Sic Gloria in Transit on Monday

8 May 2016

Has it really been so long since there was a post here on the Mule? It would appear so and my only excuse is that I have been busy (isn’t everyone?). Even now, I have not pulled together a post myself but am once again leaning on the contributions of regular author, James Glover. From […]

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Cognitive dissonance

26 June 2011

Let’s say you think of yourself as a good person (bear with me for a moment if you don’t). Now you do something nasty to somebody. This leaves you with two contradictory thoughts in your mind: “I am good” and “I am nasty”. In George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, “doublethink” is quite routine, but in practice […]

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Language is a virus

22 March 2011

Language is a virus and we are its host. Some strains of language are virulent and spread rapidly. Others are weaker, struggling to infect their hosts and easily supplanted by stronger challengers. The natural habitat of the language virus is the social group. Some of the more obvious forms are schoolyard slang (what was unreal […]

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The Art of Conversation

26 July 2010

Have you ever heard the question “Would you like a tea or a coffee” answered with a simple “Yes”? If so, the respondent almost certainly considers their response to be extremely witty. It is, in fact, a violation of once of the general principles of conversation as expounded by the philosopher H.P.Grice.

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I have a love/hate relationship with psychometric testing

19 October 2009

A while ago, I had a bit of a rant in the post I Hate Personality Tests. Responding in this guest post, Maria Skarveli (who knows far more about psychology than I do) ponders personality testing phobia. As a psychology student belonging to the faculty of health and behavioural sciences which also harbours biology, medical […]

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Couch Potatoes

8 October 2008

A colleague has lent me a copy of Oliver James’ book “Affluenza” and, while I am not far through it yet, it is scathing in its damnation of the effects of capitalism on individuals in society. At a time when capitalism is rapidly losing it shine on a global scale, with the financial sector collapsing […]

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Last Word on Personality Tests

1 September 2008

While my recent post on personality testing attracted some unexpected attention (from an organiser of the course), it did also generate some interesting discussion. Some I have spoken to have found more value in personality tests like Myers-Briggs and HBDI than I have, while others shared my irritation. The reason I am posting again on […]

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I Hate Personality Tests

20 August 2008

Earlier this week I attended a training course that, once again, leaned heavily on colourful “HBDI profiles”. HBDI stands for “Herman Brain Dominance Indicator” and, much like the better-known Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), it is a personality test with a fancy name. I am lucky enough to have been subjected to both of these tests […]

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Why I Always Buy the Same Sandwich

21 May 2008

Until recently, I’d never given much thought to the fact that whenever I buy my lunch at the deli behind my office building, I always get the same sandwich. Then I started reading Dan Ariely‘s book Predictably Irrational and realised that I’d been “self-herding”.

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