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How to reduce error in predicting employee performance

How to Take the Bias Out of Interviews

If you’re a hiring manager, you’re probably happiest getting a sense of a candidate through unstructured interviews, which allow you to randomly explore details you think are interesting and relevant. (What does the applicant think of her past employer? Does she like Chicago? What does she do in her downtime?) After all, isn’t your job to get to know the candidate? But while unstructured interviews consistently receive the highest ratings for perceived effectiveness from hiring managers, dozens of studies have found them to be among the worst predictors of actual on-the-job performance — far less reliable than general mental ability tests, aptitude tests, or personality tests. ….[READ]

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The velvet rope economy

In an Age of Privilege, Not Everyone Is in the Same Boat

Behind a locked door aboard Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest ship is a world most of the vessel’s 4,200 passengers will never see. And that is exactly the point. In the Haven, as this ship within a ship is called, about 275 elite guests enjoy not only a concierge and 24-hour butler service, but also a private pool, sun deck and restaurant, creating an oasis free from the crowds elsewhere on the Norwegian Escape. If Haven passengers venture out of their aerie to see a show, a flash of their gold key card gets them the best seats in the house. When the ship returns to port, they disembark before everyone else. ….[READREAD]

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Why do rich people hate taxes?

How to persuade rich people to pay more in taxes: remind them how lucky they are

Stephen Schwarzman — CEO of Blackstone, the fabled private equity firm — lives well. He made the news in 2007 when he staged a $3 million 60th birthday party for himself and several hundred of his closest friends at the Armory on Park Avenue. According to Gawker’s coverage of the event, “Rod Stewart was paid $1 million to perform for the assembled guests; Patti LaBelle sang ‘Happy Birthday.’ And the room was designed to replicate Schwarzman’s $40 million co-op at 740 Park Avenue.” But Schwarzman believes the government is taking far too much of “his” money. He, like many other superrich people, hates paying taxes. ….[READ]

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Do psychologists know how to use probability?

Irrational? Decisions and decision making in context

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of Fooled by Randomness: Finally put my finger on what is wrong with the common belief in psychological findings that people “irrationally” overestimate tail probabilities, calling it a “bias”. Simply, these experimenters assume that people make a single decision in their lifetime! The entire field of psychology of decisions missed the point. His argument seems to be that risks seem different if you view them from a lifetime perspective, where you might make choices about the same risk again and again, rather than consider as one-offs. ….[READ]

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How computer affects learning

Attention, Students: Put Your Laptops

As laptops become smaller and more ubiquitous, and with the advent of tablets, the idea of taking notes by hand just seems old-fashioned to many students today. Typing your notes is faster — which comes in handy when there’s a lot of information to take down. But it turns out there are still advantages to doing things the old-fashioned way.For one thing, research shows that laptops and tablets have a tendency to be distracting — it’s so easy to click over to Facebook in that dull lecture. And a study has shown that the fact that you have to be slower when you take notes by hand is what makes it more useful in the long run. ….[READ]

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The many facets of neuromarketing

Neuromarketing Exits ‘Hype Cycle,’ Begins to Shape TV Commercials

After a wave of enthusiastic publicity followed by an equal measure of skepticism, neuromarketing seems to finally be getting some respect. Samsung and the firm Neuro-Insight told an audience of marketing researchers last month how they analyzed the distinctive brain activity of iPhone and Samsung enthusiasts to develop TV commercials that appealed to Apple fans. Usefully, if unsurprisingly, the work revealed that Apple enthusiasts didn’t enjoy being mocked, but did respond to ads that pinpoint problems with iPhones and solutions offered by Samsung. ….[READ]

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Is boredom stressing?

The Psychological Cost of Boring Buildings

New Yorkers have long bemoaned their city being overrun by bland office towers and chain stores: Soon, it seems, every corner will either be a bank, a Walgreens, or a Starbucks. And there is indeed evidence that all cities are starting to look the same, which can hurt local growth and wages. But there could be more than an economic or nostalgic price to impersonal retail and high-rise construction: Boring architecture may take an emotional toll on the people forced to live in and around it. A growing body of research in cognitive science illuminates the physical and mental toll bland cityscapes exact on residents. ….[READ]