from the world's big
Start your 7-day free trial! Sign up today.
Join Big Think's premium video learning platform, Big Think Edge, and learn skills that will propel your life and career.
- A former clandestine operative reveals a CIA method for reading an adversary's mind.
- Game theory exposes the two best tactics for winning a negotiation.
- If you're not a subscriber yet, join Big Think Edge today. Boost your analytical intelligence with our 7-day free trial.
This week, Big Think Edge is releasing three videos about getting inside the heads of people you need to understand better. Jamie Notter clears up what many people don't understand about millennials, Amaryllis Fox shares a great CIA technique for predicting an adversary's behavior, and Kevin Zollman puts you on top in negotiations.
Preparing for the millennial takeover: Understand the four trends that shaped a generation, with Jamie Notter
Maybe you're a millennial. Maybe you've been baffled by them. In either case, there's no denying the friction that often arises in the workplace between millennials and those who came before them. The insights of Jamie Notter, author of When Millennials Take Over, should resolve confusion and friction on all sides. Why are millennials the way they are? Notter's astute, eye-opening analysis of the world millennials know explains everything.
Available September 3 in Become a Better Manager
Win with red teaming: A case study in strategic empathy from inside the CIA, with Amaryllis Fox
To win in a conflict, it's imperative to see your adversary clearly. It's not always easy to do, especially when dealing with entrenched opposing mindsets, and in the 1980s the CIA developed "red teaming" to address this. Former clandestine CIA operative Amaryllis Fox explains how a "red cell" of CIA operatives were charged with getting inside the minds of Soviet leadership as deeply as possible, non-judgmentally assuming both their tactical and emotional perspectives. It proved to be an invaluable means of predicting their behavior. Stepping outside yourself to spend some time in an opponent's skin, explains Fox, is not only a great way to accomplish your goals — it's also a powerful personal-growth experience. Learn how to do it this week, at Big Think Edge.
"THE TRUTH IS, YOU ACTUALLY ARE FAR BETTER EQUIPPED TO GO AFTER THE PRAGMATIC, STRATEGIC WIN WHEN YOU KNOW HOW TO EXERCISE EMPATHY, AND CLIMB INTO THE PERSPECTIVE OF ANOTHER PERSON, PARTICULARLY YOUR ADVERSARY."
– AMARYLLIS FOX
Available September 4 in Boost Your Emotional Intelligence
The science of strategic thinking: Improve negotiation outcomes with 2 central principles from game theory, with Kevin Zollman
Game theorist and author of The Game Theorist's Guide to Parenting Kevin Zollman talks about how game theory tries to explain negotiations. It identifies simple principles that underlie what seems on the surface to be complex interaction. Two of these principles just happen to be the ones that typically determine whether you or the other person is going to win. Hint: They both involve positioning yourself to seem like the person who has the least to lose. Time to level-up your negotiating skills. Start your 7-day free trial of Big Think Edge to watch this lesson.
Available September 4 in Boost Your Analytical Intelligence
Big Think Edge releases Deep Dives!
This week marks a brand-new offering on the Big Think Edge platform: Deep Dives! Big Think Edge Deep Dives are four-step educational experiences that are made up of articles, videos, and activities. We'll be releasing three Deep Dives every week so there's more than ever to learn on Big Think Edge.
Our first three Deep Dives explain why Donald Trump, the "Disruptor in Chief", might be onto something when it comes to so-called dark emotional intelligence in negotiations; we look at how to welcome Gen Z into your strong intergenerational team; and you'll also learn how to use practical framework for making life's toughest decisions.
Do we really know what we want in a romantic partner? If so, do our desires actually mean we match up with people who suit them?
- Two separate studies (2015 and 2020) suggest that our "ideals" don't really match what we look for in a romantic partner.
- The results of studies like this can change the way we date, especially in the online world.
- Paul Eastwick, co-author of the study and professor in the UC Davis Department of Psychology explains: "You say you want these three attributes and you like the people who possess these attributes. But the story doesn't end there."
Do we really know what we want in love or are we just guessing?<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="204859156383d358652fda6f7eadda0f"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/vQgfx2iYlso?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>More than 700 participants selected their top three ideals in a romantic partner (things like funny, attractive, inquisitive, kind, etc). They then reported their romantic desire for a series of people they knew personally (some were blind date partners, others were romantic partners and some were simply platonic friends).</p> <p>While participants did experience more romantic desire to the extent that these personal connections of theirs (people they knew) had the qualities they listed, that wasn't the end of the study. </p> <p>Paul Eastwick, co-author of the study and professor in the UC Davis Department of Psychology <a href="https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-07-romantic-partner-random-stranger.html" target="_blank">explains</a>: <em>"You say you want these three attributes and you like the people who possess these attributes. But the story doesn't end there." </em></p> <p>Each participant was to also consider the extent to which their personal acquaintances possessed three attributes nominated by some other random person in the study. For example, if Kris listed "down-to-earth", intelligent and thoughtful as her own top three attributes, Vanessa also experienced more desire for people with those specific traits. </p>
Does what we want really match up with what we find?<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzQ0NDA4Ni9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTU5NjM3NzY5OX0.gdUo-UbjYhKUDOL39BDZseRynbwaK2H5dfJtbV0nw8Y/img.jpg?width=980" id="ff376" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="922bfa804efe69c3fef942c8ba91e8a2" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="concept of online dating dating apps two people connecting on a dating app" />
What we claim to want and what we look for may be two separate things...
Image by GoodStudio on Shutterstock<p>So the question became: are we really listing what we want in an ideal partner or are we just listing vague qualities that people typically consider as positive?</p> <p><em>"So in the end, we want partners who have positive qualities,"</em> Sparks explained, <em>"but the qualities you specifically list do not actually have special predictive power for you." </em></p> <p>In other words, the idea that we find certain things attractive in a person does not mean we actively seek out people who have those qualities, despite saying it's what we want in a love interest. The authors of this study suggest these findings could have implications for the way we approach online dating in the digital age. </p> <p>This isn't the first study of its kind to suggest that what we find in love isn't really what we were looking for. The evidence suggests that we really are consistent in the abstract of it all: when asked to evaluate what we want on paper, you are more likely to suggest overall attractiveness in accordance with what you've stated are important ideals to you. But real life isn't so similar. </p> <p>According to <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/meet-catch-and-keep/201506/when-it-comes-love-do-you-really-know-what-you-want" target="_blank">Psychology Today,</a> who covered a 2015 study with similar results, initial face-to-face encounters have very little effect on our romantic desire.<em> "When we initially meet someone, our level of romantic interest in the person is independent of our standards."</em></p> <p>While you might have no immediate interest in John, he may fit your criteria of being kind, loyal, and intelligent. Similarly, someone may be attracted to Elaine even though she doesn't have any of the qualities they originally said were important to them. </p> <p><strong>What does this all mean? </strong></p><p>The authors of both the 2015 and 2020 studies both say the same thing: give someone a chance before writing them off as a poor match. If your initial attraction is independent of the standards you've set out, the qualities which you've listed as important to you, the first time you meet someone may not give you enough information to make an informed decision.</p> <p><em>"It's really easy to spend time hunting around online for someone who seems to match your ideals," </em>said Sparks, <em>"But our research suggests an alternative approach: Don't be too picky ahead of time about whether a partner matches your ideals on paper. Or, even better, let your friends pick your dates for you." </em></p>
Workers are adjusting to their new employment reality on couches and kitchen tables across the nation.
A new study suggests that an old tuberculosis vaccine may reduce the severity of coronavirus cases.
- A new study finds a country's tuberculosis BCG vaccination is linked to its COVID-19 mortality rate.
- More BCG vaccinations is connected to fewer severe coronavirus cases in a country.
- The study is preliminary and more research is needed to support the findings.
Professor Luis Escobar.
Credit: Virginia Tech
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.