We’re always chasing something—be it a promotion, a new car, or a significant other. This leads to the belief that, “When (blank) happens, I’ll finally be happy.”
While these major events do make us happy at first, research shows this happiness doesn’t last. A study from Northwestern University measured the happiness levels of regular people against those who had won large lottery prizes the year prior. The researchers were surprised to discover that the happiness ratings of both groups were practically identical.
The mistaken notion that major life events dictate your happiness and sadness is so prevalent that psychologists have a name for it: impact bias. The reality is, event-based happiness is fleeting.
Happiness is synthetic—you either create it, or you don’t. Happiness that lasts is earned through your habits. Supremely happy people have honed habits that maintain their happiness day in, day out. Try out their habits, and see what they do for you:Continue reading “There are two types of happiness—and we’re chasing the wrong one”
I hire 2,700 workers for a transcription job, randomly assigning the gender of their (fictitious) manager and provision of performance feedback. While praise from a manager has no effect, criticism negatively impacts workers’ job satisfaction and perception of the task’s importance. When female managers, rather than male, deliver this feedback, the negative effects double in magnitude. Having a critical female manager does not affect effort provision but it does lower workers’ interest in working for the firm in the future. These findings hold for both female and male workers. I show that results are consistent with gendered expectations of feedback among workers. By contrast, I find no evidence for the role of either attention discrimination or implicit gender bias.
The internet is one big reason why we will find it increasingly difficult to separate out the assets of a company from the assets of its founders or CEOs, as I discuss in my latest Bloomberg column:
More important, social media personalizes agency — in effect, making it easier to accuse particular individuals of wrongdoing. Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, and the Koch brothers all have images or iconic photos that can be put into a social media post, amplifying any attack on their respective companies. It is harder to vilify Exxon, in part because hardly anyone can name its CEO (Darren Woods, since 2017), who in any case did not create the current version of the company. Putting the Exxon logo on your vituperative social media post just doesn’t have the same impact. With Bill Gates having stepped down as Microsoft CEO in 2000, it is harder to vilify that company as well.
This personalization of corporate evil has become a bigger issue in part because many prominent tech companies are currently led by their founders, and also because the number of publicly traded companies has been falling, which means there are fewer truly anonymous corporations. It’s not hard to imagine a future in which the most important decision a new company makes is how personalized it wants to be. A well-known founder can spark interest in the company and its products, and help to attract talent. At the same time, a personalized company is potentially a much greater target.
The more human identities and feelings are part of the equation, however, the harder it will be to keep the classic distinction between a corporation and its owners. As the era of personalization evolves, it will inevitably engulf that most impersonal of entities — the corporation.
Do read the whole thing. https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-09-16/purdue-pharma-bankruptcy-how-much-will-the-sackler-family-pay
Some of the negative nominal premium comes from the fact that you need these govt. securities for collateral, REPOs, clearinghouse margin, etc.
That doesn’t explain the change, but this point is often overlooked and it makes the puzzle somewhat less mysterious.Continue reading “An email I sent on negative nominal interest rates”
Stocks fell last week following news that the yield curve on Treasury notes had inverted. This means that a short-term Treasury note was paying higher interest rates than long-term Treasury note. An inverted yield curve is widely seen as a sign of an impending recession.
Some economic commentators reacted to the inverted yield curve by parroting the Keynesian propaganda that recessions are an inevitable feature of a free-market economy, whose negative effects can only be mitigated by the Federal Reserve. Like much of the conventional economic wisdom, the idea that recessions are caused by the free market and cured by the Federal Reserve is the exact opposite of the truth.Continue reading “Are Recessions Inevitable?”
Your genes, your germs, and your environment all may influence your tastes in food—as well as partners and politics.
There may be nothing more self-defining than our tastes. Whether in food, wine, romantic partners, or political candidates, our tastes represent our identity. So it made sense to me that my likes and dislikes were formed through careful deliberation and rational decision-making—that is, through choices where I wielded some control.Continue reading “Why we like what we like: A scientist’s surprising findings”
Some companies have a serious addiction to brainstorming. Whenever a problem arises, the team is called to gather and shout out possible solutions, with at least one notetaker scrambling to get everything down. It’s as if this were the only known way out of a pickle, or into a new project—and it can feel like a supreme waste of time, especially when the same few dominating personalities ruin the mood.
Yet the value of brainstorming is rarely questioned. (A notable exception is a 2012 New Yorker story arguing that research cannot scientifically validate the effectiveness of the process, but even that did little to get in the way of the ubiquity of brainstorming.) Perhaps that’s because the idea of brainstorming seemingly has always existed; it’s as much a part of workplace culture as pizza parties or sales reports.Continue reading “The man who gave us brainstorming meetings did his best thinking alone”