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Showing posts from April, 2011

The Psychology of Cheating

'That is, low-level cheating may be natural and even productive in some situations; the brain naturally seeks useful shortcuts. But most people tend to follow rules they accept as fair, even when they have the opportunity and a strong incentive to break them.

In short, the move from small infractions to a deliberate pattern of deception or fraud is less an incremental slide than a deliberate strategy. And in most people it takes shape for personal, and often very emotional, reasons, psychologists say.

One of the most obvious of these is resentment of an authority or a specific rule. The evidence of this is easy enough to see in everyday life, with people flouting laws about cellphone use, smoking, the wearing of helmets. In studies of workplace behavior, psychologists have found that in situations where bosses are abusive, many employees withhold the unpaid extras that help an organization, like being courteous to customers or helping co-workers with problems.

Yet perhaps the most…

What Digvijaya doesn't know

Political parties must learn to understand the potency of perceptions. Just look west-ward. Barack reaching the White House had more to do with perceptions than anything else. A little over one-half Americans perceived Barack was the saviour and so got him elected. Now look what that's done to the country.

Perceptions can dictate what happens at the ballots. Digvijaya Singh of the Congress Party in India is one who can learn that lesson. His latest charge against the former KarnatakaLokAyukta head SantoshHegde isn't at all smart politics. For it further alienates an already alienated and charged voting public that's reached the end of its tether with corruption. Sure, SantoshHegde may not be well known around the country, but it doesn't really matter. The voting public will still see it as a politician trying to disrupt the LokPal bill.

Perceptions matters much in politics as in consumption. For a lot of what happens, and who gets voted in depends at times completely on …

Perceptions first, Learning next, and voila Attitudes follow!

Drudge is gunning after Trump. With clinical precision. The way he's doing it, there's lot marketers can learn from.

Yesterday the headline at Drudge Report screamed, 'TRUMP PRAISES OBAMA; BUSH EVIL'. Today the link to that story remains, What gets added are links to videos that have have Trump berating Obama. Trump in the video (interview with Hannity) says he thought Jimmy Carter was the worst President, but that now its Obama.

How are all these stories laid out on the site? One below the other with the links stating,





What Drudge is doing is first building 'perceptions' about Trump. With the headline yesterday. He then proceeds to release more material to 'teach' us more about Trump. What he's doing is getting us to know more, thus 'learn' more about Trump. Wha…

Bow Chicka Wow Wow

What the B-School surveys don't tell

The smartest thing about ET's latest B School survey is the timing. ET's made sure the survey is out at a time when everyone else (read Business Magazines) is still to come out with theirs for this year. This means the survey-clutter is minimal and so noticeability will be so much better.

As to the survey its the same old story. As usual, calls to ensure curriculum is global and industry oriented abound. So are calls to ethical business orientation being taught at business schools. Now I am confused about the latter. What does ethical mean in business? Does it mean businesses have to operate by the law? If yes, then its a question of legality, not ethics. If ethical means operating with a social consciousness, I hope it isn't socialism that's being taught at business schools. The way its done at the elite liberal b-schools in the West.

Also such surveys seem to conveniently miss mentioning the input-output cycle that keeps the top business schools in India afloat. Let m…

John Galt speaking

The other parts, here & here.

When the Honesty Show works

There's something cool about a man who isn't scared of admittance. Tell you what, I even think its a mark of super levels of security. Like Dhoni for example. His admittance to the Mohali wicket being misread and so the choice of Nehra illustrates as much the man's confidence in himself as his honesty. It requires courage to be honest. And courage comes easy of you're brimming with confidence. Of course, it also helps if you're 'wired' the brash-confident way. As they say, personality has much to do with your genes and social conditioning.

But then I must caution the use of 'blatant' honesty. Honesty works mostly in one-to-one people scenarios. Because it isn't just the words you speak that cause the impact. Its the way its said and the body language that you put on show. Honesty appears better if it isn't mere words that are used. In fact, your chances of encountering disbelief is greater should it just be words. Your body has to match up!


Socially Normal Sadness

'This growing division between liberalizing social norms on the one hand and ingrained emotional expectations on the other may account for some of the post-coital sadness. After all, depression is most often associated with feelings of disappointment when our expectations are not met. And this is all the more true of sex, which is itself an emotionally and physically charged activity.

The link between shifting social factors and psychological stress is not new. It has been well-documented that some males feel depressed about the changing gender roles in the work place and the fact that women are increasingly the breadwinners in traditional family structures. The changing nature of sexual habits therefore may also clash with traditional norms, thus increasing feelings of anxiety and disappointment when the behavior fails to live up to expectations...

When sex is abused as a drug – purely for pleasure – it creates a similar problem in the individual. Sexual arousal releases the hormon…

The antidote to Corruption

I am not surprised there's popular anger against corruption in India. But reasons attributed to this outpouring is misplaced. It isn't as you say people rising against the politician, instead its people reacting to what corruption's done to their everyday lives. Meaning, there probably aren't too many government services in India that you can avail without a bribe. Imagine that. Government servants eat taxpayer money when they take home salaries, and then they proceed to bite the hand that feeds by eliciting money from the taxpayer when they need to get something done.

So there, its people fed up with what government has done to their lives that's gotten them to rise up in protest.

Now is this good news? I am not sure. A trip to church last Sunday morning and the number of misconducts that I witnessed on Bangalore roads, and I know the desire to blatantly violate rules is embedded deep in the Indian psyche. Drivers jumping lights, cutting lanes, honking at vehicles a…

Must see Movie - Soul Surfer

Is it love

The Bill I would fast for

My problem with the Jan Lokpal Bill doesn't lie as much in what the bill intends to do. Instead its the concept of 'regulation' that doesn't cut much ice with me. Regulation, either by the government or representatives of civil society never did any society any good.

Which means I am not about to throw in my towel with a proposed body called the Jan Lokpal. I can't for a moment be convinced anybody's really concerned with MY welfare. And if by any chance someone's promising me my welfare, I'd say, take your wares elsewhere. I ain't the the kind that believes in pipe-dreams!

Now does that mean I believe society has no chance at real prosperity? Of course not! Nations can thrive! But for that they need to introduce the only regulator I am willing to trust! Competition!

Competition is the only chance society has at bettering the lives of its people. And competition can dawn only if we promote FREE MARKETS! As Stossel writes, 'businesses love to have …

With this win, India's arrived? Hardly!

I know it'll be some time before the dust settles and the jingoism dies down on India's historic world cup win. But that I guess is no reason for near senile acts by governments across states in India.

Government dipping into their reserves to dole out crores of money to the victorious cricketers means you and I have had our tax money go to guys who are otherwise stinking rich. It also means something that you and I had to benefit from in the form of social expenditure has now gone up in smoke. Imagine the disturbing irony. People starve to death in this country and rich cricketers are being handed out a crore of rupees here, and a crore there, as if its peanuts that's being distributed. Note, I have zero problems with BCCI paying cricketers whatever they think is their due. Its government money I am peeved about.

But then again I am not surprised. After all, when has government been known to manage our money well? Again, logically they aren't supposed to. It isn't t…

What Love means

If there's one thing that's learnt most in raising kids, its patience. Though kids are wired to be playful and naughty, at times its bound to get to you. And then you snap and hopefully not out of control. Tell you what, I am most disappointed in me if I can't rein in myself, with Jaden. I think there's no excuse to lose it, because kids will be kids. Though let me add, discipline is as important as letting kids be. Note, I've talked about the wisdom of balance before.

Being patient is also an act of love. As Apostle Paul says, 'Love is patient, Love is kind...'. Now patience is common in personal territory. Not so when the scene turns impersonal. Like when its a customer engagement scenario. We are far less patient when we deal with marketers. We demand that we be served, because there's a price we are paying. We strictly see such scenarios as transactional ones and so we insist we get our due. And if it doesn't happen, patience goes out of the win…

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