Study: Pandemic rumors may have killed hundreds of people

Pandemic rumors and information overload make separating fact from fancy difficult, putting people's health and lives at risk.

  • An "infodemic" describes a dangerous time when an overload of information makes evaluating that information difficult.
  • A new study found that pandemic rumors and conspiracies lead to people mistrusting governments and health agencies, leading to hundreds of avoidable deaths.
  • Experts recommend that health agencies track misinformation, while individuals take steps to protect themselves from the infodemic.
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The benefits of a good apology and how to make one

A good apology can do great things. A bad one can cause trouble. Know the difference.

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  • No one likes to admit they were wrong, but we still have social norms that suggest we all do it from time to time.
  • A well done apology can show respect, build trust, save relationships, and maintain your self-esteem.
  • Saying "I'm sorry you feel that way" does not count.
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What does the red pill really show you?

Neo's superhuman powers were only inside of The Matrix. The outside world offered a different reality.

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  • The "red pill" came into prominence as a way to break free of mental slavery in the 1999 movie, "The Matrix."
  • In a new essay, Julian Walker points out Neo's powers only worked inside of the simulation—reality is a different story.
  • The red vs blue pill question is a pop culture phenomenon, often used in questionable circumstances.
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Be a better leader: Knowing the dangers of ‘yes men’

If you're right all the time, you're probably doing something wrong.

  • One of the potential dangers of being a successful leader is that the people around you stop challenging your decisions, no matter how bad or wrong they may be.
  • Asserting dominance and establishing negative consequences for those who challenge your authority (such as firing or reprimanding offenders) only exacerbates the problem and adds to the toxic culture of unchecked power.
  • Astronaut Garrett Reisman argues that while it's natural to want to be told that you're smart and right, it's important that good leaders cultivate a work environment where their team isn't afraid to speak up.

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Psychology of feedback: How to give or receive valuable critique

How can you give and receive more productive feedback? Form a psychological contract with a trusted partner.

  • Feedback is a gift, says business psychologist Dr Melanie Katzman. Giving or receiving feedback can be a formal part of our jobs, but in Dr Katzman's assessment, we often don't go far enough with feedback.
  • Katzman suggests creating a psychological contract with a partner who you respect and trust. In that contract, you agree to exchange extremely honest feedback by mutual consent in a safe and trusting way.
  • In this video, she lays out the rules for such a contract and how you can embark on one. This kind of feedback is not advised without a clear contract as people can feel you are going out of bounds. So be clear, be mutual, and then be extremely candid.
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