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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How old is the Mule?

12 September 2010

According to one automated blog analyser, I am rather older than I thought I was: is probably written by a male somewhere between 66-100 years old. The writing style is academic and upset most of the time The gender is correct and academic writing style I can accept, but I am not so sure […]

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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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