Conscientiousness Can Lead to Corporate Success

Business!
The corporate working world is a tough place and ti’s often assumed that the heartless will have the most success.The myth that that one needs to be like a character from Wall St. in order to advance on the corporate ladder is too common. Instead, you should be conscious of those around you and practice good ol’ empathy. As always it pays in more than one way to consider and respect the needs of people around you.

In fact, psychologists have even suggested that conscientiousness is the single most important factor that will help a person to score a job because conscientious people not only achieve more, but deal with setbacks more effectively. “Highly conscientious employees do a series of things better than the rest of us,” University of Illinois psychologist Brent Roberts told  Inc. “Even if there is a failure, they’re going to have a plan to deal with that failure.”

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A Toy Designed to Increase Empathy

Who doesn’t like toys? Nobody! Everybody loves playing and we all can remember the joy that toys bring us when were kids. Now some educators are looking to make a toy that is not only fun but also teaches kids empathy. Empathy is perhaps the most important skill one can acquire in this modern age.

Empathy and play allow us to understand different perspectives and imagine new possibilities. And isn’t that what great education is all about?

The Empathy & Creative Dialogue Toy is a 3D puzzle game that challenges players to place themselves in each other’s shoes. It’s an easy to use game that leads to surprisingly complex insights from its players. Each toy comes with domain-specific resources — including minds-on activities, gameplay scenarios, and discussion topics. It’s been designed with input from educators to help teachers, facilitators, and parents harness the educational power of empathy and play. The toy has garnered so much attention that it’s even been featured in two TEDx talks — one on designing for empathy & communication, the other a rallying cry for play in our school systems.

More on Kickstarter.

Thanks to Mirella!

Literary Fiction Enhances Empathy in Readers

Literary fiction, not popular fiction, can make people better understand one another according to a new study. Because literary fiction (i.e. books not for sale at airports) focuses on the psychology and inner life of the characters it gives people a window into the thoughts of others that aren’t covered elsewhere.

On average, people who read parts of more literary books like The Round House by Louise Erdrich did better on those tests than people who read either nothing, read nonfiction or read best-selling popular thrillers like The Sins of the Mother by Danielle Steel.

For example, folks who were assigned to read highbrow literary works did better on a test called “Reading the Mind in the Eyes,” which required them to look at black-and-white photographs of actors’ eyes and decide what emotion the actors were expressing.

This is the first time scientists have demonstrated the short-term effects of reading on people’s social abilities, says Raymond Mar, a psychology researcher at York University in Toronto. He has investigated the effects of reading in the past but did not work on this study.

Listen and read more here.

Why Poorer People Are Kind to One Another

For some reason there are stereotypes out there that imply that if you’re not part of the middle class then you are a jerk. Well, it looks like that maybe half true. New research has come out that started with the question why statistically do poorer people give a higher portion of their income to charity compared to the rich has now concluded with the idea that rich people are not as empathetic as the poor.

It would be nice if people who were better off gave more of their income to charities and to other worthy causes. I hope this inspires all of you to give.

Michael W Kraus, of the University of California, San Francisco, is one of a number of social psychologists who have recently been busy demonstrating that lower socioeconomic status (SES) is intricately linked to all sorts of prosocial behaviours. Everything else equal, the less wealth, education and employment status we have, the more charitable, generous, trusting and helpful we appear to become. In interactions with strangers, poorer people are more likely to use polite, attentive, respectful gestures. Most recently, in a paper just published in the prestigious journal Psychological Science, Kraus et al report that lower SES subjects show significantly greater empathy than their richer, better educated counterparts. He argues that this tendency to empathise may at least partly explain the other observations of prosocial behaviour.

Read the rest at the Guardian.