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Unintuitive findings - Performance and creativity

Author: Dr Simon Moss


Observation 1. After individuals reflect upon their future aspirations, and not their immediate duties, their creativity tends to improve (Forster, Friedman, & Liberman, 2004& see Regulatory focus theory). For example, their capacity to identify many creative, novel reasons why one person might greet another individual, such as to practice an accent, has been shown to improve.

Observation 2. Provided that individuals feel their qualities and shortfalls are recognised by colleagues, workgroups tend to be more creative if age, race, and education differs markedly across employees (Swann Jr, Kwan, Polzer, & Milton, 2003).

Observation 3. After individuals are instructed to raise, rather than furrow, their eyebrows, their creativity improves& they can identify a broader range of uses of scissors, for example (Friedman, Fishbach, Forster, & Werth, 2003).

Observation 4. After individuals focus their attention on the overall shape of an object, such as the map of a nation, rather than specific details like a star that represents a city, their creativity is enhanced. They can, for example, identify more unusual examples of various categories, like sports or birds (Friedman, Fishbach, Forster, & Werth, 2003).

Observation 5. Individuals who often experience a positive mood are perceived as more creative than are individuals who seldom experience a positive mood, especially in workgroups in which the supervisor is supportive, fair, and trustworthy. Interestingly, this benefit of positive moods is especially pronounced if individuals also often endure negative moods as well (George & Zhou, 2007).

Observation 6. If individuals had lived abroad, their creativity improves after they reflect upon a time in which they learned something in an unfamiliar culture (Maddux, Adam, & Galinsky, 2010).

Observation 7. Sometimes, individuals might be subtly, even unintentionally, mimicked by someone else. When they touch their face briefly, the other person might enact the same behavior. After individuals are mimicked, they perform more effectively on tasks in which they need to uncover similarities or patterns. However, on some tasks, their suggestions become less novel or creative (Ashton-James & Chartrand, 2009& see mimicry).

Observation 8. Sometimes, individuals are exposed to brief presentations of a brand name. For example, the brand "Apple" might be fleetingly presented in a TV commercial or appear subtly at the bottom of a newspaper article. Interestingly, compared to individuals who are exposed to subtle, incidental, or subliminal appearances of the brand "IBM", individuals who are exposed to fleeting appearances of the brand "Apple" are subsequently more likely to be creative. They are, for example, able to identify more creative uses of common objects, like bricks (Fitzsimons, Chartrand, & Fitzsimons, 2008).

Observation 9. When people experience a burst of anger, rather than sadness, their creativity tends to improve, at least initially. Their solutions to problems are more original and diverse. Nevertheless, the benefits of anger, compared to sadness, diminish over time. Anger tends to arouse cognitive processes but depletes mental energy quite rapidly (Baas, De Dreu, & Nijstad, 2011).

Observation 10. If individuals are right handed and excited about a movie, they prefer to sit on the right side of this cinema (Okubo, 2010& see Motivational lateralization hypothesis). Similarly, individuals who are creative are more likely than individuals who are analytical to sit on the right side of a classroom (Morton, Wearne, Kershner, & McLean, 1993).

Observation 11. Compared to other employees, individuals who enjoy their work and like to help other people are more likely to be perceived as creative and innovative by their managers (Grant & Berry, 2011).

Observation 12. If individuals feel very committed to their career--and want to remain in this occupation indefinitely--they are more likely to offer very original, even radical, suggestions at work (e.g., Madjar, Greenberg, & Chen, 2011).

Observation 13. If people are happy rather than depressed before they engage in some task, a movie clip about bullying, which usually induces anger in the audience, tends to improve creativity more than does an amusing scene. For example, in happy people, anger enhances their capacity to uncover creative captions of photographs (Forgeard, 2011).

Observation 14. Some people reflect upon paradoxes, such as the observation that standing is more tiring than walking. Alternatively, they may reflect upon conflicting goals that often need to be reconciled. They may be informed that innovative products tend to be more expensive and, therefore, organizations struggle to produce brands that are both original but reasonable in price. These reflections tend to enhance the capacity of individuals to generate creative solutions to problems (Miron-Spektor, Gino, & Argote, 2011).

Observation 15. After individuals observe an angry exchange between people, their performance on tasks that demand creativity deteriorates (Miron-Spektor, Efrat-Treister, Rafaeli, & Schwarz-Cohen, 2011). Exposure to sarcasm, however, tends to improve creativity.

Observation 16. Compared to individuals who speak only one language, individuals who speak more than one language fluently tend to be more creative. Their descriptions of ambiguous pictures, for example, are more original (Lee & Kim, 2011).

Observation 17. When individuals attempt to solve a problem for someone else, instead of themselves, their solutions tend to be more creative or insightful (Polman & Emich, 2011). If people need to draw an alien for a story that someone else, and not they, would write about, their pictures are more creative. As they orient their attention to the needs of other people, people feel a sense of distance, evoking an awareness of global patterns (cf.construal level theory).

Observation 18. In general, when individuals adopt a thinking style that diverges from their prevailing thinking style, their solutions tend to be more creative (Dane, Baer, Pratt, & Oldham, 2011). For example, if people usually apply principles they have learnt to solve problems, but are then encouraged to trust their intuition, their creativity improves. Conversely, if people usually trust their intuition, but are then encouraged to apply principles they learnt at university, their creativity also improves.

Observation 19. After individuals clench their left rather than right fist for several minutes, their creativity improves. Specifically, they can identify the common theme that underpins distinct words more effectively (Goldstein, Revivo, Kreitler, & Metuki, 2010). Clenching the left fist activates the right hemisphere.

Observation 20. If people do not need to share their solutions to anyone else, feelings of distrust tend to enhance creativity. For example, after people are subliminally exposed to the word distrust many times, they perceive words that are only remotely associated, such as beer and grape, as related to each other. They also suggest more creative uses of various objects, provided they do not need to share their solutions with anyone else (Mayer & Mussweiler, 2011).

Observation 21. Some employees often seek feedback about their performance. They might, for example, regularly seek feedback about their performance from supervisors, colleagues, or contacts in other departments or organizations. Many people believe that individuals who seek feedback are unconfident and incompetent. But actually, if individuals regularly seek feedback from many sources, their ideas tend to be more creative, original, and useful (De Stobbeleir, Ashford, & Buyens, 2011). In particular, when individuals seek feedback, they are willing to embrace diverging perspectives--a willingness that facilitates creativity. They also feel more certain about their role and strategies, and this certainty can instill the confidence that is needed to be creative.

Observation 22. After people complete a series of procedures in an unusual order, their creativity improves. For example, in one study, participants prepared a sandwich with one piece of bread, covered with butter and chocolate chips. These individuals, however, were instructed first to pour the chocolate chips onto the dish, butter a piece of bread, and then press the bread onto the chocolate chips. This task was sufficient to enhance creativity on a subsequent task, in which participants needed to name as many uses of a brick as possible (Ritter, Damian, Simonton, van Baaren, Strick, Derks, & Dijksterhuis, 2012& see the dual pathway model of creative performance).

Observation 23. When people are exposed to green objects, their creativity tends to improve. For example, in one study, after observing a small green rectangle on a white screen, people could uncover more creative uses of common objects, such as a tin can (Lichtenfeld, Elliot, Maier, & Pekrun, 2012).

Observation 24. Most people tend to assume that emotional intelligence is always desirable. Yet, some facets of emotional intelligence can diminish performance on various work tasks. For example, some people cannot recognize emotions effectively. When they describe the emotions that a portrait or scene evokes, their descriptions differ from the reports of most people. However, relative to other people, these individuals tend to be more creative in general. Their solutions to problems, such as the road toll, are more original and diverse (Zenasni & Lubart, 2009).

Observation 25. People are often asked to suggest a series of solutions that could be used to solve some problem. They might, for example, be asked to identify all the opportunities that could be utilized to promote some product. If these individuals need to present these solutions to someone far away, rather than nearby, their suggestions are more likely to be creative, original, and diverse (Jia, Hirt, & Karpen, 2009).

Observation 26. According to some consultants, if each member of a team is assigned a different role or has acquired a different qualification, the solutions of these workgroups are more original, useful, and creative. That is, diversity is assumed to enhance creativity. However, diversity fosters creativity only in one circumstance--when the individuals are encouraged to consider the key objectives of every other person and to consider the perspective of these people (Hoever, van Knippenberg, van Ginkel, & Barkema, 2012). That is, if individuals do not consider the perspective of each person, diversity is not as likely to encourage creativity.

Observation 27. Androgynous people--that is, people who exhibit strong masculine and feminine traits--are more likely to be creative than other individuals (Stoltzfus, Nibbelink, Vredenburg, & Thyrum, 2011). Androgynous people are perhaps more inclined to utilize a diversity of strategies and styles as they solve problems. Consequently, they can, for example, identify more uses of common objects as well as construct more creative pictures.

Observation 28. After individuals trace a picture that is curved rather than angular, and therefore move their hand more fluently and fluidly, their creativity later improves. That is, they can subsequently identify more original uses of a newspaper (Slepian & Ambady, 2012). They also are more likely to perceive a set of words that are modestly related to each other as exemplars of the same category (Slepian & Ambady, 2012). Finally, they perform better on the remote association test, in which they need to determine which sets of three words are related to a fourth word (Slepian & Ambady, 2012).

Observation 29. Relative to low or high levels of ambient noise, moderate levels of ambient noise seem to improve the performance of individuals on creative tasks and increases the likelihood they will purchase innovative products. That is, ambient noise at about 70 decibels fosters creativity relative to ambient noise at about 50 or 85 decibels (Mehta, Zhu, & Cheema, 2012). According to these researchers, sufficient noise is needed to impede cognition enough to evoke a sense of distance and foster an abstract construal, in which people orient their attention to broad patterns. This attention to broad, abstract concepts enhances flexibility in cognition. Excessive noise, however, impedes the degree to which individuals process information and, therefore, disrupts creativity.

Observation 30. After individuals are informed that differences between races or ethnicities can be ascribed to biological or genetic causes, their creativity tends to deteriorate. They cannot, for example, as readily identify one word that is related to three other words (Tadmor, Chao, Hong, & Polzer, 2013). They are, also, not as open to novel or unexpected information but are instead close minded.

Observation 31. When individuals work in darkness or imagine activities they undertook in dim conditions, their creativity tends to improve. Even after people are exposed to words that are synonymous with darkness, people tend to offer more creative, original solutions. For example, they can suggest more original uses of everyday household objects (Steidle & Werth, 2013). Darkness reduces the extent to which people feel constrained.

Observation 32. If people assume an innovation was developed by someone who lives nearby rather far away, they are less inclined to perceive this innovation as creative, novel, or useful (Mueller, Wakslak, & Krishnan, 2014).

Observation 33. In general, if artists are perceived as eccentric, their skills and artwork are more likely to be rated favorably, as shown by Van Tilburg and Igou (2013). For example, after individuals are told that Van Gogh had snipped his ear lobe off, his Sunflowers painting was rated evaluated more positively. Likewise, after people are told the artist of a painting was very eccentric--or observe the artist with an eccentric appearance, such as unshaven with long hair combed to one side--they were more inclined to maintain they liked this painting. These findings are observed only if the art is regarded as unconventional instead of conventional, conservative, and classical. Finally, this pattern is observed only if the eccentricity is assumed to be genuine instead of contrived to increase sales. Presumably, people tend to associate eccentricity with a tendency to challenge conventions--a tendency that enhances innovation.

Observation 34. After people behave dishonestly, their creativity tends to improve (Gino & Wiltermuth, 2014). In one study, some participants first completed a mathematics task, but were granted an opportunity to cheat: Because of a computer glitch, they could readily scan the answers unless they deliberately pressed the spacebar. After completing this activity, participants competed a test of creativity: the remote associates task, in which they needed to identify a word that is associated with three other terms. Participants who could cheat on one task performed more creatively on this subsequent test of creativity. A subsequent study showed that a feeling that individuals are unconstrained by rules mediated this effect of cheating on creativity. Presumably, after people cheat, they feel unconstrained by social rules, increasing their capacity to diverge from common regulations and thus behave unconventionally and creatively.

Observation 35. Organizations can introduce a variety of HR practices and approaches to increase the commitment of employees. These approaches include job rotation, profit sharing, promotions from within not outside the organization, opportunities to broaden roles, appraisals of behaviors rather than results, feedback to facilitate development rather than reward, equality in status and income, team rewards, many opportunities to contribute towards policy, and overarching goals. These HR approaches, in general, tend to enhance creativity, especially in cohesive teams (Chang, Jia, Takeuchi, Cai, 2014). In these organizations, individuals feel safe enough to embrace the risks that original solutions can entail. Furthermore, individuals are exposed to a greater diversity of insights, also fostering creativity.

Observation 36. Individuals tend to overestimate the benefits of generating ideas in groups rather than alone. They do not realise they generate more ideas alone than in groups. When alone, people tend to be attuned to their inability to uncover effective solutions& they feel dissatisfied with their performance as a consequence. When in groups, people are not as attuned to their inability to uncover effective solutions, because they are exposed to ideas from other individuals. So, they are not as dissatisfied with their performance. They will, therefore, underestimate the complications of groups. Consistent with this proposition, when each individual in a group must solve a distinct problem, this bias towards groups dissipates: individuals become more aware of their inability to uncover effective solutions in groups (Nijstad, Stroebe, & Lodewijkx, 2006).

Observation 37. Nostalgia has also been shown to enhance creativity (van Tilburg, Sedikides, & Wildschut, 2015). In one study, for example, participants were prompted to contemplate either a nostalgic or ordinary event in their lives. Next, participants were instructed to write a story about a particular topic. If these individuals had reflected on a nostalgic instead of an ordinary event, their stories were judged as more novel, original, and creative by independent evaluators.

Observation 38. In one study, electrodes were attached at the left and right side of participants' heads, towards the front. One more electrode was attached to the back of these heads. The electrodes stimulated the brain at a rate of 10 or 40 times a second for 30 minutes, corresponding to alpha or gamma waves respectively. Stimulation that corresponded to alpha waves but not gamma waves improved creativity, as measured by the Torrens test. For example, during this test, a few lines are presented on paper, and participants must utilize these lines to construct a picture. In short, alpha stimulation improves creativity.

Observation 39. After people contemplate the various identities to which they belong--such as their ethnicities, social circle, family, communities, and so forth--and how these identities overlap and affect their life, their creativity improves (Gaither, Remedios, Sanchez, & Sommers, 2015). They can, for example, identify more original names for pasta shapes--names that deviate from the examples they received by not ending in the letter i. When many identities are primed, individuals can appreciate a greater range of perspectives. They do not feel the need to conform to a specific perspective, enhancing flexibility and creativity.

Insight and innovation

Observation 1. When individuals work near a light bulb that has been illuminated, they are more likely to be able to solve problems that demand sudden insight. For example, they could more readily answer questions like "If four dots are arranged in the shape of a square, can you connect all these dots with only three straight lines" (Slepian, Weisbuch, Rutnick, Newman, & Ambady, 2010).

Observation 2. Compared to individuals who imagine a hypothetical night in which they enjoyed casual sex with someone they did not love, individuals who reflect upon a hypothetical night in which they strolled in a park with someone they love are more likely, several minutes later, to suddenly realize the answer to a challenging question they could not solve before (Forster, Epstude, & Ozelsel, 2009& see Construal level theory).

Observation 3. Companies often collaborate with other organizations to complete some task or assignment. Organizations that are relatively low, rather than high, in status will tend to devote more effort, time, and resources to this task or assignment. For example, F1 teams often collaborate with engine manufacturers. When other factors are controlled, engine manufacturers that are low in status--that is organizations that, in the past, have collaborated only with teams that are not prestigious--are more likely than engine manufacturers that are high in status to often update or redesign their engines (Castellucci & Ertug, 2010). That is, companies that are low in status are especially likely to gain resources and prestige if they satisfy companies that are high in status& hence, they often devote more effort to their collaborations with these companies.

Observation 4. Some employees enjoy creative tasks and endeavors. Some employees like to be compliant: They do not oppose other people but instead adapt their behavior to align with the expectations of other people. Finally, some employees are very thorough: They like to perfect the work and redress trivial errors or shortfalls. Interestingly, creative teams are more likely to identify and to implement revolutionary innovations, such as methods or tools that have never been utilized before--if they comprise a combination of creative and compliant individuals but no thorough individuals. In contrast, when none of the employees are compliant, members of the team are not confident their solutions will be implemented. Their ideas are often discarded. When some of the employees are very thorough, individuals become too careful to embrace the risks and uncertain that creativity entails (Miron-Spektor, Erez, & Naveh, 2011).

Memory and intelligence

Observation 1. If individuals need to memorize a series of words or concepts, such as chair, snow, and orange, they should consider the extent to which these objects could enhance their survival, if they needed to hunt or seek their own food in an isolated land. These reflections have been shown to enhance memory to a greater extent than most other techniques (e.g., Nairne, Pandeirada, Gregory, & Van Arsdall, 2009& see Adaptive memory).

Observation 2. If individuals doodle during a lecture or speech, by shading various shapes on a piece of paper, they are likely to remember more of the material than if they had not doodled (Andrade, 2010). Doodling might maintain arousal and prevent distractions.

Observation 3. Compared to individuals who seldom listen to music, individuals who often listen to music develop an excellent memory. They can, for example, more readily memorize lists of works (Chin & Rickard, 2010).

Observation 4. Music lessons have been shown to enhance intelligence in six year old children (Schellenberg 2004).

Observation 5. If an excerpt of music is presented 20 minutes after a list of words is presented, individuals can more readily recognize these terms later (Judde & Rickard, 2010). Music presented 45 minutes after this list of words is presented is not as beneficial.

Observation 6. After patients with Alzheimer?s Disease show staff how to use traditional tools?-implements they used when they were young?-their performance on memory tasks tends to improve (Yamagami, Oosawa, Ito, & Yamaguchi, 2007).

Observation 7. After children experience 40 hours of training in music, their performance on various indices of intelligence and ability improves. In one study, some children were granted 40 hours of training in rhythm, pitch, melody, voice, and music concepts. Other children were granted training in visual arts instead. Next, they completed a series of tasks, such as an assessment of vocabulary as well as a go-no go task, in which they pressed a button only when specific sets of geometric figures were presented. Music training, but not visual arts training, improved performance on these tasks over time (Moreno, Bialystok, Barac, Schellenberg, Cepeda, & Chau, 2011). This finding is consistent with the parieto-frontal integration theory. This theory assumes that music, language, and intelligence all depend on the same coordination of prefrontal regions, the anterior cingulate, and areas in the temporal lobe.

Observation 8. In general, people who have tried various recreational drugs in the past, such as cocaine, marijuana, hallucinogens, tend to be more intelligent, as measured by a battery of tests. However, once intelligence exceeds 115 or so, the likelihood that people have tried these drugs slightly declines. Conceivably, both intelligence and drug use corresponds to an inclination to explore novel experiences. These findings persist even after socioeconomic status, demographics, and self-esteem are controlled (Wilmoth, 2012).

Observation 9. Intelligence correlates with religious beliefs and fundamentalism, although these relationships are complex rather than straightforward. Specifically, if people exhibit limited intelligence, as gauged by a range of intelligence tests, they are more likely to adopt fundamentalist beliefs, such as assume the Bible is the word of god, even after controlling education and openness to experience. In addition, they identify closely with their religious group (Lewis, Ritchie, & Bates, 2011). Yet, openess to experience, a correlate of intelligence, encourages spiritual and religious contemplation.

Observation 10. In the US states in which the prevalence of infection is high, the IQ of people, as rated by a suite of measures, tends to be lower (Eppig, Fincher, & Thornhill, 2011). This relationship persists even after controlling levels of education and wealth. Similarly, in the nations in which the prevalence of infection is high, the IQ of people tends to be lower (Eppig, Fincher, & Thornhill, 2010). Infectious diseases may impede the digestion of nutrients, obstruct the repair of tissues, or evoke an immune response, each of which can undermine neural development. Unlike other diseases, such as diabetes, the rate of infectious disease is likely to be a cause, and not a consequence, of low IQ.

Observation 11. In general, if the socioeconomic status of students during the last year of high school is low--as measured by indices such as parental education, parental income, and success of their school--their pay during the first year of work also tends to be reduced. However, unlike intelligence, socioeconomic status does not seem to be significantly related to increases in pay over the first ten years of work (Ganzach, 2012). Presumably, when socioeconomic status is limited, individuals are not as likely to have formed relationships with anyone who can help them uncover an excellent job. Yet, their qualities are not actually deficient.

Observation 12. After individuals practice an activity in which they need to consider many shapes and sounds at the same time--called the dual n-back task--their performance on a few specific intelligence tests improves (Jaeggi, Buschkuehl, Jonides, & Perrig, 2008). That is, a facet of intelligence, called fluid intelligence, improves after about 4 weeks of daily practice on this task. To complete the dual n-back task, individuals undertake two activities at the same time. For the first task, a series of shapes is presented. The participants must press a button whenever two shapes, separated by a specific number of other shapes, are identical to each other. For the second task, a series of sounds is presented. Again, the participants must press a button whenever two sounds, separated by a specific number of other sounds, are also identical. Extensive practice on this task enhances fluid intelligence--the capacity to solve problems that are unrelated to past knowledge. Fluid intelligence is a vital determinant of learning and performance in complex settings. Not all working memory tasks, however, enhance intelligence.

Observation 13. After people are asked to evaluate blends of different cereals, smells, or sounds, such as a combination of corn flakes, rice bubbles, and oats, they perform better on tasks that demand creativity, such as writing original titles to pictures. In contrast, after people are asked to evaluate unmixed cereals, smells, or sounds--such as corn flakes or rice bubbles alone--they perform well on tasks that demand the application of rules and logic (Forster & Denzler, 2012).

Observation 14. After people feel excluded from some community or rejected by friends, their performance on intelligence tests declines. For example, in one study, after completing a personality test, some people were informed they are unlikely to maintain strong friendships in the future. This feedback compromised their capacity to perform as well on intelligence test or on exams (Baumeister, Twenge, & Nuss, 2002).

Observation 15. After people engage in intense exercise, their capacity to remember the details of an event they witnessed deteriorates (Hope, Lewinski, Dixon, Blocksidge, & Gabbert, 2012). For example, after engaging in intense exercise, police officers could not remember the details of a simulated event they witnessed. They could not identify the perpetrator from a lineup as effectively as people who had not engaged in this exercise. They could not remember briefing information as well either. According to the theory of arousal-based competition, the feelings that exercise elicit switch attention from incidental details to only prominent information.

Observation 16. After individuals reflect upon their ancestors, their confidence and performance on intellectual tasks improves. That is, in one study, some participants were asked to imagine their ancestors in the fifteenth century: their activities, lifestyle, and work, for example. Some participants reflected upon their great grandparents instead. Finally, in the control condition, some participants reflected upon a visit to the supermarket. Compared to the other participants, the individuals who reflected upon their ancestors performed more effectively on a verbal intelligence test (Fischer, Sauer, Vogrincic, & Weisweiler, 2011). They also felt more control over life, more inspired to pursue their aspirations, and more confident about forthcoming exams. Conceivably, when people reflect upon their ancestors, they become more aware of the achievements of past generations, evoking a sense of control. They also become more cognizant of the lasting implications of behavior, orienting attention to the future as well.

Observation 17. Preliminary evidence indicates that children adopted by gay or lesbian couples develop as rapidly as, if not more rapidly than, children adopted by heterosexual couples. Lavner, Waterman, and Peplau (2012) examined 82 children, previously living in foster care, 2, 12, and 24 months after they had been adopted by gay, lesbian, or heterosexual couples. Improvements in cognitive development and behavior?-as gauged by various intelligence tests and inventories of behavioral problems?-did not depend on the sexuality of couples. Yet, the children adopted by the gay or lesbian couples had previously exhibited more biological and environmental risks, such as prenatal substance abuse or history of neglect. Taken together, these findings imply that perhaps the gay or lesbian couples were more effective in raising these children.

Observation 18. People are more likely to remember information if they rest, rather than complete some other difficult task, during the 10 minutes after learning this material (Dewar, Alber, Butler, Cowan, and Sala, 2012).

Observation 19. After individuals are merely told to think creatively on a particular task, their capacity to recognize similarities between concepts that seem different improves. For example, they are more likely to agree with the phrase "Nose is to scent as antenna is to signal". They recognize the similarities between "nose is to scent" and "antenna is to signal", despite superficial differences, called creative analogical reasoning. Yet, after they are told to think creatively, these individuals can still reject false analogies as effectively, such as "Nose is to scent as eyelash is to mascara" (Green, Cohen, Kim, & Gray, 2012). Arguably, when people are told to think creatively, many of the cognitive processes that are usually reserved for creative settings, such as writing poetry, are primed. Neural regions that underpin this creativity, including the frontopolar cortex, may be activated as well.

Observation 20. Compared to children who often eat fast food or frozen meals, children who eat more meals that are prepared with fresh ingredients tend to develop in intelligence more rapidly between the ages of 3 to 5, as gauged by tests of vocabulary. In boys, eating meals that are prepared with fresh ingredients also improved performance on spatial tasks as well during these years. These meals may facilitate the synthesis of neurotransmitters and, ultimately, improve brain functioning. Indeed, the benefits of these meals may partly explain the association between socio-economic status and cognitive performance. That is, socio-economic status is positively associated with the consumption of meals with fresh ingredients--and these meals are positively associated with cognitive performance (von Stumm, 2012).

Observation 21. Protzko, Aronson, and Blair (2013) reported four meta-analyses into interventions that could enhance the intelligence of children. The first meta-analysis showed that dietary supplements with long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, administered to infants or pregnant mothers, improved intelligence. The second meta-analysis showed that interactive reading to children under 4, in which parents ask open ended questions and demonstrate interest in the content that children are reading, also enhanced intelligence. The third meta-analysis showed that preschool enhances intelligence. The fourth meta-analysis showed that early education interventions, especially in centers rather than at home, enhance intelligence: examples include relevant puzzles and asking children questions that demand extended answers. In short, complex environments foster intelligence.

Observation 22. People tend to remember words that represent living beings, such as spider, baby, minister, and trout, better than words that do not represent living beings, such as drum, hat, kite, and even doll (Nairne, Van Arsdall, Pandeirada, Cogdill, & LeBreton, 2013).

Observation 23. In general, intelligent people earn more money than unintelligent people. However, this relationship is not as pronounced in people who are at least moderately intelligent. That is, provided that individuals are moderately intelligent, the association between intelligence and pay is not especially strong, particularly in jobs that are not especially complex. To illustrate, as Ganzach, Gotlibobski, Greenberg, and Pazy (2013) showed, the association between general mental ability and pay resembles an r shape, called a concave line. The measure of general mental ability included tests of arithmetic reasoning, reading comprehension, word knowledge, and mathematics knowledge.

Observation 24. Gestures seem to enhance the capacity of students to learn maths and extend this learning to a different set of problems (Novack, Congdon, Hemani-Lopez, & Goldin-Meadow, 2014). In one study, third grade children received arithmetic equations in the form 4 + 6 + 3 = ? + 3 or 2 + 7 + 4 = 2 + ? The numbers were black metallic objects that could be shifted. In one condition, children were encouraged to shift the two numbers on one side to the space on the other side. In the second condition, children simulated this shift but did not actually touch the numbers. In the final condition, children merely pointed to the relevant two numbers on the left side and then pointed to the space on the right side without simulating the shift. The third condition enhanced the capacity of students to generalize their learning to very different problems. These findings are consistent with the concreteness fading theory, in which problems should begin as concrete and then fade. Arguably, the gestures enable children to process the words less concretely.

Observation 25. In lectures or tutorials, if students record notes by writing rather than by typing in a laptop, they tend to learn better (Mueller & Oppenheimer, 2014). In one study, participants watched a lecture alone or near one other student. They were granted the opportunity to record notes with a laptop or pen but not both. About 10 minutes after the lecture, participants received a series of questions to assess their memory of this material and capacity to apply this material. Answers to questions that assess application in particular were more accurate if notes were recorded by handwriting instead of a laptop. Furthermore, when a laptop was used, the notes were more often verbatim, indicative of limited elaboration. A subsequent study showed the problem with laptops persists even if participants were discouraged from recording notes verbatim. Even after participants were granted an opportunity to review the notes, one week later the pattern of observations persisted.

Observation 26. Contrary to common assumptions, people tend to appear more competent, rather than less competent, after they seek advice (Brooks, Gino, & Schweitzer, 2015), especially if the task is indeed difficult and advice is sought from experts. In particular, individuals who are asked to offer advice are especially likely to perceive the person who sought this guidance as competent. For example, in one study, pairs of participants completed a challenging task in separate rooms. The two participants supposedly communicated over email. Participants rated the other individual as more competent if this person had sought advice. Yet, most people actually assume that such requests would diminish their perceived competence.

Observation 27. People can recall a set of items more effectively on rainy, cloudy days than fine, sunny days (Forgas, Goldenberg, & Unkelbach, 2009). In one study, visitors of a news agency in Sydney were instructed to memorize a series of objects on the counter, such as a toy car. On rainy days, visitors recalled approximately 3 times as many objects. Gloomy feelings may mediate this association between rainy days and memory.

Observation 28. In general, people are more likely to remember and disseminate stories about people seeking pleasure, called hedonic stories, than people seeking a meaningful or moral goal, called eudaimonic stories (Oishi, Kesebir, Eggleston, & Miao, 2014). That is, in contrast to eudaimonic stories, hedonic stories usually refer to more immediate and thus strong emotions. Strong emotions enhance memory and promote dissemination. In one study, participants read two stories that were identical--32 sentences about a woman who meets new friends, attends a party, meets an attractive guy, and attends a date with this man. The hedonic story then focuses on activities that are associated with seeking pleasure, such as alcohol consumption, a hangover, sexual experiences, and laziness. The eidaimonic story then focuses on meaningful and moral goals, like work and church. In both stories, she organizes a second date, however. The hedonic story was more likely to be perceived as newsworthy and actually transmitted to other people. In addition, people could recount the hedonic story more readily.

Observation 29. Often teams of employees need to solve some problem that demands astute logic rather than extensive knowledge. In these instances, teams of three people are more effective than teams of two people-but as effective as teams of four or five people. Consequently, in these circumstances, teams of three people are optimal, because any more individuals is inefficient. For example, in one study (Laughlin, Hatch, Silver, & Boh, 2006), participants needed to determine which letters are associated with which numbers from a series of equations like A + B = C and B - D = E. Teams of three, four, and five were equally effective as one another and more effective than was the most proficient individual when working alone. Teams of two were no more effective than was the most proficient individual when working alone.

Observation 30. Teachers often ask children to answer questions, such as "What is a telescope?" or "What is 27 divided by 3?" If these children learn to shift their gaze away from the teacher when answering these questions, their responses are more likely to be accurate, especially on the harder questions (Phelps, Doherty-Sneddon, & Warnock, 2006).

Observation 31. People are more likely to remember the conversations they overhear if they had also observed the individuals talking (Campos Alonso-Quecuty, 2006). Individuals who see and hear, rather than only hear, a conversation remember the content more accurately and are not as likely to forget the material over time.

Concentration and attention

Observation 1. Most tasks, such as traversing a steep hill, seem easier after individuals imagine or interact with a supportive, loyal, and understanding friend (Schnall, Harber, Stefanucci, & Proffitt, 2008).

Observation 2. Some individuals are usually more motivated to enjoy themselves than to achieve important goals. After these individuals read or hear words that are synonymous with achievement, such as "excel" or "win", they subsequently become less inclined to complete demanding work tasks (Hart & Albarracin, 2009).

Observation 3. After, compared to before, individuals are exposed to nature--or even merely observe a photograph of the wilderness--their memory and concentration in distracting environments improves, particularly if the day had been exhausting or demanding (Berman, Jonides, & Kaplan, 2008). Specifically, according to attention restoration theory, exposure to nature facilitates voluntary attention--that is, attention that demands effort.

Observation 4. Typically, individuals who are extraverted or emotionally stable tend to work more effectively when somebody else is nearby. Individuals who are introverted or anxious in contrast, tend to work more effectively when nobody else is nearby (Uziel, 2007).

Observation 5. Before people engage in important events, such as golf tournaments, they might apply various superstitions. They might express some proverb, such as "break a leg", cross their fingers, or hold a lucky charm. Individuals who are granted opportunities to apply these superstitions tend to perform more effectively on subsequent tasks (Damisch, Stoberock, & Mussweiler, 2010& see also Self efficacy).

Observation 6. Sometimes, individuals reflect upon a task they need to complete later in the day that demands considerable energy or concentration. After individuals reflect upon a demanding, rather than straightforward, task they need to complete later in the day, they devote more effort to the activities they are completing now (Bosmans, Pieters, & Baumgartner, 2010).

Observation 7. Intelligence has been shown to diminish the likelihood of lapses in concentration. That is, sometimes people need to perform a monotonous task, such as watch a sequence of letters or numerals and press a button whenever a specific pattern is observed. If people excel on intelligence tests, such as tasks in which they need to complete a series of numbers, their capacity to maintain concentration during tedious activities and avoid lapses is usually extensive (Unsworth, Redick, Lakey, & Young, 2010).

Observation 8. When people complete tasks that demand attention and concentration, they perform more effectively if their window faces an entirely natural environment rather than an environment that is devoid of nature (Tennessen & Cimprich, 1995). For example, they perform more efficiently on the symbol digit modalities test, in which they need to convert geometric symbols to numbers, according to some code.

Observation 9. While people complete cognitive tasks, subliminal words that are synonymous with action, such as go, fast, and run, are more likely to promote effort and performance than words that are synonymous with inaction, such as sleep, slow, and passive--but only in specific circumstances. In particular, these subliminal words are effective only if the task is moderately difficult but feasible. In addition, these subliminal words are effective if people are motivated to perform well (Silvestrini & Gendolla, 2013).

Observation 10. When people need to place their iPhones aside, their performance on tests, such as tasks in which they need to locate words in a matrix of letters, diminishes. In addition, they experience the physiological signs of anxiety, such as an increased heart rate and blood pressure (Clayton, Leshner, & Almond, 2015).

Observation 11. In general, we recognize words that represent large objects, such as truck and whale, slightly but significantly more quickly than words that represent small objects. Somehow, larger objects are prioritized in the brain.

Observation 12. After people imagine a specific object, such as a red circle, they can rapidly detect this stimulus on a screen or embedded within a sequence of other objects. Indeed, imagining this object is more likely to guide their attention to this stimulus than practicing finding this object (Reinhart, McClenahan, & Woodman, 2015).

Observation 13. When people wear formal clothing, rather than informal clothing, they are more likely to orient their attention to broad, global patterns instead of specific details (Slepian, Ferber, Gold, & Rutchick, 2015). Formal clothes instil a sense of power and distance from other individuals. This sense of power and distance enables people to feel safe enough to consider future, abstract possibilities instead of more immediate needs and details.

Physical skills

Observation 1. In some teams, such as workgroups or sporting clubs, the individuals will occasionally touch each other. These individuals might pat the shoulder of someone else, touch a forearm lightly, or high five one another. Interestingly, in competitive sports, teams in which individuals often touch each other early in the season tend to perform more effectively later in the season (Kraus, Huang, & Keltner, 2010), regardless of their expectations of performance early in the season. This level of touch has been shown to promote cooperation or trust and ultimately improve performance (Kraus, Huang, & Keltner, 2010).

Observation 2. Judges of combat sports, such as tae kwon do, are more inclined to award more points to competitors who wear red apparel, such as red protective gear, than other colors, such as blue (Hagemann, Strauss, & Leibing, J. (2008).

Observation 3. Obviously, in general, sporting teams are more likely to win when they play at their home ground than when they play at another ground. Interestingly, this home ground advantage cannot be ascribed to the effect of increased support at the home ground. For example, during the 2006 and 2007 series in the Italian soccer league, games were played without a crowd but the home ground advantage was still observed. Furthermore, when two teams that share a ground play together, which of the teams is officially the home team and therefore can include more supporters does not affect the outcome. Crowd support, therefore, does not seem to affect success in team sports (Van De Ven, 2011).

Observation 4. During a swimming relay, each member of the team swims one leg, such as 100 m each. In general, people who swim one of the last two legs swim faster during this relay than they would if they swam the same distance during an individual heat (Huffmeier & Hertel, 2011).

Observation 5. After individuals squeeze their left hand for 30 seconds, they perform their entrenched skills more effectively under pressure (Beckmann, Gropel, & Ehrlenspiel, 2013). That is, clenching the left fist improves the performance of experienced soccer, tae kwon do, and badminton players on specific tasks, such as serving, especially under pressure when other people are watching. Arguably, under pressure, people often direct their attention too closely to their performance, mediated primarily by the left hemisphere, and this attention impedes their entrenched motor programs. Squeezing the left hand, and thus priming the right hemisphere, overrides this tendency.

Observation 6. According to the matching law, basketball players who can sink a high proportion of 3 point shots will also attempt many of these shots. Strictly speaking, their behavior is likely to conform to the formula log(Bx/By)= 1 x log(rx/ry) + 0& in this formula, Bx and By represent the proportion of times they attempt 2 and 3 point shots& rx and ry represent the average number of points they receive on each shot. Alferink, Critchfield, Hitt, and Higgins (2009) showed this law tends to be satisfied& however, 3 point shots tend to be attempted more frequently than warranted. Arguably, players may disregard the likelihood of success in deciding whether to attempt 3 point shots& they consider only the higher point value. Finally, members of more successful teams tend to align with this matching law to a greater extent& perhaps the tendency of people to disregard the likelihood of success is more consequential to unskilled players.

Observation 7. When judges or managers need to evaluate a succession of performances, such as job interviews or figure skating, they tend to assign the higher scores to the later performance (de Bruin, 2005). For example, from 1957 to 2003, in the Eurovision Song Contest, singers that appeared later in the show tended to receive the highest scores. A similar pattern has been observed in skating championships. Although the average score tends to increase across the event, later performances also tended to receive more extreme scores as well, including very low scores.

Observation 8. Sports people are often encouraged to visualize their performance before they perform. Before putting, for example, people often visualize or imagine their putts. The speed of these images, however, affects performance. In one study, some participants were instructed to imagine ten accurate putts as rapidly as possible. Other participants were instructed to imagine ten accurate parts but as slowly as they like. Rapid images were most likely to enhance performance in skilled golfers but not in inexperienced golfers. This finding is consistent with the notion that rapid visualization may prevent excessive thoughts, and excessive thoughts are especially likely to harm the performance of experienced performers, who instead can rely on entrenched skills (Beilock & Gonso, 2008).

Observation 9. Often, people trip on stairs, often because they underestimate the height of a particular step. A visual illusion can be utilized to override this problem. In particular, the face of a step can be decorated with vertical lines and the top of a step can be decorated with horizontal lines. This decoration--in contrast to steps in which the face is decorated with horizontal lines and the top is decorated with vertical lines--increases the perceived height of steps by about 5 mm. And, individuals tend to lift their feet higher when they judge the step to be higher (Elliott, Vale, Whitaker, & Buckley, 2009). Arguably, this finding that both perception and action was affected simultaneously challenges the distinction between the ventral visual pathway, which purportedly represents the contents or what, and the dorsal visual pathway, which purportedly represents location or where.

Observation 10. After people engage in a creative task, they feel more liberated. To illustrate, as soon as individuals contemplate a large secret, instead of a trivial secret, they experience a physical burden as well. Indeed, when attempting to throw a beanbag onto a target, because of this physical burden, they overestimate the distance of this target. Consequently, they throw the beanbag too far. They are also unwilling to help other people on a physical task. However, if participants had been granted the opportunity to uncover creative, rather than merely practical, ideas on how to improve a restaurant, a secret did not generate this problem. The participants felt liberated and uninhibited instead (Goncalo, Vincent, & Krause, 2015).

Planning and leadership

Observation 1. After individuals are granted a position of power and authority--or reflect upon a time in which they were granted positions of power and authority--they become more likely to underestimate the time they will need to complete some task (Weick & Guinote, 2010& see Perceived power).

Observation 2. Sometimes, employees must estimate which date they will complete some task. Usually, they underestimate the date at which they will complete the activity. This bias, however, dissipates if they are asked to consider the number of weeks or months--instead of the number of days--they will need to fulfill this duty (LeBoeuf & Shafir, 2009& see The planning fallacy).

Observation 3. Some individuals are often concerned they might be rejected or abandoned by friends and colleague. Leaders who experience these concerns tend to reach decisions without consulting anyone else, demonstrating an authoritarian style (Davidovitz, Mikulincer, Shaver, Izsak, & Popper, 2007& see also Attachment theory).

Observation 4. Many products, such as computers, mobile phones, or kitchen appliances, cannot be utilized immediately until after the consumers have developed the requisite skills. In general, before they attempt these products, people underestimate the duration that might be needed to acquire this skill. However, immediately after individuals first attempt these products, they overestimate the duration that might be needed to acquire this skill?-and, therefore, sometimes their confidence and hope diminishes prematurely (Billeter, Kalra, & Loewenstein, 2010& see also the empathy gap effect).

Observation 5. When a team leader in a workgroup that has recently been formed is elevated in status?-for example, because they had been employed in a prestigious role in the past or had attained advanced qualifications?-they are perceived as more effective and confident if they encourage other members to contribute to decisions rather than reach these decisions by themselves. In contrast, when a team leader is not as elevated in status, they are perceived as more effective and confident if they are more directive, perhaps by assigning roles to each member (Sauer, 2011).

Observation 6. If participants are asked to indicate the number of tasks-?such as the number of pages they will read?-over a long period, such as four hours, they tend to overestimate this number. They will not, for example, read as many pages as they had anticipated. If this period is shorter, such as five minutes, they are not as likely to overestimate the number of tasks they will complete (Halkjelsvik, Jorgensen, & Teigen, 2011).

Observation 7. Sometimes, people need to estimate the time needed to complete a task, such as proofread an article or write a report on a topic. If these individuals are told they will need to begin the task in one year, they may sometimes overestimate the time that will be needed. In contrast, if these individuals are told they will need to begin this task tomorrow, they are more likely to underestimate the time that will be needed (Kanten, 2011).

Observation 8. Some work teams are more powerful than other work teams. That is, some teams, such as management boards or steering committees, reach decisions that affect the lives of other teams. In these powerful teams, individuals are more likely to disagree on which procedures and practices should be applied to fulfill their goals. Consequently, powerful teams are not as likely to fulfill their goals or to work effectively as other teams. If the influence, power, or authority of each member is stipulated clearly, however, this problem in powerful teams is not as pronounced (Greer, Caruso, & Jehn, 2011).

Observation 9. If the number 1 appears on a screen for about half a second, people feel this number was presented only briefly. If the number 9 appears on a screen for about half a second instead, people are more likely to feel this number was not presented as briefly. That is, the magnitude of numbers biases the perceived duration of some event (Chang, Tzeng, Hung, & Wu, 2011).

Observation 10. Often, people need to estimate the duration that will be needed to complete a task. Usually, people underestimate the time that is needed. However, when people imagine the task from the perspective of someone else, this bias diminishes. They become more likely to recognize some of the obstacles and complications that could unfold (Buehler, Griffin, Lam, & Deslauriers, 2012).

Observation 11. When the employees of a team, such as employees of a pizza store, tend to be proactive--that is, if they show initiative, suggest improvements, or introduce changes to enhance the organization--profit is likely to be high if leaders are more introverted and reserved. In contrast, when the employees of a team are not proactive, profit is likely to be high if leaders are more confident and extroverted in their manner (Grant, Gino, & Hofmann, 2011).

Observation 12. In some organizations, few employees decide to leave and few employees are ever dismissed. A study of call centers uncovered some key insights into the determinants of this voluntary and involuntary turnover of staff. Specifically, in organizations in which employees are often promoted or transferred within the organization, tend to be permanent rather than temporary, are granted discretion over how and when to complete tasks, are not monitored too closely, and receive a high base pay rather than depend on bonuses, voluntary and involuntary turnover tends to diminish. All of these practices reflect an emphasis to develop employees over time rather than optimize performance immediately (Batt & Colvin, 2011).

Observation 13. If the members of boards debate and disagree on many issues, such as key decisions about the organization, the board operates more effectively. In particular, the board contributes more to functioning of the organization and develops more extensive networks with other stakeholders (Minichilli, Zattoni, & Zona, 2009).

Observation 14. Many employees utilize practices, such as working from home, part time work, job sharing, or compressed work weeks, to fulfill their family responsibilities and other obligations outside work more effectively. Yet, employees are often concerned that utilizing these provisions may damage their reputation. They are worried they will be perceived as uncommitted, compromising the likelihood of promotions. Research, however, challenges this assumption. In particular, some managers tend to assume that employees often utilize some of these provisions, such as job sharing or working from home, to enhance their productivity. These managers tend to assume that employees who utilize these provisions are more committed to work than other employees and, therefore, are more likely to deserve a promotion (Leslie, Park, & Mehng, 2012).

Observation 15. Many leaders attempt to promote an inspiring vision or depiction of the future. However, they tend to overlook two key features. First, many leaders encourage employees to pursue many values, such as integrity, teamwork, innovation, curiosity, efficiency, and altruism, rather than just a few key priorities. Second, the vision that leaders articulate often alludes to intangible concepts, like "to be the best hospital", rather than specific, vivid, and tangible depictions, like "to inspire patients to smile". However, as Carton, Murphy, and Clark (2014) showed, hospitals that inspire employees to pursue only a few key values rather than many values, tended to be more effective-but only if the vision entailed vivid descriptions. In these hospitals, heart attack readmissions were less likely for example.

Financial performance and productivity

Observation 1. A few years after a CEO leaves a large organization, and is replaced by another person, financial performance, such as rate of growth or profit, will sometimes diminish. This problem is especially common if the person that was assigned to this position was recruited from outside the organization, particularly if the industry is unstable and competitive. CEOs recruited from outside the organization, rather than groomed within the organization, often initiative many changes. Because of these changes, the organization cannot as readily withstand other unforeseen demands (Zhang & Rajagopalan, 2004). The employees become especially sensitive to other sources of stress.

Observation 2. After a senior manager replaces a previous incumbent, the performance of organizations will tend to improve initially, perhaps in the first three to six months, but then tend to deteriorate over the longer period. For example, in the Premier Football League in England, after one manager is replaced by another manager, performance tends to improve in the first 10 games, but deteriorate after 30 games. Performance is positively associated with tenure of the manager. After a new manager begins, some initial innovations or expectations enhance performance, but the underlying problems are seldom considered or resolved (Hughes, Hughes, Mellahi, & Guermat, 2010).

Observation 3. When a sporting club that represents a nation performs well, the mood and morale of employees tends to increase& productivity and growth also improve. For example, one study showed that every time Fenerbahce--a Turkish soccer club--won in European cups, monthly industrial growth increased, on average, by .26% (Berument & Yucel, 2005).

Observation 4. If the face of a CEO is wide rather than narrow in shape, the firm in which this manager works tends to perform more effectively. That is, return on investment is more likely to increase over time (Wong, Ormiston, & Haselhuhn, 2011). Arguably, a CEO with a wide face tends to be perceived as powerful, perhaps increasing the confidence, and thus motivation, of employees. Powerful people may also promote a more ambitious vision of the future. Interestingly, if letters to shareholders tend to be simplistic, using words like absolutely rather than possibly, this effect of facial structure is especially pronounced. People that refer to simplistic premises are often more receptive to powerful leaders.

Observation 5. Individuals often exaggerate the benefits of workplace training on performance. For example, six months after people complete a course on writing, they are more likely to feel their sensitivity to cultural issues has improved as well. Similarly, supervisors will also exaggerate the benefits of workplace training on performance, provided they had chosen which employees should participate in the course. Subordinates who were conscientious but also report elevated levels of insecurity and perfectionism are especially inclined to exhibit this bias (Chiaburu, Sawyer, & Thoroughgood, 2010). Presumably, these individuals are especially motivated to perceive themselves as adept and successful. Consequently, they want to believe these courses will greatly facilitate their success.

Observation 6. In general, men who are more agreeable tend to earn less than do men who are disagreeable. That is, if men are trusting, cooperative, altruistic, compliant, modest, and sympathetic, their income tends to be limited. Presumably, when agreeableness is elevated, individuals sacrifice personal interests to establish strong relationships. Furthermore, agreeable men diverge from the stereotype that males are competitive and bold. In contrast, this association between agreeableness and income diminishes in women. Nevertheless, income tends to be lower in women, regardless of whether they are agreeable. All these findings persisted even after other personality traits, previous career breaks, education, job complexity, and job status are controlled (Judge, Livingston, Hurst, & Ivey, 2012). Hence, the lower incomes in women and agreeable men are arguably unfair.

Observation 7. If workgroups or teams comprise many rather than fewer individuals, the extent to which each person contributes to the group diminishes. That is, their performance deteriorates. Specifically, in larger teams, people do not feel they will be supported adequately, increasing stress, and diminishing performance (Mueller, 2012). Alternatively, in large teams, smaller coalitions can naturally form, and these coalitions can provoke conflicts, also eliciting stress.

Observation 8. Some experts believe that corporations are not likely to be more successful if they often contribute money or gifts to charitable causes or community programs. They believe this philanthropy is merely an unnecessary expense and, indeed, is sometimes initiated by managers only to enhance their own reputation and to advance their careers. Research, however, challenges this assumption, at least in particular circumstances. In particular, the amount of money that organizations donate to charitable causes or community programs is positively related to measures of financial performance, such as return on assets--especially if these corporations spend extensively on marketing, performed well last year, have not established strong political affiliations, and operate in a developed market (Wang & Qian, 2012). In particular, such philanthropy enhances the reputation of firms that are familiar to people already and also facilitate trust in government officials. These findings were observed in China, although most of these results are likely to apply in other nations as well.

Observation 9. Some employees actually sell more products when they feel stressed at work. Other employees sell fewer products when they feel stressed at work. In particular, if employees feel very committed to their company--that is, if they experience a sense of belonging and loyalty--they often sell more products when stressed. Stress is perceived as a challenge to overcome, enhancing motivation and persistence. In contrast, if employees do not feel at all committed to their company, stress impairs their performance (Hunter & Thatcher, 2007).

Observation 10. In some boards, all the directors are similar in experience and status. In other boards, the directors vary considerably from each other on experience and status. For example, some of the directors may be members of many other corporate boards as well, including prestigious boards. Other directors may not be members of any other corporate boards. When the directors vary considerably from each other on experience and status, the company is more likely to perform effectively: Return on assets is likely to be elevated (He & Huang, 2011). In these boards, the most experiences directors often set the agenda or guide the conversation. The other directors will tend to offer their suggestions. The discussions, therefore, tend to be more efficient, especially when the board is small. These efficient boards are especially beneficial when the market and industry is unstable or when financial performance in the previous year was deficient.

Observation 11. Employees often voluntarily leave their organization. Sometimes, they will leave to work at a client. For example, accountants of a large firm may leave to work at a company to which they had offered services. In general, organizations tend to earn more revenue from a client after one of the employees had left to work for this client (Somaya, Williamson, & Lorinkova, 2008). Therefore, if employees are planning to leave, they should be encouraged to gravitate to clients instead of competitors.

Observation 12. As inequality in income increases, economic growth actually decreases. According to Alesina and Rodrik (1994), when inequality diminishes, the typical person in the nation owns more capital. These people will, therefore, be more inclined to reject taxation on capital. Taxation decreases, and this reduced taxation tends to enhance economic growth.

Observation 13. When CEOs demonstrate cooperative behavior--for example, when they often consider the feedback they receive from subordinates, offer advice, and work collaboratively--workplace performance tends to improve. That is, cooperative behavior in CEOs is positively associated with return on investment and other financial measures (Espedal, Kvitastein, & Gronhaug, 2012). Specifically, cooperative CEOs work better with the board and are granted more discretion to reach suitable decisions, enhancing performance. Furthermore, although not established definitively, cooperative CEOs may also foster trust, effort, and learning in employees. This association between cooperative CEOs and performance is not as pronounced when executive pay depends primarily on performance. In these environments, people become more competitive than cooperative (Foss, Minbaeva, Pedersen, & Reinholt, 2009& Wuthnow, 1991)& the benefits of cooperation may diminish.

Observation 14. Coopetition is the tendency of some organizations to form alliances with competitors. Indeed, the majority of alliances that some organizations form are with competitors. These organizations tend to report better market performance, as gauged by growth, market share and profitability (Ritala, 2001). These organizations also tend to report more extensive innovation in products, services, and practices (Ritala, 2001). Coopetition is especially likely to enhance performance when the needs of customers change rapidly, because alliances with competitors enable organizations to share the costs and risks of rapid development, to integrate complementary skills, to leverage economies of scale, and to ensure the various products are compatible with each other (Ritala, 2001). In addition, coopetition is particularly effective when the products and services demand a critical mass of customers before they are efficient (Ritala, 2001). However, coopetition is not as effective in industries in which many rivals compete& perhaps the time and resources that are needed to sustain coopetition in these settings is exorbitant (Ritala, 2001).

Observation 15. In some instances, people conduct meetings standing up rather than sitting down. When people stand up, the meeting is significantly shorter in length but the decisions do not tend to be more accurate (Bluedorn, Turban, & Love, 1999). In this study, teams of 5 participants needed to rank the benefits of 15 items if lost on the moon. The extent to which their answers aligned with the opinions of NASA experts did not depend on whether participants stood up or sat down& but, if people stood up, the meetings were significantly shorter. Arguably, people should stand up when efficiency is vital and sit down when relationships are vital.

Observation 16. Downsizing can affect the attitudes and satisfaction of customers, often diminishing revenue. For example, when employees who interact with customers, such as account managers, are retrenched, customers are more likely to feel uncertain about their relationship with the organization. This uncertainty, in turn, fosters dissatisfaction and diminishes company revenue (Homburg, Klarmann, & Staritz, 2012). Consequently, downsizing can provoke unexpected complications.

Observation 17. Some managers assume that conflicts or disagreements about how to complete tasks compromise the performance of teams. Other managers assume that conflicts or disagreements about how to complete tasks enhance the performance of teams. As Bradley, Klotz, Postlethwaite, and Brown (2013) showed, if the members of these teams are open to novel experiences and emotionally stable, these conflicts enhance performance. In contrast, if members of teams are averse to novel experiences and susceptible to anxiety, these conflicts are detrimental.

Observation 18. Compared to people who are either very extraverted or very introverted, people who are moderately extraverted or introverted, called ambiverts, tend to be most effective in sales roles (Grant, 2013).

Observation 19. Some workgroups are more diverse than other workgroups. For example, some research teams comprise people from 5 disciplines rather than just 1 discipline. In general, if the workgroups comprise many people rather than merely a few people, this diversity is more likely to compromise productivity. Conversely, if the workgroups comprise only a few people, diversity is not likely to provoke these complications (Cummings, Kiesler, Zadeh, & Balakrishnan, 2013).

Observation 20. In general, productivity increases when the weather is unpleasant primarily because the number of distractions tends to diminish, as Lee, Gino, and Staats (2014) shows. For example, in a Japanese bank, employees tend to complete a specific task more rapidly on rainy days than on sunny days. In another study, employees were faster and more accurate on a proofreading task during rainy rather than sunny days. A final study showed that even imagining a sunny rather than rainy day increased the number of leisure activities that participants could identify in a short period, suggesting that sun evokes thoughts about distracting activities.

Observation 21. If the name of a company is easy rather than difficult to pronounce, new shares in these companies will tend to rise higher than average on the stock market over the next year (Alter & Oppenheimer, 2006). Words that are easy to process are perceived more favorably, curbing distrust.

Observation 22. Some people assume that teleworkers--that is, employees who work outside the office at least 3 or more hours a week--should communicate more often with individuals at the organization to ensure they feel a sense of identity with this workplace. Yet, as Fonner and Roloff (2012) show, when individuals feel disrupted more often by conversations with people at work, their level of identification with the organization actually diminishes, presumably because of frustration with the workplace. Indeed, the relationship between disruptions and identification is especially pronounced in teleworkers relative to other workers. Frequent communication can enhance interpersonal closeness but can also provoke disruptions and, therefore, is not strongly associated with workplace identification. In general, telephone conversation generated less stress than other modes, such as email or face to face. Information stores may be more effective than undue conversation.


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