000, in beauty’s favor.
  • There seems to be a correlation between semblances of emotions of joy or anger in perceptions of high or low intelligence in faces, respectively. The ‘high intelligence’ faces appear to be smiling more than the ‘low intelligence’ faces.

    Male Intelligence Stereotypes

    Male Intelligence Stereotypes (Credit: Kleisner K, Chvátalová V, Flegr J (2014) Perceived Intelligence Is Associated with Measured Intelligence in Men but Not Women. PLoS ONE)

Female Intelligence Stereotypes

Female Intelligence Stereotypes (Credit: Kleisner K, Chvátalová V, Flegr J (2014) Perceived Intelligence Is Associated with Measured Intelligence in Men but Not Women. PLoS ONE)

WHAT WOMEN WANT ON THE DANCE FLOOR: For men, hips don’t lie and arms don’t matter. Larger and more variable movements of the head, neck, and torso + speed of leg movements are key indicators of dancing ability. There is no relation between arm movement and perceived dancing ability.

Hips Don't Lie for Men

Hips Don’t Lie for Men (Washington Post)

Spot the Liar and Smoker

Curated by CLAI

SPOT THE LIAR: Most people think liars give themselves away by averting their eyes or making nervous gestures, and many law-enforcement officers have been trained to look for specific tics, like gazing upward in a certain manner. But in scientific experiments, people do a lousy job of spotting liars.

  • Law-enforcement officers and other presumed experts are not consistently better at it than ordinary people even though they’re more confident in their abilities.
  • There’s no evidence that these efforts have stopped a single terrorist or accomplished much beyond inconveniencing tens of thousands of passengers a year. The T.S.A. seems to have fallen for a classic form of self-deception: the belief that you can read liars’ minds by watching their bodies.
  • Researchers have found that the best clues to deceit are verbal — liars tend to be less forthcoming and tell less compelling stories — but even these differences are usually too subtle to be discerned reliably.
Spot the liar

Spot the Liar (NYTIMES)

WHO SMOKES? The national smoking rate has declined steadily, but there is a deep geographic divide. In the affluent suburbs of Washington, only about one in 10 people smoke. But in impoverished places like this — Clay County, in eastern Kentucky — nearly four in 10 do.

Americans with a high school education or less make up 40 percent of the population, but they account for 55 percent of the nation’s 42 million smokers.

SELF-PROMOTION: 4 Rules for Negotiating a Job Offer & Backdating Your Resume

Curated by CLAI

AMERICAN SELF-PROMOTION: The United States is the most overtly self-promotional country in the world. Overall, American professionals are often quite comfortable promoting themselves, especially in a business environment — and that behavior is actively encouraged as a sign of competence and self-confidence. That’s simply not true in most other countries and cultures, from East Asia to Latin America to most of Europe. Even in the United Kingdom, where we share a language, has revealed that overt, American-style self-promotion is taboo.


Self-promotion (Jodie Llewellyn)

15 Rules for Negotiating a Job Offer: (1) Don’t underestimate the importance of likability. (2) Negotiate multiple issues simultaneously, not serially.” If there are four things you want, mention them all at once, and let the employer know the relative importance of each one. (3) Consider the whole deal, not just salary. And avoid ultimatums. (4) Don’t negotiate just to negotiate.

BACKDATE YOUR RESUME: Much of our thinking about our careers and our purpose in the world is about looking forward, thinking about how to make progress toward our ultimate goals. The beauty of uncovering your past is that you are afforded the chance to create a sturdier, truer road map for where you want to be. Backdating your resume lets you look forward and back so you can tap into your full story to inform your career choices.