We like to think that others agree with us. It’s called “social projection,” and it helps us validate our beliefs and ourselves. Psychologists have found that we tend to think people who are similar to us in one explicit way — say, religion or lifestyle — will act and believe as we do, and vote as we do. Meanwhile, we exaggerate differences between ourselves and those who are explicitly unlike us.
But what about people whose affiliation is unknown — who can’t easily be placed in either the “in-group” or the “out-group”? A new study finds that we think the silent are also our side. -Science Daily
…even very young children have a great deal of knowledge about the clothing retail sector and they know exactly which shops will sell the kind of clothing they want.
[Researchers] also found a strong association between family culture and the value children placed on brands and logos, citing two cases, ‘Robert’ and ‘Hayley’ (not their real names).
Robert came from a family where brands and designer fashions were valued, and he ‘name-dropped’ constantly about the brands of his clothes. Hayley, on the other hand, came from a family with little disposable income, where brands and logos were of so little importance that she had difficulty in understanding what the terms meant.
Parents, however, do not have it all their own way. Dr Pilcher commented: “There are a variety of fashion influences on children and you can’t ignore the pressures from their peer groups, especially friends of the same sex, and their ideas of what is cool.”
A further influence on young children is the celebrity culture, which they may wish to copy or they may reject. The skimpy clothing of singers Beyoncé and Kylie were not always admired by girls, who thought it was rude to show so much bare skin…
Children who do not participate in that culture, however, can be isolated from their peers in a form of social exclusion. This, Dr Pilcher says, is something to be borne in mind by teachers when considering school uniform policies and by parents doing battle with their children on the shop floor. -Science Daily
“As children we all have this dream of flying off on balloons but we are told it’s not possible. But it really is possible and it makes me wonder how many other things do we tell our kids aren’t possible that really are.” -Jonathan Trapp
“Later, we sat in the sand as the other kids my age played a game of beach volleyball. My father must have seen an opening of some kind, because to my great embarrassment he stood up between matches and asked if I could join in. I tried to refuse, but there was no way to do so without seeming like even more of a loser. I was a decent athlete—I’d played lacrosse and hockey in Baltimore—but did not understand the most basic mechanics involved in keeping a ball up in the air with my forearms.
“While the other kids set and dug and belly flopped for shots, I stood in the corner of the court, praying that the ball would miraculously avoid my jurisdiction. Finally someone spiked the ball right at me, and I did something tragic. I caught it. I glanced at my father, still clutching the thing to my stomach. His eyes were squinched up, fixed somewhere near my feet, as if he couldn’t stand to look me in the face. It took me a second to realize he was staring at my legs.
“At the time, my father’s shame was overshadowed by the disgrace I felt in front of my teammates. Now, though, when I’m watering the plants or jogging around the reservoir near my house, I’ll think of my father’s face that day and feel the punch of that ball in my stomach. I’ll fantasize about all the things I might have done, like clock him in the teeth. Perhaps—at least I tell myself this, I insist on it, because the memory still hurts me deeply—he was really making the face at himself.” -Eric Puchner, Schemes of My Father
For years, psychologists have observed that people routinely overestimate their abilities, said study leader Dominic Johnson, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.
Some experts have suggested that overconfidence can be a good thing, perhaps by boosting ambition, resolve, and other traits, creating self-fulfilling prophecies.
But positive self-delusion can also lead to faulty assessments, unrealistic expectations, and hazardous decisions, according to the study—making it a mystery why overconfidence remains a key human trait despite thousands of years of natural selection, which typically weeds out harmful traits over generations.
Now, new computer simulations show that a false sense of optimism, whether when deciding to go to war or investing in a new stock, can often improve your chances of winning. -Christine Dell’Amore, National Geographic News
Photo Credit: Mustafa Khayat on Flickr
“A game can be more fun when you get the chance to act and be like your ideal self,” explained Dr. Przybylski. “The attraction to playing videogames and what makes them fun is that it gives people the chance to think about a role they would ideally like to take and then get a chance to play that role.”
The research found that giving players the chance to adopt a new identity during the game and acting through that new identity — be it a different gender, hero, villain — made them feel better about themselves and less negative.
Looking at the players’ emotion after play as well their motivation to play, the study found the enjoyment element of the videogames seemed to be greater when there was the least overlap between someone’s actual self and their ideal self.
“When somebody wants to feel they are more outgoing and then plays with this personality it makes them feel better in themselves when they play,” explained Dr. Przybylski. -Science Daily
I have been accused of being anal retentive, an over-achiever, and a compulsive perfectionist, like those are bad things. -Lisa Yee, Millicent Min, Girl Genius
An assumed constraint is a belief, based on past experience, that limits current and future experiences… Indicators that an assumed constraint may be holding you hostage are negative internal dialogue, excuses, and blaming statements. -Ken Blanchard, Leading at a Higher Level, Revised and Expanded Edition: Blanchard on Leadership and Creating High Performing Organizations
…people tend to make decisions on the basis of their self-image. If they believe themselves to be “fair” or “generous,” for example, they avoid actions that are clearly egoistic in nature, so as to avoid contradicting their own self-image. However, if… they are able to ignore the consequences for other people, they find it easier to maintain a positive self-image, even if they their behaviour is selfish. “If the consequences are clearly visible, many participants decide to act fairly,” reports Astrid Matthey: “However, if it is possible to ignore the consequences, it is clearly more difficult to opt for a ‘generous’ decision, and many change their behaviour and select the egoistic alternative.” -Science Daily
The research results suggest that charisma is sometimes an illusion. While managers can establish a reputation as a transformational, charismatic leader in a number of valid ways, managers can also gain the mystique of charisma by veiling how they accomplish what they do, like a stage magician. Prof. Morris, who leads Columbia Business School’s Program on Social Intelligence, elaborated on a point elucidated by this area of research, “Winning in business and political endeavors comes not only from performing well, but also from managing the interpretations that others make of your performance.” – Science Daily
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