A new study looks at how images of coffee's origins affect the perception of its premiumness and quality.
- Images can affect how people perceive the quality of a product.
- In a new study, researchers show using virtual reality that images of farms positively influence the subjects' experience of coffee.
- The results provide insights on the psychology and power of marketing.
Research has shown how important empathy is to relationships, but there are limits to its power.
- Empathy is a useful tool that allows humans (and other species) to connect and form mutually beneficial bonds, but knowing how and when to be empathic is just as important as having empathy.
- Filmmaker Danfung Dennis, Bill Nye, and actor Alan Alda discuss the science of empathy and the ways that the ability can be cultivated and practiced to affect meaningful change, both on a personal and community level.
- But empathy is not a cure all. Paul Bloom explains the psychological differences between empathy and compassion, and how the former can "get in the way" of some of life's crucial relationships.
Philosophers, theoretical physicists, psychologists, and others consider what or who is really in control.
- What does it mean to have—or not have—free will? Were the actions of mass murderers pre-determined billions of years ago? Do brain processes trump personal responsibility? Can experiments prove that free will is an illusion?
- Bill Nye, Steven Pinker, Daniel Dennett, Michio Kaku, Robert Sapolsky, and others approach the topic from their unique fields and illustrate how complex and layered the free will debate is.
- From Newtonian determinism, to brain chemistry, to a Dennett thought experiment, explore the arguments that make up the free will landscape.
Labeling thinkers like Albert Einstein and Steve Jobs as "other" may be stifling humanity's creative potential.
- Revolutionary ideas and culture-shifting inventions are often credited to specific individuals, but how often do these "geniuses" actually operate in creative silos?
- Tim Sanders, former chief strategy officer at Yahoo, argues that there are three myths getting in the way of innovative ideas and productive collaborations: the myths of the expert, the eureka moment, and the "lone inventor."
- More than an innate quality reserved for an elite group, neuroscientist Heather Berlin and neurobiologist Joy Hirsch explain how creativity looks in the brain, and how given opportunity, resources, and attitude, we can all be like Bach, Beethoven, and Steve Jobs.
The present-moment awareness that stems from mindfulness practices may be the cost-effective tool that our society needs.
- Mindfulness practices may lead to the human brain's transcendence of previously established associations that lead to racial biases.
- A mindfulness-based program, which has a myriad of benefits, may be more effective than a specific racial bias training program and may benefit BIPOC youth and police officers alike.
- Professionally known as Director X, Julien Christian Lutz of the Toronto-based mindfulness organization Operation Prefrontal Cortex believes that many young people that identify as BIPOC lash out violently due to past traumas, the hopelessness that they experience in the face of systemic racism, and other stressors that mindfulness can alleviate.
Julien Christian Lutz, Professionally Known As Director X, Design Exchange, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 2019.
Credit: Ajani Charles<p>Such statistics are troubling to me for many reasons, including the fact that I am the art director for <a href="http://op-pfc.com/" target="_blank">Operation Prefrontal Cortex</a>, a Toronto-based program harnessing the power of mindfulness and meditation to help reduce incidences of gun, mass, and police violence in Toronto.</p> <p>Operation Prefrontal Cortex was co-founded by Julien Christian Lutz, professionally known as <a href="https://directorxfilms.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Director X</a>, and his longtime friend Danell Adams, after Lutz became <a href="https://youtu.be/JD-OeQOgezE" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">a victim of gun violence</a> in Toronto.</p><p>Lutz is known for directing high-budget, visually distinctive videos for famous artists, including but not limited to Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Rihanna, Jay-Z, and Kanye West. </p> <p>When I spoke to Lutz about what Operation Prefrontal Cortex is doing to prevent incidents like George Floyd's death, he said that "we're talking to police about it, really implementing mindfulness. And then spreading a message of what mindfulness and meditation can do for everybody. </p> <p>"We also need to see the research. From what I've seen, meditation does help reduce racial bias. So, we need to do the proper science and test it and test it again to see if these results are consistent, and if they are, well then again, it feeds right back into what we're talking about."</p> <p>I also spoke to him about the hopelessness that numerous BIPOC youth experience, especially in low-income communities in Toronto and elsewhere, due to receiving the short end of the stick that is systemic racism. </p> <p>To Lutz, "it's an impossibility to reach some kind of meaningful existence someplace where you can achieve goals and be happy if you can't see that in your world. Then you become self-destructive. And you lash outwards." </p>
Capt. Latisha Fox centers herself while learning about basic meditation techniques during an Operation Army Ready: Ready and Resilient seminar at Enduring Faith Chapel on Bagram Airfield.
Credit: Photo Credit: U.S. Army<p>In Gibson and Lueke's research, the participants were 72 white college students from a midwestern university town, 71% of whom were female. Would the study differ with a more diverse group of participants?</p><p>According to Lueke, most people tend to view their group members more positively than those outside of their in-group. So, positive associations will need to be considered in future studies with diverse participants.</p><p>"If we were to get a more diverse group of people, we would probably have to switch the measures a bit in order to most accurately figure out whether mindfulness was doing anything on an unconscious or automaticity type of level."</p><p>When I asked Lueke about his thoughts on racial biases in general, he had this to say: "It's shortcut thinking, to just automatically label somebody. And pretty much all human beings do it; it's a way of attempting to predict your environment without a lot of information. So if you don't have a lot of information, your brain will attempt to label that individual in order to try to get as much information as possible about them."</p><p>"The problem with that is, oftentimes, those inferences can be incorrect and wrong. So it does take those extra resources to disengage from all of those automatic types of evaluations and try to actually do the work to interact with that person and get to know them a little bit better." </p>