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GRANTED: A newsletter for a new year
For some, a new year is a fresh start. For others, it's an arbitrary milestone. For me, it means getting to share my favorite articles on work and psychology twelve whole times, which is cause enough to celebrate. Here we go:
1. To Fall in Love, Do This
A psychologist finds that couples can stoke the flame of romance by asking increasingly personal questions and staring at each other for four minutes. Mandy Len Catron explores the fascinating science of attraction and intimacy.
2. The Authenticity Paradox
Leaders are often encouraged to "be authentic," but this can raise as many problems as it solves. Transparency can backfire, and embracing authenticity can seem, well, phony. In this important piece on the dangers of being true to yourself, Herminia Ibarra shares some real-world examples, evidence, and practical advice (Kumbaya and trust falls not included).
3. Coca-Cola Disconnects Voicemail at Headquarters
We're always reading about new technology additions in the workplace, but subtractions like this are just as important. Good riddance, voicemail! Duane Stanford shares the reasons behind the axing—how it reflects and will ultimately affect the behavior and productivity of the firm's employees. A silver lining: an end to the dreaded ritual of recording your name 19 times in the struggle to sound less like a robot.
4. Teams Turn to a Face Reader, Looking for That Winning Smile
Everyone knows what makes a star athlete: strength, agility, and... "robust social smiling"? Hmm. In the game of identifying valuable recruits, some teams are thinking outside the box—and above the neck—by bringing in facial-coding experts to analyze players' micro-expressions. Some think this is the next Moneyball; others who read this article by Kevin Randall may macro-roll their eyes.
5. Finally, Some Unflattering Research About Introverts
Two new studies shed some light on a previously unknown facet of introversion: the tendency to underrate the performance of their extraverted colleagues. Can't we all just get along? Depending on your personality type, this article from Carolyn Gregoire could either leave you feeling guilty or deeply suspicious, so read with caution.
6. Stress Makes You Work Harder for Rewards, But You Don't Feel Greater Pleasure
New research, described here by Elahe Izadi, addresses a rich topic with important potential implications for addiction and relapse. The study involved people dunking their hands in ice-cold water and frantically sniffing chocolate, which must have been fun to witness.
7. Best Charities for 2015
If you're looking to do some good in this new year, but you also want to know that you're doing it well, here's a great resource from The Life You Can Save, an organization dedicated to improving the world in a data-driven, cost-effective manner. They don't accept any donations themselves, but rather draw attention and funds toward charities making effective, efficient interventions.
From My Desk:
The 15 New Books to Read in 2015
Here's a sneak peek at some of the most interesting books to be released in the first half of the year. Whether you're interested in self-improvement or surprise, innovation or improv comedy, 2015 is sure to be a good year for book-readin'.
Speaking While Female
New studies reveal that women face a double bind when it comes to voice: stay silent and get no credit for your ideas, or speak up and risk punishment. In this op-ed with Sheryl Sandberg—our second in a series of four on women at work—we make a case for giving women the floor more often and making sure they're recognized for their contributions.
The Biggest Reason We Steal Other People's Ideas
You're a good person. You're honest, you generally recycle, you clearly have great taste in newsletters... but there's a solid chance that you've stolen someone else's idea at some point. And there's an equally good chance that you weren't even aware of it. Here, I unpack the psychological factors that put us at risk for the cleverly named phenomenon of kleptomnesia, and some strategies for avoiding it.
Thank you for reading—I hope you found something you enjoyed. Warm wishes for a wonderful start to 2015.