The Weapons Effect – Does the Mere Presence of a Gun Increase Aggression?

Anime girl with a gun The “weapons effect” is the theory that just in the mere presence of weapons, aggression levels increase. It’s a controversial theory, but there is of course a lot of research on it. In this article, I look at the studies that shed light on this area, and give my take on the research.

The Mere Presence of a Gun

Hormones and Aggressiveness

Let’s start in 1998, when researchers Jennifer Klinesmith, Tim Kasser, and Francis McAndrew measured the effects of interacting with an object on testosterone levels and aggressive behavior. Testosterone is of course linked to aggression, and this study found what it expected to find:

Posted in Culture, Legal Issues, Media, Psychology, Science, Technology | Leave a comment

Why Working Fewer Days/Hours is Better for Everyone

Happy businessman at the beach

A lot has happened since John Maynard Keynes predicted in 1930 that a century later, we would be working only 15 hours a week. He may have made this calculation on expected output in relation to increasing productivity, but he must have left out the variable of the profit motive in a context of corporate greed. He didn’t get to see the competitive world of unimaginable globalization and interconnectedness that we can see today, and he didn’t realize to what extent organizations would demand their employees work such long hours. However, working long hours does not mean increased performance or profits. In fact, it may be the opposite.

Posted in Business, Culture, Psychology, Science | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Are You a National or a Global Citizen?

Global Village

A recent poll looked at the opinions of 20,000 people in 18 countries around the world regarding self-perceptions of citizenship. It showed that a significant amount of people – more than half – agreed that they consider themselves as “global citizens” more than a citizen of their own nationality.

As the World Economic Forum mentions, “The big increase of this sentiment is being driven largely by emerging economies, such as Nigeria (73% feel they are global citizens), China (71%), Peru (70%), and India (67%).” The poll also shows that ever since 2009, following the global economic crisis, industrialized nations are less likely to agree.

Posted in Blogging, Culture, Featured | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

It’s Harder for Religious People to Tell Fact from Fiction

Jesus-Krishna

When I wrote the article “Should Parents Tell Their Kids ‘The Truth’ About Santa?” three and a half years ago, I argued that most children whose parents allow them to believe are giving them a potentially important opportunity to learn. That is, to understand the process of believing something they inevitably stop believing in (or should I say, most people stop believing in). However, I stumbled upon some research that both reminded me of this story and made me wonder about it.

Posted in Education, Skepticism | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Disruptive Technology and Corporate Karate

disruptive tech banner

“Disruptive technology” – a term I dislike, coined by Harvard professor Clayton Christensen in 1995 – refers to an innovation that is generally meant to provide more financially accessible alternatives to well-established products, in order to gain market share. As Christensen and his colleagues explain, disruption “describes a process whereby a smaller company with fewer resources is able to successfully challenge established incumbent businesses.” This post will describe not only what kinds of effects disruptive technology can have on incumbents, but how corporations may be able to demonstrate a bit of self-defence when such innovations threaten them.

Posted in Business, Featured, Technology | Leave a comment

Corporate Governance, and the Stakeholder vs. Shareholder Model

Corp Gov

Corporate governance is not a term that comes up in everyday conversation, but it is a very informative concept to know. Corporate governance refers to how a corporation is governed. This entails who owns and controls the company, and how it is managed. There are two main models of corporate governance, the shareholder model (which prioritizes the return on investment for a large number of investors) and the stakeholder model (where fewer people own, but more people have a stake in, the company; including customers, competitors, and the external community). These models of corporate governance define capital (finances), labour (employees), and management (employers) in very different ways. These relationships will be explained in the national contexts of the US and Germany below.

Posted in Business | Leave a comment

Understanding Labour Market Flexibility Should Matter to You

You're fired, clean out your desk office worker

If you’re someone who wants to work to support yourself (i.e. basically everyone), then the labour market is important for you to understand. Just like the “supply and demand” of products in a market, the supply and demand of labour makes up what we call the “labour market.” An employee therefore represents a supply, to be “bought” (by an employer) and “sold” (by an employee). Depending on several volatile factors, there may be more or less demand from employers, and the government may play a significant role in affecting this. However… which approach is the best for workers?

Posted in Business, Legal Issues | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Evolution of Leadership

Businessman on summit

“So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart,

And guided them with his skillful hands.”

–Psalm 78:72

Leaders have surfaced in stories and historical records since the invention of writing. No matter what period, mankind has had leaders, from the bible to the oval office, from Alexander the Great to Mahatma Gandhi. However, the way we have thought of leadership has greatly changed over the past century. In business and academia, it has been a subject of much theorization. and that is exactly what this article is all about. This article is not intended to be comprehensive, but accessible. It is therefore grossly oversimplified, which means it as a brief and useful primer to the research literature.

Posted in Business | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Easiest and Hardest Languages to Learn

Crazy long name of lake on sign

Some languages you can get the hang of, some languages are pretty tough, and some languages are downright difficult. …And then there are those special few, those ridiculously complex ones, that take so long to master, that you’re pretty much hopeless to master it unless you started at a very early age, or moved to the place in which that language was spoken. Let’s look at the hardest languages to learn.

Posted in Aggregators/lists/rankings, Japan | Leave a comment

Best Business Schools Everywhere in the World (2015-2016)

Graduates in Cap and Gown --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

There are lots of sites that have this information, but they require that you click through 25 times to get the information you want. I solved that problem. This article is not about a ranking. It is a list of schools that should be on your radar if you are looking at business schools anywhere in the world.

It shows the best business schools in the world – not the best overall universities. Of course, there is some overlap; but keep in mind that many of these business schools are not even part of a university.

Posted in Aggregators/lists/rankings, Education | Leave a comment