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Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work

Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work

The book suggestion of this week is Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work by Chip Heath. This book is about making better decisions or at least understanding a little bit more about our decision making process in order to do so. In Decisive, the Heaths, based on an exhaustive study of the decision-making literature, introduce a four-step process designed to counteract these biases. Written in an engaging and compulsively readable style, Decisive takes readers on an unforgettable journey, from a rock star’s ingenious decision-making trick to a CEO’s disastrous acquisition, to a single question that can often resolve thorny personal decisions. Along the way, we learn the answers to critical questions like these: How can we stop the cycle of agonizing over our decisions? How can we make group decisions without destructive politics? And how can we ensure that we don’t overlook precious opportunities to change our course? Decisive is the Heath brothers’ most powerful—and important—book yet, offering fresh strategies and practical tools enabling us to make better choices. Because the right decision, at the right moment, can make all the difference. Buy it now

The Art of Choosing

The Art of Choosing

The book suggestion of this week is The Art of Choosing by Sheena Iyengar. The book is about choice and how our behavior about making them. I am half way through this book and I am enjoying it a lot. There are some very usfeul information about conformity, the sense of uniqueness that we think we have, especially when me make our choices. Every day we make choices. Coke or Pepsi? Save or spend? Stay or go? Whether mundane or life-altering, these choices define us and shape our lives. Sheena Iyengar asks the difficult questions about how and why we choose: Is the desire for choice innate or bound by culture? Why do we sometimes choose against our best interests? How much control do we really have over what we choose? Sheena Iyengar's award-winning research reveals that the answers are surprising and profound. In our world of shifting political and cultural forces, technological revolution, and interconnected commerce, our decisions have far-reaching consequences. Use THE ART OF CHOOSING as your companion and guide for the many challenges ahead. About Sheena Iyengar's Sheena Iyengar's groundbreaking research on choice has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the National Security Education Program. She holds degrees from UPenn, The Wharton School of Business, and Stanford University. She is a professor at Columbia University, and a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award. Her work is regularly cited in periodicals as diverse as Fortune and Time magazines, the NYT and the WSJ, and in books such as Blink and The Paradox of Choice. TED Talk

David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants

David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants

The book suggestion of this week is David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell. I just finished reading it and as any other Gladwell book, it's really enjoyable and full of super interesting facts. In the tradition of Gladwell's previous bestsellers -The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers and What the Dog Saw - David and Goliath draws upon history, psychology, and powerful storytelling to reshape the way we think of the world around us. About the book Three thousand years ago on a battlefield in ancient Palestine, a shepherd boy felled a mighty warrior with nothing more than a stone and a sling, and ever since then the names of David and Goliath have stood for battles between underdogs and giants. David's victory was improbable and miraculous. He shouldn't have won. Or should he have? In David and Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell challenges how we think about obstacles and disadvantages, offering a new interpretation of what it means to be discriminated against, or cope with a disability, or lose a parent, or attend a mediocre school, or suffer from any number of other apparent setbacks. Gladwell begins with the real story of what happened between the giant and the shepherd boy those many years ago. From there, David and Goliath examines Northern Ireland's Troubles, the minds of cancer researchers and civil rights leaders, murder and the high costs of revenge, and the dynamics of successful and unsuccessful classrooms---all to demonstrate how much of what is beautiful and important in the world arises from what looks like suffering and adversity. Buy Now

The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom

The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom

The book suggestion of this week is the book that Stefan Sagmeister recommended during his presentation at Reasons to be Creative. The book is about positive psychology, the title is The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom by Jonathan Haidt. In his widely praised book, award-winning psychologist Jonathan Haidt examines the world’s philosophical wisdom through the lens of psychological science, showing how a deeper understanding of enduring maxims-like Do unto others as you would have others do unto you, or What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger-can enrich and even transform our lives. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak, lamented St. Paul, and this engrossing scientific interpretation of traditional lore backs him up with hard data. Citing Plato, Buddha and modern brain science, psychologist Haidt notes the mind is like an "elephant" of automatic desires and impulses atop which conscious intention is an ineffectual "rider." Haidt sifts Eastern and Western religious and philosophical traditions for other nuggets of wisdom to substantiate—and sometimes critique—with the findings of neurology and cognitive psychology. The Buddhist-Stoic injunction to cast off worldly attachments in pursuit of happiness, for example, is backed up by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's studies into pleasure. And Nietzsche's contention that what doesn't kill us makes us stronger is considered against research into post-traumatic growth. An exponent of the "positive psychology" movement, Haidt also offers practical advice on finding happiness and meaning. Riches don't matter much, he observes, but close relationships, quiet surroundings and short commutes help a lot, while meditation, cognitive psychotherapy and Prozac are equally valid remedies for constitutional unhappiness. Haidt sometimes seems reductionist, but his is an erudite, fluently written, stimulating reassessment of age-old issues. (Jan.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title Buy now

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference - Book Suggestion

I believe most of you have already read this book, however if you haven't you should do it right now. I finished reading it for the third time last week and there's always something new to learn. The book suggestion of this week is the The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell. The premise of this facile piece of pop sociology has built-in appeal: little changes can have big effects; when small numbers of people start behaving differently, that behavior can ripple outward until a critical mass or "tipping point" is reached, changing the world. Gladwell's thesis that ideas, products, messages and behaviors "spread just like viruses do" remains a metaphor as he follows the growth of "word-of-mouth epidemics" triggered with the help of three pivotal types. These are Connectors, sociable personalities who bring people together; Mavens, who like to pass along knowledge; and Salesmen, adept at persuading the unenlightened. (Paul Revere, for example, was a Maven and a Connector). Gladwell's applications of his "tipping point" concept to current phenomena--such as the drop in violent crime in New York, the rebirth of Hush Puppies suede shoes as a suburban mall favorite, teenage suicide patterns and the efficiency of small work units--may arouse controversy. For example, many parents may be alarmed at his advice on drugs: since teenagers' experimentation with drugs, including cocaine, seldom leads to hardcore use, he contends, "We have to stop fighting this kind of experimentation. We have to accept it and even embrace it." While it offers a smorgasbord of intriguing snippets summarizing research on topics such as conversational patterns, infants' crib talk, judging other people's character, cheating habits in schoolchildren, memory sharing among families or couples, and the dehumanizing effects of prisons, this volume betrays its roots as a series of articles for the New Yorker, where Gladwell is a staff writer: his trendy material feels bloated and insubstantial in book form. Agent, Tina Bennett of Janklow & Nesbit. Major ad/promo. (Mar.) Reed Business Information, Inc Buy Now

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion - Book Suggestion

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion - Book Suggestion

The book suggestion of this week is about psychology, more precisely, influence. The book title is Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Dr. Robert Cialdini. In this book you'll learn the six universal principles, how to use them to become a skilled persuader and how to defend yourself against them. Influence, the classic book on persuasion, explains the psychology of why people say "yes"—and how to apply these understandings. Dr. Robert Cialdini is the seminal expert in the rapidly expanding field of influence and persuasion. His thirty-five years of rigorous, evidence-based research along with a three-year program of study on what moves people to change behavior has resulted in this highly acclaimed book. Perfect for people in all walks of life, the principles of Influence will move you toward profound personal change and act as a driving force for your success. Buy this book now!

Book Suggestion: 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People

Book Suggestion: 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People

The book suggestion of this week is an indispensable one not only for those that are starting out their careers, but to any designer. The book is 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People by Susan Weinschenk. We design to elicit responses from people. We want them to buy something, read more, or take action of some kind. Designing without understanding what makes people act the way they do is like exploring a new city without a map: results will be haphazard, confusing, and inefficient. This book combines real science and research with practical examples to deliver a guide every designer needs. With it you’ll be able to design more intuitive and engaging work for print, websites, applications, and products that matches the way people think, work, and play. The book is about very important topics that every designer should know. It talks about ways to increase the effectiveness, conversion rates, and usability of your own design projects by finding the answers to questions such as: What grabs and holds attention on a page or screen? What makes memories stick? What is more important, peripheral or central vision? How can you predict the types of errors that people will make? What is the limit to someone’s social circle? How do you motivate people to continue on to (the next step? What line length for text is best? Are some fonts better than others? About the Susan Susan Weinschenk has a Ph.D. in Psychology, and a 30-year career in applying psychology to the design of technology. She has written several books on user-centered design. Her 2008 book, Neuro Web Design: What makes them click?, published by New Riders, applies the research on neuroscience to the design of web sites. A popular speaker and presenter, her nickname is "The Brain Lady". She is Chief of User Experience Strategy, Americas, at Human Factors International, and runs a popular blog: http://whatmakesthemclick.net. Buy Now from Amazon

Book Suggestion - 50 Psychology Classics: Who We Are, How We Think, What We Do

The book suggestion of this week is really interesting especially for us designers that have to reach audiences with our work by trying to understand their needs. The book is called 50 Psychology Classics: Who We Are, How We Think, What We Do; Insight and Inspiration from 50 Key Books. With 50 Psychology Classics: Who We Are, How We Think, What We Do-Insight and Inspiration, Tom Butler-Bowdon introduces readers to the great works that explore the very essence of what makes us who we are. Spanning fifty books and hundreds of ideas, 50 Psychology Classics examines some of the most intriguing questions regarding cognitive development and behavioral motivations, summarizing the myriad theories that psychologists have put forth to make sense of the human experience. Butler-Bowdon covers everything from humanism to psychoanalysis to the fundamental principles where theorists disagree, like nature versus nurture and the existence of free will. In this single book, you will find Carl Jung, Sigmund Freud, Alfred Kinsey, and the most significant contributors to modern psychological thought. From the author of the bestselling 50 Self-Help Classics, 50 Success Classics, and 50 Spiritual Classics, 50 Psychology Classics will enrich your understanding of the human condition. "At long last a chance for those outside the profession to discover that there is so much more to psychology than just Freud and Jung. 50 Psychology Classics offers a unique opportunity to become acquainted with a dazzling array of the key works in psychological literature almost overnight." --Dr Raj Persaud, Gresham Professor for Public Understanding of Psychiatry "This delightful book provides thoughtful and entertaining summaries of 50 of the most influential books in psychology. It's a 'must read' for students contemplating a career in psychology." --VS Ramachandran, Director, Center for Brain and Cognition, University of California, San Diego "A brilliant synthesis. The author makes complex ideas accessible and practical, without dumbing down the material. I found myself over and over thinking, 'Oh, that's what that guy meant.'" --Douglas Stone, lecturer on law at Harvard Law School and co-author of Difficult Conversations "Butler-Bowdon writes with infectious enthusiasm. He is a true scholar of this type of literature." --USA Today Buy Now

Targeting Kids: Various Strategies Involved in Designing their Websites

Have you ever wondered, “ Children don't read to find their identity, to free themselves from guilt, to quench the thirst for rebellion or to get rid of alienation. They have no use for psychology.... They still believe in God, the family, angels, devils, witches, goblins, logic, clarity, punctuation, and other such obsolete stuff.... When a book is boring, they yawn openly. They don't expect their writer to redeem humanity, but leave to adults such childish illusions.” And,there is no doubt that they form the most important targets for the marketeers. The research says that the expenditure of the advertising industry in regard to the children has exploded. This is most probably because children have their own purchasing power. This is in terms of their power to the decision-making within the family, incorporating the tool to take advantage of the 'pester power' that comes in-built in today's kids. The marketeers follow in-depth study of the developmental, emotional, behavioral, and the needs of the children at different stages of their lives. They tend to sow the seeds of brand recognition/identity at a very young age. And, 'word-of-mouth' forms an integral part of this conquest. Finding the coolest kid in and around, and then, enjoying the fruit is another successful way, but actually accompanies to what we call, Online Marketing and Buzz Marketing. “Online marketing is potentially way more powerful that the television ever dreamt of being.” And there is no doubt to the fact that today, it has become really important for all the web designers to learn to design a website that creates an ever-lasting impact on the psyche of children. This post has actually been written to highlight the trends and practices one should follow while designing a website for children. And, it is actually true when it is said that one needs to be extra-particular regarding the way he/she handles the design, because kids are the most vulnerable section of the society and tend to be molded in the right direction. Here is the list that would help you cater the attention of the kids audience. Stimulation Is the key To be able to stimulate a child's senses, is a task that requires a toil and to be handled with care. The senses play a key role when you see something for the first time. Step into the shoes of a kid, and try and visualise things. Have you ever tried and think what captures a kid's attention at the first go? No...? Then, the answer is the bright colours. As we all know that colours form an integral part of our lives. The more bright the colour is, the more happy our mood tends to be. The choice of the colours and the combinations that a designer tends to choose becomes really important. The choice of the bright, variety of happy-go-lucky colours such as, yellow, pink, bright red, green, orange, blue, etc. proves to be a choice and creates an everlasting impact on the children. Mood of the website is also a determining factor in the website creation. A positive, cheerful, and a 'smiling' website tends to result in creating in baiting more and more of the kids towards the particular brand. For children, though creativity is an essential element, yet, children tend to follow recognisable elements. The designers ought to incorporate the maximum they can, in this respect. As we know that children are the most related to the elements of Nature, such as, trees, birds, fruits, sun, snow, moon, grass, and may more. Try and incorporate them in your designs. I am hundred and one percent sure that they would never fail to relate to your site. Try and think large Large does not mean that you need to widen the scope of your design and the content, but it is actually using the larger than life figures and the characters to be able to create a platform for the kids audience to develop a relationship between your brand website and themselves. There is no denying to the fact that children tend to relate themselves to the animated characters. Mickey, Donald, Barbie, Dora & the Backpack, and many more being their favourites. They are naturally drawn towards these characters and doubles the chances of baiting more and more visitors. There is a need to emphasise on the need to allow the child's imagination run into a fantasy world and then, see how well you are able to grab hold of their fascinating world. If we talk about the navigation system in the world of the websites for the kids, it is actually very important for you to relate them as well. A total cartoon-like theme, a kind of story-telling pattern where they can find a novel scramble of their favourite cartoon characters would bear unbelievable results for sure. Interaction is the another key As we already mentioned that stimulation is the first key in any process, similarly interaction becomes the another. Interaction has always played a key role in one's life and rhythm is the basis of any life. If children are allowed to play and given a scope for entertainment, they would love to visit your site again and again. Animations, Flash designs, and sounds are the keys to a successful kids website. We have already discussed that a kids' website would be completely different from the regular websites and the trends they follow. Interactive videos, and yes, the Interactive Games... how can we forget that? You need to follow a habit of educating the kids audience at every step in a very unique manner so that even their parents encourage their children to follow your website. Allow them to sparkle their own creativity. Let them enjoy colouring, something tangible. Avail your website with the printable designs so that even they can let their nourishing creative juices flow. Try and not forcefully incorporate any stuff in their minds. Gone are the days when a designer tend to follow a set pattern and the preconceived notions for designing a website. There is a lot more you can do to your website. Just as you made the design larger than life, you can make out of the box and a lot of creative cursors for the website. According to the theme, create a unique and yet, attractive cursor with a lot of glittery, and shining effects. Get away from the conventional methods of navigation used in the regular website. See... there is no denying to the fact that there is a lot more scope to the to creativity and actually kids are fun to work with. But, at the same time they ought to be handled with the utmost care. There is a need to incorporate in the sense of responsibility from the designer as well as the company's side as well. There is a need to be able to develop in that level of trust with the kids' parents so that they don't have any problem. You tend to educate the kids with a lot of user interactivity. Last,but not the least, its actually quite helpful if you test your website beforehand. An extensive test is actually quite apt and help you observe and analyse the shortcomings and the positive side of your website. There is no doubt that creating and developing kids centered website is a difficult task but its actually more similar to going back in your childhood days once again, where you get to connect with the Nature, colours, larger than life characters once again. Recommended Reading Designing Websites for Kids: Trends and Best Practices About the Author This post is shared by PixelCrayons, a creative web design and development agency that specializes in custom web design & development, PSD to HTML service, CMS & E-Commerce solutions.