People Lie More When Texting

Wichita State University professor David Xu said people are less likely to lie via video chat than when in person.

Newswise — Sending a text message leads people to lie more often than in other forms of communication, according to new research by David Xu, assistant professor in the W. Frank Barton School of Business at Wichita State University.

Xu is lead author of the paper, which compares the level of deceit people will use in a variety of media, from text messages to face-to-face interactions.

The study will appear in the March edition of the Journal of Business Ethics. The other co-authors are professor Karl Aquino and associate professor Ronald Cenfetelli with the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia.

How the study worked

The study involved 170 students from the Sauder School performing mock stock transactions in one of four ways: face-to-face, or by video, audio or text chatting.

Researchers promised cash awards of up to $50 to increase participants’ involvement in the role play. “Brokers” were promised increased cash rewards for more stock sales, while “buyers” were told their cash reward would depend on the yet-to-be-determined value of the stock.

The brokers were given inside knowledge that the stock was rigged to lose half of its value. Buyers were only informed of this fact after the mock sales transaction and were asked to report whether the brokers had employed deceit to sell their stock.

The authors then analyzed which forms of communication led to more deception. They found that buyers who received information via text messages were 95 percent more likely to report deception than if they had interacted via video, 31 percent more likely to report deception when compared to face-to-face, and 18 percent more likely if the interaction was via audio chat.

The fact that people were less likely to lie via video than in person was surprising, Xu said, but makes sense given the so-called “spotlight” effect, where a person feels they’re being watched more closely on video than face-to-face.

Xu said this kind of research has implications for consumers to avoid problems such as online fraud, and for businesses looking to promote trust and build a good image, Xu said.

Released: 1/25/2012

Source: Wichita State University

Related Link:

http://www.newswise.com/articles/people-lie-more-when-texting

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New Findings…Group Settings Can Diminish Expressions of Intelligence

Research led by scientists at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute found that small-group dynamics — such as jury deliberations, collective bargaining sessions, and cocktail parties — can alter the expression of IQ in some susceptible people. “You may joke about how committee meetings make you feel brain dead, but our findings suggest that they may make you act brain dead as well,” said Read Montague, director of the Human Neuroimaging Laboratory and Computational Psychiatry Unit at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, who led the study.

The scientists used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate how the brain processes information about social status in small groups and how perceptions of that status affect expressions of cognitive capacity.

“We started with individuals who were matched for their IQ,” said Montague. “Yet when we placed them in small groups, ranked their performance on cognitive tasks against their peers, and broadcast those rankings to them, we saw dramatic drops in the ability of some study subjects to solve problems. The social feedback had a significant effect.”

“Our study highlights the unexpected and dramatic consequences even subtle social signals in group settings may have on individual cognitive functioning,” said lead author Kenneth Kishida, a research scientist with the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute. “And, through neuroimaging, we were able to document the very strong neural responses that those social cues can elicit.”

The researchers recruited subjects from two universities and administered a standard test to establish baseline IQ. The results were not viewed until after a series of ranked group IQ tasks, during which test takers, in groups of five, received information about how their performances compared to those of the other group members.

Although the test subjects had similar baseline IQ scores — a mean of 126, compared to the national average of 100 — they showed a range of test performance results after the ranked group IQ tasks, revealing that some individuals’ expressed IQ was affected by signals about their status within a small group.

The researchers wanted to know what was happening in the brain during the observed changes in IQ expression. The subjects were divided into two groups based on the results of their final rank — the high performers, who scored above the median, and the low performers, who scored at or below the median. Two of every group of five subjects had their brains scanned using fMRI while they participated in the task.

Among the researchers’ findings:

1. Dynamic responses occurred in multiple brain regions, especially the amygdala, the prefrontal cortex, and the nucleus accumbens — regions believed to be involved in emotional processing, problem solving, and reward and pleasure, respectively.

2. All subjects had an initial increase in amygdala activation and diminished activity in the prefrontal cortex, both of which corresponded with a lower problem-solving ability.

3. By the end of the task, the high-performing group showed a decreased amygdala activation and an increased prefrontal cortex activation, both of which were associated with an increased ability to solve more difficult problems.

4. Positive changes in rank were associated with greater activity in the bilateral nucleus accumbens, which has traditionally been linked to learning and has been shown to respond to rewards and pleasure.

5. Negative changes in rank corresponded with greater activity in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, consistent with a response to conflicting information.

6. Neither age nor ethnicity showed a significant correlation with performance or brain responses. A significant pattern did emerge along gender lines, however. Although male and female participants had the same baseline IQ, significantly fewer women (3 of 13) were in the high-performing group and significantly more (10 of 13) fell into the low-performing group.

“We don’t know how much these effects are present in real-world settings,” Kishida said. “But given the potentially harmful effects of social-status assignments and the correlation with specific neural signals, future research should be devoted to what, exactly, society is selecting for in competitive learning and workplace environments. By placing an emphasis on competition, for example, are we missing a large segment of the talent pool? Further brain imaging research may also offer avenues for developing strategies for people who are susceptible to these kinds of social pressures.”

“This study tells us the idea that IQ is something we can reliably measure in isolation without considering how it interacts with social context is essentially flawed,” said coauthor Steven Quartz, a professor of philosophy in the Social Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory of Caltech. “Furthermore, this suggests that the idea of a division between social and cognitive processing in the brain is really pretty artificial. The two deeply interact with each other.”

“So much of our society is organized around small-group interactions,” said Kishida. “Understanding how our brains respond to dynamic social interactions is an important area of future research. We need to remember that social dynamics affect not just educational and workplace environments, but also national and international policy-making bodies, such as the U.S. Congress and the United Nations.”

The research appears in the Jan. 23, 2012 issue of the journalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B in the article, “Implicit signals in small group settings and their impact on the expression of cognitive capacity and associated brain responses,” by Kenneth Kishida; Dongni Yang, a former postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine; Karen Hunter Quartz, a director of research in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies of the University of California, Los Angeles; Steven Quartz; and Read Montague, corresponding author, who is also a professor of physics at Virginia Tech. The research was supported by grants from the Wellcome Trust and the Kane Family Foundation to Montague and the National Institutes of Health to Montague and Kishida. The article is online athttp://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/367/1589/704.abstract?sid=5fc88e56-8a71-4a9b-be8d-ad3fa88c631e

Released: January 22, 2012

Source: Virginia Tech (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University)

Related Link:

http://www.newswise.com/articles/group-settings-can-diminish-expressions-of-intelligence

Imagine That: How You Envision Others Says a Lot About You in Real Life

Newswise — Quick, come up with an imaginary co-worker.

Did you imagine someone who is positive, confident and resourceful? Who rises to the occasion in times of trouble? If so, then chances are you also display those traits in your own life, a new study finds.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln researchers have found that study participants who conjured positive imaginary co-workers contributed more in the actual workplace, both in job performance and going above and beyond their job descriptions to help others.

The results showed that your perceptions of others – even ones that are made up – says a lot about what kind of person you really are, said Peter Harms, UNL assistant professor of management and the study’s lead author.

Imagining coworkers instead of reporting on how you perceive your actual coworkers produces more accurate ratings of having a positive worldview, he said, because it strips away the unique relational baggage that one may have with the people they know.

“When you make up imaginary peers, they are completely a product of how you see the world,” Harms said. “Because of that we can gain better insight into your perceptual biases. That tells us a lot about how you see the world, how you interpret events and what your expectations of others are.”

The study consisted of hundreds of working adults in a range of fields, Harms said. It specifically targeted their “psychological capital,” a cluster of personality characteristics associated with the ability to overcome obstacles and the tendency to actively pursue one’s goals.

After asking participants to conjure up imaginary workers in a series of hypothetical situations, they were then asked to make ratings of the individuals they imagined on a wide range of characteristics.

Those who envisioned workers as engaging in proactive behaviors or readily rebounding from failures were actually happier and more productive in their real-life work, the researchers found.

Researchers have long acknowledged the benefits of having a positive mindset, but getting an accurate assessment has always been difficult because people are typically unwilling or unable to make accurate self-appraisals, Harms said.

Through the use of projective storytelling, the UNL researchers were able to predict real-life work outcomes above and beyond other established measures.

“We’ve known that workplace relations are a self-fulfilling prophecy for some time,” Harms said. “If a manager believes that their workers are lazy and incompetent, they will elicit those patterns in their employees.

“It’s hard to be motivated and enthusiastic for someone you know doesn’t think of you very highly. But most people don’t want to disappoint someone who sincerely believes in them.”

The study, which will appear in a forthcoming edition of theJournal of Organizational Behavior, was co-authored by Fred Luthans, the George Holmes Distinguished Professor of Management at UNL.

Released: 1/18/2012

Source: University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Related Link:

http://www.newswise.com/articles/imagine-that-how-you-envision-others-says-a-lot-about-you-in-real-life

New Trends…Convenience Stores To Focus on Food in 2012

Newswise — CHICAGO- Convenience stores (c-stores) are not typically recognized for their food selections, but as tobacco and gas prices rise, fewer people are spending money on these items and other c-store staples. In the January 2012 issue of Food Technology magazine, published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), Digital Editor Kelly Hensel writes that c-stores are beginning to shift their attention to growing their food/beverage and foodservice segments in order to compete with quick service restaurant chains.

According to data from Symphony IRI Group, the c-store channel is expected to see a growth rate of about 3 percent between 2010 and 2012, and one of the key drivers of this expansion are foodservice items. Technomic Director Tim Powell says that recently convenience stores are increasingly falling into the same consideration set as fast food restaurants. As technology and food innovation continue, c-stores will continue to capitalize on the opportunity to present consumers with better quality products with do-it-yourself customization.

C-stores are well known for their coffee bars that offer customers a way to make their coffee the way they like it. Some chains switched to a thermal dispensing system last year in order to keep coffee fresh tasting. In addition some c-stores offer hot tea reaching the previously untapped demographic of female consumers and those 50 years and older. It’s the hope that by getting consumers in the door with beverages, they will also end up choosing one of their many new food items such as breakfast sandwiches, hot dogs, made-to-order sandwiches, soups, etc.

Snacking is also becoming a key driver for all c-stores. According to a survey by Snack Factory more Americans would prefer to reach for snacks throughout the day instead of having three solid meals. Pairing foods with beverages is also a popular way c-stores can drive profits. Also due to the shifting paradigm of what is considered a snack, for example a hot dog or pizza slice as a snack instead of a meal can increase traffic at c-stores throughout the day.

Released: 1/12/2012

Source: Institute of Food Technologists (IFT)

Related Link:

http://newswise.com/articles/convenience-stores-to-focus-on-food-in-2012

Worth Remembering As The New Year Approaches….Resolutions Are a Waste If You Don’t Plan to Achieve Them

Newswise — Those resolutions you promise yourself you will keep each year probably look a little like this — lose weight, exercise daily, quit smoking, save money, etc. Though these are great personal commitments to make, one University of Alabama at Birmingham expert says New Year’s resolutions are, for most, a waste of time.

“Many of us wind up making short-lived changes that rarely pan out. We resolve to be different or live better, and then spend a year not achieving these goals. We waste time making unmet resolutions yearly,” explains Joshua Klapow, Ph.D., a UAB clinical psychologist and author of the book, Living SMART: Five Essential Skills to Change Your Health Habits Forever.

This is not an excuse to throw in the towel and get fat or lazy. Klapow says Jan. 1 is a great time to start living the way you want to be. But, you have to be serious about it and create a game plan so the resolutions are implemented and not squandered.

“Without a course of action, these changes will not fall into place. It’s not enough just to be inspired,” Klapow explains.

If you want to achieve it — say losing weight, for example — you have to be detailed about it. Klapow says you have to outline the days and times you will go the gym, the menu adjustments you will make and who in your circle can help keep you accountable for these goals.

But before your plans get too elaborate, Klapow advises you to do a gut-check.

“Ask yourself, ‘do I really want to do this?’ If your heart isn’t in it, it’s not going to happen. It’s better to be honest than to fail,” says Klapow.

Other tips while planning for the new you:
• Don’t bite off more than you can chew — shoot for success instead of the stars
• Make resolutions reasonable by setting short- and long-term goals
• Be prepared and willing to make adjustments to your resolutions

Once those resolutions are in place, and the New Year has begun, it’s time to implement them. Make promises for change that is life-long instead of temporary.

“Monitoring your progress is very important, but simply keeping a mental track will not cut it. If you are dieting, write down the foods you eat. If you want to spend less, write down your expenses. This will give you a visual account of what is working and what is not,” explains Klapow.

A written record also can help you with the three-day rule: If you’ve missed three days of your new habit, write down the reasons you stopped, pick an exact date to re-start and put this somewhere you will see it. Klapow says this is a way to return to good habits.

Noting the barriers that exist between you and your goal also is important.

“You have to arrange your life for success. Buying junk food for your family while you are trying to diet is not going to help. If you want to save money — stop carrying credit cards. Control what you can control to make your goals more easily achievable,” Klapow says.

Last, and most important, Klapow says you must have incentives to meet your resolutions.

“Treat yourself. You have to be good to yourself and your new behaviors. The principle is simple: Reward a good behavior, and it will happen again.”

Released: 12/8/2011

Source: University of Alabama at Birmingham

Related Link:

http://www.newswise.com/articles/resolutions-are-a-waste-if-you-don-t-plan-to-achieve-them

Workplace Research….Your Abusive Boss May Not be Good for Your Marriage

Newswise — Having an abusive boss not only causes problems at work but can lead to strained relationships at home, according to a Baylor University study published online in journal, Personnel Psychology. The study found that stress and tension caused by an abusive boss have an impact on the employee’s partner, which affects the marital relationship and subsequently the employee’s entire family.

The article is available using this link:http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1744-6570.2011.01232.x/full
The study also found that more children at home meant greater family satisfaction for the employee, and the longer the partner’s relationship, the less impact the abusive boss had on the family.

“These findings have important implications for organizations and their managers. The evidence highlights the need for organizations to send an unequivocal message to those in supervisory positions that these hostile and harmful behaviors will not be tolerated,” said Dawn Carlson, Ph.D., study author, professor of management and H. R. Gibson Chair of Organizational Development at the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University, Waco.

A supervisor’s abuse may include tantrums, rudeness, public criticism and inconsiderate action.

“It may be that as supervisor abuse heightens tension in the relationship, the employee is less motivated or able to engage in positive interactions with the partner and other family members,” said Merideth Ferguson, PH.D., study co-author and assistant professor of management and entrepreneurship at Baylor.

Organizations should encourage subordinates to seek support through their organization’s employee assistance program or other resources (e.g., counseling, stress management) so that the employee can identify tactics or mechanisms for buffering the effect of abuse on the family, according to the study.

The study included 280 full-time employees and their partners. Fifty-seven percent of the employees were male with an average of five years in their current job; 75 percent had children living with them. The average age for the employee and the partner was 36 years. The average length of their relationship was 10 years. Of the respondents, 46 percent supervised other employees in the workplace, 47 percent worked in a public organization, 40 percent worked in a private organization, nine percent worked for a non-profit organization and five percent were self-employed. Of the partner group, 43 percent were male with 78 percent of these individuals employed.

Workers filled out an online survey. When their portion of the survey was complete, their partner completed a separate survey that was linked back to the workers’. The partner entered a coordinating identification number to complete his/her portion of the survey. The combined responses from the initial contact and the partner constituted one complete response in the study database.

Questions in the employee survey included; “How often does your supervisor use the following behaviors with you?” with example items being “Tells me my thoughts or feelings are stupid,” “Expresses anger at me when he/she is mad for another reason,” “Puts me down in front of others,” and “Tells me I’m incompetent.”

Questions in the partner survey included; “During the past month, how often did you . . .” feel irritated or resentful about things your (husband/wife/partner) did or didn’t do” and “feel tense from fighting, arguing or disagreeing with your (husband/wife/partner).”

“Employers must take steps to prevent or stop the abuse and also to provide opportunities for subordinates to effectively manage the fallout of abuse and keep it from affecting their families. Abusive supervision is a workplace reality and this research expands our understanding of how this stressor plays out in the employee’s life beyond the workplace,” Carlson said.

The research was conducted with support from the Texas A & M Mays Business School Mini-Grant Program.
Other co-authors of the study are Pamela L. Perrewe of Florida State University and Dwayne Whitten of Texas A & M University.

Released: 11/28/2011

Source: Baylor University

Related Link:

http://www.newswise.com/articles/your-abusive-boss-may-not-be-good-for-your-marriage-according-to-baylor-university-study

Holiday Health Tips.. Staying Festively Flu-Free!

Newswise — The holidays are a time of parties, festive get-togethers, family reunions and catching up with old friends, all of which add up to a lot of personal contact. With the flu season and the holiday season converging, you may be tempted to put your holiday plans on hold. But you can still be a social butterfly and go to all those holiday parties – while taking precautions to stay healthy:

1. Cough in your sleeve
If you feel a cough or sneeze coming on, be sure to cough in your sleeve or the inside of your sweater or jacket to avoid spreading any microbes to people standing near you at a party. A cough or sneeze can contaminate the air and surfaces with virus up to two metres away.

2. Wash your hands
This is easily the most potent way to pick up and spread respiratory virus in the community. A sneeze sprays 2 metres; but caught it the hand it can be spread it to every door knob, handrail and push-button for the rest of the day. Always wash your hands after blowing your nose, using the washroom, and before you start digging into the sandwich tray or the appetizers at a party.

3. Do the air kiss
Greet your family and friends by giving them a hug and kissing the air near their cheek. If there’s mistletoe dangling between you and a friend, eschew the smack on the lips with a fake peck on the cheek instead.

4. Don’t use your fingers
As a party guest, use serving spoons or forks to put food on your plate instead of just reaching for it. As a party host, be sure to put out plenty of serving utensils and provide people with alternatives to reaching into bowls, such as creating individual servings of your offerings.

5. Get creative with your cups
When hosting a party, come up with fun ways of personalizing cups so there aren’t any mix-ups. Avoid serving beverages in their original containers for the same reason, so there aren’t multiple identical cans or bottles floating around.

6. Carry hand sanitizer with you
Remember: the last person to touch that doorknob, faucet, shopping cart handle or handrail may have contaminated it. Viruses can survive hours or even days on surfaces. If there isn’t a place to wash your hands nearby, use alcohol gel to sanitize your hands before you eat any food or touch your face, particularly your nose or mouth. Keep some in your purse or pocket for those holiday shopping excursions.

7. Attending a religious service
Try to keep between one to two metres away from other people and politely refuse to share the communion wine goblet. Instead of shaking hands or hugging, try greeting others with a friendly wave or the new health-inspired elbow greeting.

8. Get enough sleep
Lack of sleep weakens your immune system and makes you more susceptible to illness. Aim for a consistent six to eight hours of sleep every night, even during the busy season of shopping, planning and entertaining.

9. Sick? Stay away
If you feel like you are coming down with a cold or flu, stay at home until you feel better. There is always next year’s round of holiday shindigs to host or attend. Plus there are plenty of holiday specials on the television to give you a boost of merriment.

10. Cold or Flu
A cold can strike anytime but October to March is flu season. If your symptoms include a headache and high temperature, contact your health-care provider.  And get your flu shot!

Released: 11/25/2011

Source: Ryerson University

Related Link:

http://newswise.com/articles/staying-festively-flu-free2

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