Archive for January, 2010
A co-worker and I the other day were discussing how to get hit by a train. (Never mind how we got on the subject. Conversations in hospitals can take strange turns.) I brought up something that a guy I used to know — he worked for Amtrak, and still does, I think — told me: you can’t tell how fast a train is coming at you if you’re standing in front of it. People on a track see a train coming, they think they have lots of time, but they don’t.
Then I read this article, which fleshes out the brain’s perception of time in threatening situations:
Finally, the effect might be due to the intrinsic dynamic properties of the stimulus, such that the brain estimates time based on the number of changes in an event.
Of particular relevance to the third hypothesis is the observation that looming stimuli are associated with a distorted subjective perception of time, such that their duration is perceived to be longer than it actually is. Marc Wittmann and his colleagues exploited this in their new study. They recruited 20 participants…
For more information on how to work with someone’s perception of time, go read Does time dilate during a threatening situation?
This is from Fail Blog, but I’m not so sure it isn’t a Win.
Someone dear to me loves her thesaurus. When I read To A Thesaurus today on the Futility Closet blog, I thought of her. Then I thought of you guys! Here’s the first verse:
O precious code, volume, tome,
Book, writing, compilation, work,
Attend the while I pen a pome,
A jest, a jape, a quip, a quirk.
We’ve intuited for ages that faces reflect personalities, and that we can “tell just by looking at them” what a person is really like. Some new research is bearing out our intuition, at least in the domain of aggression:
Volunteers viewed photographs of faces of men for whom aggressive behavior was previously assessed in the lab. The volunteers rated how aggressive they thought each person was on a scale of one to seven after viewing each face for either 2000 milliseconds or 39 milliseconds.
The photographs were very revealing: Volunteers’ estimates of aggression correlated highly with the actual aggressive behavior of the faces viewed, even if they saw the picture for only 39 milliseconds.
Facial Features May Predict Volatility is on Psych Central.
A recent article on the Lingformant blog points to some compelling new research on how we parse gestures:
Your ability to make sense of Groucho’s words and Harpo’s pantomimes in an old Marx Brothers movie takes place in the same regions of your brain, says new research funded by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), one of the National Institutes of Health.
You can read the synopsis at Words, Gestures Are Translated by Same Brain Regions.
OK, so it isn’t NLP-related, but I know there are those of us who run trainings and who manage practice groups and such, and there are times when it’s useful to have professional-looking name tags for the folks in the room. So I’d like to draw your attention to FreeNameTags.net. They have more than 60 ready-to-use printable name tags that you can download and print for free. (They take Avery 5395 or compatible adhesive labels, or plain paper.)
Incidentally, the folks who run that site have lots of other free printable stuff for your business, too.
Sorry… there’s just no better title for this post. I’m talking about the punctuation mark that looks like : .
The high points are the following nine, though there are a few more:
- To introduce a list
- To introduce direct speech
- When showing an example
- To offer a conclusion
- To explain something more fully
- To Introduce a subtitle
- As a substitution for a conjunction
- To link independent clauses
- To Introduce a question
(Hey, I used one to introduce a list!)
Get the full story at The DumbLittleMan Guide to Colon Use.
Cognitive Daily recently posted some research that may give us an easier way to improve our ability to tell when other people are lying to us:
But what if there was a shortcut in sniffing out a lie, relying on our own instinctual behavior? Would it be possible to improve the lie-detecting abilities of ordinary people without all that training? A team led by Mariëlle Stel had a hunch that our tendency to mimic the physical and facial expressions of the people we are speaking to might help us to tell when they are lying.
It isn’t what you are probably thinking. I think you’ll be surprised. Check it out:
Eyes for Lies points to a sweet video by Dr. David Matsumoto, “Characteristics of Basic Emotions”. In it, Dr. Matsumoto explains the differences between the seven “basic” or “universal” emotions and the rest.
Amanda Ripley, author of the truly excellent book, The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes – and Why, is, it appears, also interested in the education of children. In a very recent blog post titled “What Makes a Teacher Great?“, she refers us to some conclusions on the subject:
Finally, we can identify extraordinary teachers—with data, not hearsay—and investigate what they are doing differently. We can even make more of them. The question is, Will we?
Her blog entry points to an extensive and well-written article in The Atlantic, also written by Ms. Ripley.
(See also: Teach for America)
Do you know any teachers like this?