Tag Archive for social processing

On “Story? Unforgettable. The Audience? Often Not”

Carey, B. (2009). “Story? Unforgettable. The Audience? Often Not.” New York Times Online. Visited on 1 July 2010. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/01/health/01mind.html?hpw=&pagewanted=print Summary: This article discusses destination memory and its affect on different social situations. It explains that people often remember the source of a memory but not its intended destination. The article distinguishes that remembering whom you’ve told a story to uses a different kind of memory from the actual story itself. Source memory, the ability to recall where a fact was learned, is different from destination memory, which is to whom the fact was told. The article goes on to explain that who we tell our stories to is a critical part of our social identity and that repeating oneself can be damaging and embarrassing. In a study at the University of Waterloo 60 students were asked to tell personal and random facts to the faces of 50 famous people. The outcome of the study was that the subjects did not tend to remember which facts they told to whom, even when it was personal information. The results suggest that no matter how personal, or important, the story, there is the possibility that if the audience has heard it before the…

On “Flattery Will Get You Far”

Article:  Valdesolo, P. (2010). “Flattery Will Get You So Far.” Scientific American Online, Scientificamerican.com. Retrieved on 30 June 2010: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=flattery-will-get-you-far Summary: Its not uncommon for people to kiss up and flatter others in their everyday lives, with the hopes that such remarks will get them what they want.  Many times these motives are easily recognized and written off as insincere.  However it’s quite possible that the effects of such flattery are more powerful than we think. Researchers are taking a deeper look into how blatant flattering influences consumer loyalty and sales.  A study conducted by the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology found that consumers exposed to a department store’s advertising campaign, commending shoppers on their sense of style, were likely to continue making purchases at the store.  Furthermore, these consumers, who explicitly expressed their awareness of the stores attempt to manipulate behavior through flattery, were likely to join the store club. Researchers believe this type of flattery works by reinforcing the above average ideas that individuals reserve for themselves, as well as increasing esteem in areas where some feel low.   The article suggests that positive images in advertising, when linked to products, might also subconsciously influence consumer desire…

Male Paternal Bonds

Angier, N., (2010). “Paternal Bonds, Special and Strange.” Nytimes.com. Retrieved on 20 June 2010: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/15/science/15fath.html?_r=1 An article written by, Natalie Angier in the New York Times, Paternal Bonds, Special and Strange, begins by stating how men are proudly proclaiming the number of children they have to other men. Comparisons are made between humans and other primates such as monkeys that also proudly display their infants to impress other male monkeys. It is stated that this action is done to strengthen the bonds between men. Furthermore, the article discusses multiple studies that demonstrate how male primates care for their offspring. For example, some bird species are the sole keeper of their nest. The article aims to link parental care and offspring welfare. One study claims that baby handling can demonstrate how fathers can take charge, beat the odds, and expand the nest. The studies referenced provide examples of what the author calls, “dream daddies” and males “behaving dadly”. Conceptual Design Through this study we can see that male animal primates have an instinctual response to care for and flaunt their offspring. This appears to a revolutionary breakthrough in our understanding of linking men with caring giving. The biological and innate instincts…

Dressed to Distract

Dowd, M., (2010). “Dressed to Distract.” NYTimes. Retrieved on July 1st, 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/06/opinion/06dowd.html?_r=1&src=me&ref=homepage. Summary: Good looks are an advantage to any woman, man or child (and maybe even animal) in this world. Research tells us that babies will look longer at a good looking parent, and the “good looking” babies receive the same preferential treatment. The University of Alberta put together a research team to carry out a study in a supermarket to see if parents gave more attention to their more attractive children. Team leader, Dr Andrew Harrell, says that just as other animals do, “…we tend to parcel out our resources on the basis of value.” Debrahlee Lorenzana, a single mother of 33, was fired from Citibank in August for “looking too sexy”, she claims. According to her lawyer, the shape of her figure made the clothing she chose to wear too distracting for the males in her workplace. Lorenzana wasn’t like other women who chose to come to work in low-cut tops and tight pants, but because of her hourglass figure, any well tailored clothing she wore was “too distracting”. This specific case is interesting because normally the attractive people get better treatment and evaluations at work.…

Mining the Web for Feelings, Not Facts

Wright, A. (2009). “Mining the Web for Feelings, Not Facts.” The New York Times.  Retrieved on 30 June, 2010. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/24/technology/internet/24emotion.html Online presence is a valuable commodity in today’s digital market.  As companies seek to track exactly how their brand is discussed via the web and where these discussions appear, it becomes apparent that even a team of employees devoted to such research cannot tackle the shear size of the medium.  Thus, algorithms are being employed by marketing research firms as well as companies themselves to handle not only the amount of information present on the Internet, but also in what context it amasses. These algorithmic tools are applied all over the web, but are concentrated on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, as well as sites that allow large amounts of user-generated content. Theoretically, in this way a computer can track not only when a company is mentioned but also in what connotative context it appears. Differing from previous brand tracking, these new programs seek to determine subjective opinion as well as objective knowledge. By programming computers to scan the Internet for words that hold certain connotative meanings, marketers and brands can preemptively address user satisfaction issues as well as…

A Disease That Allowed Torrents of Creativity.

Article: Blakeslee, S. (2008). “A Disease That Allowed Torrents of Creativity.” NY Times. Visited on 8 April 2008 http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/08/health/08brai.html This article gives an account of Anne Adams experience with the degenerative brain disease, frontotemporal dementia (FTP). The disease, whose cause is as of yet unknown, leads to the degeneration of the frontal temporal lobe. Three variants of the disease have been identified based on the types of behavioral changes exhibited in the patient.  The first is characterized by personality changes such as increased apathy, loss of motivation for personal care, and weight gain. The two other variants deal with language control. In one case the patient experiences a loss of language while in the other the spoken language network disintegrates such that the patient is no longer able to speak. Anna Adams had the third variant known as primary progressive aphasia (PPA). In Anna’s case, as one part of her brain deteriorated another portion strengthened in order to compensate/ or as a result of the nutrient availability/ or ???. From Anna’s and other patient’s cases, doctors have learned that “that when dominant circuits are injured or disintegrate, they may release or disinhibit activity in other areas. In other words, if one part…