Many times, we think we are multitasking well and we aren’t. A study by Ira Hyman (2009) showed that people walking while talking on cell phones ran into people (literally) more often, and were less likely to notice what was around them than people who were not talking on cell phones. The researchers had someone in a clown suit ride by on a unicycle. The people talking on a cell phone were much less likely to notice or remember the clown than those who were not multitasking,
Next Diemand-Yauman wanted to see if the same effect would true in a more realistic setting. He took the study to a high school Ohio in the United States) and tested 220 students. He screened classes for those where the same teacher had been teaching at least two classes of the same subject and difficulty level and with the same learning material. The experimenters took all the worksheets and PowerPoint slides and changed the font. (The experimenters did not meet the teachers or the students or visit the class.)
Classes were randomly assigned to either a disfluent or a control category. The disfluent classes used material that was switched to one of these fonts:
Comic Sans Italic
In the control classes, no changes were made to the fonts. Teachers and students didn’t know the hypothesis that was being studied. They didn’t know whether they were in a fluent or disfluent group. The Material was taught the same way it normally was taught. No other changes were made in the classrooms or the instruction. Students in the disfluent condition scored significantly higher on their regular classroom tests. On a survey asking if they liked their course or course material, there were no differences in these preference ratings. There was no difference among the different disfluent fonts.
Accept that many things in the middle of your presentation may be lost. If the middle is more than 20 minutes long, break it up with activities and exercises. By doing this you are essentially creating several small presentations within your presentation. That means each of these small presentations also has a beginning, middle, and end. Since people tend to remember beginnings and endings,
Try breaking up a presentation into several small “presentations” means that people will have a lot more beginnings and endings than middies—they will remember more information.
You can stimulate group identity just by the way you have people talk about themselves or the way you phrase a question. For example, Gregory Walton’s research shows that if people say “I am a chocolate eater” versus “I eat chocolate a lot,” it affects the strength of their preference for chocolate. “Eater” is a noun. “Eat” is a verb. People who say “I am a chocolate eater,” who use the noun instead of the verb, show a stronger preference for chocolate.
In a survey about voting, Walton’s experimenters asked, “How important is it to you to be a voter in tomorrow’s election?” versus “How important is it to you to vote in tomorrow’s election?” When the noun (voter) was used instead of the verb (vote), more people actually voted the following day. Feeling that you belong to a specific group affects your behavior.
When you ask people to do stuff, use nouns rather than verbs. Invoke a sense of belonging to a group and people are much more likely to comply with your request.
Although flashbulb memories are vivid, they are also full of errors. In 1986 the space shuttle Challenger exploded. If you to recall that event, you probably remember it vividly. The day after this tragic event, Ulric Neisser, a professor who researches memories like these, he had his students write down their memories of what had happened. Three years later he asked them to write their memory of the event again (Neisser. 1992). Over 90 percent of the later reports differed from the originals. Half of them were inaccurate in two-thirds of the details. One person, when shown the description she had written three years earlier, said, “I know that’s my handwriting, but I couldn’t possibly have written that.” Similar research has been conducted on individuals with memories of the 9/11 attacks, with similar results.
Read this paragraph:
First you sort the items into like categories. Using color for sorting is common, but you can also use other characteristics, such as texture or type of handling needed.. Once you have sorted the items, you are ready to use the equipment. You want to process each category from sorting separately. Place one category in the at a time
What is the paragraph about? It’s hard to understand. But what if I give you the same paragraph with a title:
Using your new washing machine
First you sort the items into like categories. Using color for sorting is common, but you can also use other characteristics, such as texture or type of handling needed. Once you have sorted the items, you are ready to use the equipment. You want to process each category from the sorting separately. Place one category in the machine at a time.
The paragraph is still poorly written, but now at least it is understandable.
“There are always three speeches for every one you actually gave: the one you practiced, the one you gave, and the one you wish you gave.”
NINETY-TWO PERCENT OF GRADUATE STUDENTS LIED
Charles Naquin (2010) from DePaul University and his colleagues have conducted research on honesty in people when using email versus pen and paper.
In one study, forty-eight graduate business students were each given $89 (imaginary money) to divide with their partner; they had to decide whether to tell their partner how much money was in the kitty, as well as how much of the money to share with their partner. One group communicated by email and the other group by a handwritten note. The group that wrote emails lied about the amount of money (92 percent) more than the group that was writing by hand (63 percent). The e-mail group was also less fair about sharing the money, and felt justified in not being honest or fair.
Mark Lepper, David Greene, and Richard Nisbett (1973) conducted research on this question. They divided children into three groups:
- Group 1 was the Expected group. The researchers showed the children the Good Drawing Certificate and asked if they wanted to draw in order to get the certificate.
- Group 2 was the Unexpected group. The researchers asked the children if they wanted to draw, but didn’t mention anything about a certificate. After the children spent time drawing, they received an unexpected drawing certificate.
- Group 3 was the Control group. The researchers asked the children if they wanted to draw, but didn’t mention a certificate and didn’t give them one.
The real part of the experiment came two weeks later. During playtime the drawing tools were put out in the room. The children weren’t asked anything about drawing; the tools were just put in the room and available. So what happened? Children in the Unexpected and Control groups spent the most time drawing. The children in Expected group, the ones to had received an expected reward, spent the least time drawing. Contingent rewards (rewards based on specific behavior that is spelled out ahead of time) resulted in less of the desired behavior if the reward was not repeated. Later the researchers went on to do studies like this, with adults as well as children, and found similar results.
Tuck your chin into your chest, and then lift your chin upward as far as possible. 6-10 repetitions.
Lower your left ear toward your left shoulder and then your right ear toward your right shoulder. 6-10 repetitions.
In his research, Robert Cialdini (Cialdini 2006) stopped people on the st and asked them to chaperone a group of troubled youth on a one-day trin to the zoo. Only 17 percent of people said yes.
Some of the time he first asked people to spend two hours a week as a counselor for the youth for a minimum of two years (a larger request). In that case everyone said no. But if he then asked them to chaperone a group of troubled youth on a one-day trip to the zoo, 50 percent agreed. That’s nearly three times the 17 percent who agreed when they were only asked to chaperone. That’s concession working.
Cialdini also found an interesting side effect. Eighty-five percent of the people in the concession group actually showed up, compared with only 50 percent of the group that did not go through the concession process. Concession not only got people to say yes, it also increased their commitment to the action.