It’s ingrained in western society that people should find work they really enjoy – work that fulfills a passion. If you’re lucky enough to have found work you’re passionate about you ought to know that there is a dark side. People who know that you’re doing the work because you love it might just take advantage of that. In this … Read More
Do you have your own little “tricks”? That is, ways of doing things that are faster than how you used to do them? Well, congratulations, you’re something of an efficiency expert. And if you can picture an assembly line of people putting products together, then you’ve seen one way of increasing productivity. But some of us are really, really obsessed … Read More
Have you used Siri, Hey Google, Aleza or Cortana? These voice-enabled digital assistants are pretty cool and getting smarter, but why do some of them sound more like a “person” than others? What is it about your voice that makes people believe that there is a thinking human being behind it? In this episode I take a look at a … Read More
What do you do with a background in psychology? A lot of things. How about running an online community? I found Richard Millington, founder of Feverbee, talking about how he applies psychology to his business of helping organizations build strong, active online communities. As you’ve probably seen in your travels about the web, there are a lot of communities (such … Read More
The idea of working from home sounds great – but be aware of the downside. In this episode of The Psych Files I talk about what factors influence your job satisfaction and motivation when you work from home. I also discuss the interesting concept of “emotional labor” – what is it like when you know your boss is watching you … Read More
What do I/0 psychologists do anyway? Are you interested in this subfield of psychology? Well, here are a few things they DON’T do: they don’t do “therapy in the workplace” and they don’t do “motivational speaking“. It’s not what you think. Industrial/Organizational psychology is practiced by professionals who’s goal is to make sure that employees are productive and – and … Read More
There is a lot of talk about mindfulness among psychologists today. Find out what mindfulness is and how it differs from meditation in this episode of The Psych Files. What might you use mindfulness for? Well, in addition to what you might expect – reducing stress – mindfulness training is also being used to improve job satisfaction and productivity. Interested … Read More
Didn’t get the flu this past winter? Thank a psychologist. What? Well, it could be that a psychologist was involved in helping health care professionals to do what they know they need to do (but sometimes don’t): wash their hands. The issue here is persuasion and motivation: how to we get people to do something – and keep doing it? … Read More
Do you have a dull job? Wonder how it can be made more motivating? That’s the challenge – how can we make jobs that are typically not much fun (like an assembly line job) more interesting to do? This is one of the challenges facing I/O psychologists and in this episode I discuss the Job Characteristics theory by Hackman and Oldham and apply it to assembly line jobs in China where your iPhone is made and where a record number of suicides have occurred over the past few years. Can we use job redesign to make such jobs more tolerable?
Do you like working in a group? Most people don’t because they’re afraid that they’ll have to do most of the work (wind up being a sucker) and that other group members won’t do their share of the work (free loaders). Want to find out how to avoid this and make your group work productive? Learn how the Agile software development technique can be adapted to your help your next group project be a success.
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