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Should I or shouldn’t I?

28 Sep

Our little diagram illustrates the expectancy paradox. The basic question: what is the correlation between happiness and expectation?

If you have no expectations regarding your partner you are indifferent. Indiffrent decisions are seldom satisfying. The higher your expectations the more happy you are if they are being met. However, if your expectations reach the tipping point, you are likley to be disappointed because Mr. Perfect might not exist. Science suggests to decide on something (or soemone) that meets your basic requirements instead of searching for ‘Mr Perfect“. But what about love at first sight? In recent years there has been a lot of research into intuition. Two findings: it seems there is a part of us that knows more than we think we know. And, we tend to be more accepting of wrong decisions that we made impulsively, i.e. intuitively, than ones that we spent a long time thinking about. Key learning: We forgive our heart more than our head. And always keep in mind, what Marcel Proust once wrote: ‘All our final decisions are made in a state of mind that is not going to last.’

Who are you and why?

10 Aug

Who do you believe in? The church? Your teacher? Your partner? Your shrink? The internet? The new God on the block is the limbic system. A part of your brain controls some very essential behaviors: finding food, self-preservation, lust, laughter. Neuroscientists and marketing people love the limbic system.
Up to 95 percent of all our purchases are supposedly linked to some action going on in the limbic system. The decision to buy a Stella instead of a Carlsberg is linked to the concentration of cortisol, dopamin and testosteron in our brain.
Based on research on the limbic system the wise guys from Nymphenburg, a marketing company, identified seven new archetypes: 1: adventurer (3 % of the population), 2: performer (6 %), 3: disziplined (10 %), 4: conservative (24 %), 5: harmonizer (32 %), 6: connoisseur (13 %), 7: hedonist (11 %).
Take a look at the model and ask yourselves: where am I?

Decision in Rear Mirror

9 May

Thanks Michael Stutz for this contribution to our blog. The horizontal axis is labeled “conscious” and “unconscious” (how you took your decision), the vertical is “positiv” and “negativ” (how your decision turned out). In the rear mirror of a decision you look back and you “were lucky” (upper left), you “regret” (lower left), you are “full of self-confidence” (upper right) because you know how it works or you maybe lie to yourself by saying “that was only bad luck (lower right).

High Infidelity

1 Feb

Drawing by Dag B. Grødal

Why do some people have affairs while other don’t?

This little model is based on research by the Kinsey-Institute in Bloomington. Basically there are two parameters: how easily are you aroused vs how much are you willing to take risks? Kinsey researcher call this “gas pedal” and brake pedal”. In order to find out about your sensitivity to arousal they ask questions like: “If you touch a stranger at a party or brush against a stranger who you find attractive do you become aroused? If you make eye contact with her or her – do you become aroused?” People who answer yes, app. 40 %, have a strong gas pedal. This doesn´t mean you are unfaithful. Because you might hit the brakes. This is discovered by asking questions like: “If you are having sex with someone in a public place and someone else comes along  –  does that cause you to become apprehensive and stop having sex?” We can also say people with a strong brake pedal have strong marital values. Now, people with a strong gas pedal and a weak brake pedal, about 20 %, these are the ones most prone to cheat.

Yhprum´s Law

12 Jan

Why everthing you think you know about Murphy´s Law is wrong.
Finagles ´Law (sort of the pinnacle of the often quoted Murphy’s Law: «Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong») is a refreshing mixture of cruel logic and farfetched claims. It goes something like this:

  1. What we have is not what we need.
  2. What we want is not what we need.
  3. What we need is impossible to get.
  4. You can get hold of this information for a much higher price then you are prepared to pay.

Sounds like something out of your life? But what if Finnagle´s Law got it all wrong? Let´s take a look at Yhprum´s Law (Yhprum = Murphy backwards). It states that everything that can work, will work. Richard Zeckhauser from Harvard noted: “Sometimes systems that should not work, work nevertheless.“

Wether things work or not seems to be up to ourselves. Why do so many of us prefer to point out the mistakes other poeple make instead of simply doing things better? Any fool can critize – and most fools do, as Bejamin Fraklin famously stated. And he was right! We call these people fault-finder. Their sentences usually start like this: „This idea is great, but…“. Kill the but! We suggest the famous appreciate inquiry-method by David Cooperrider that involves concentrating on the strengths of a company or a person rather than on the weaknesses. Next time you give a feedback, don´t say „Yes, but…“. Try: „Yes, and we could also…“. Sounds strange? Give it a try.

Ah, a friend request! But who the hell is Benno?!

31 Aug

The line between a friend and an enemy is sometimes as fine as the one between bravery and stupidity. This little friendscouting-model shows who to trust.

So, let’s start in the bottom-left corner: „The Enemy of my Enemy is my Friend“. We all know this basic principle from the school yard. Some senior citizens might be remembered of World War II when longtime enemies France and Britain united against Nazi-Germany. Let’s have a look at the upper-left square: „The Enemy of my Friend is my Enemy“. This is the highly moralistic conversion of the Machiavelli principle. Some of you might have been lucky enough to have experienced this in the school yard. Others might know it from math: trusting other and being trusted (tit for tat) is the ultimative solution for the prisoner’s dilemma in game theory. „The Friend of my Enemy is an A…hole“ – everyone who’s ever experienced betrayal knows what we’re talking about. And finally: „The Friend of my Friend is my Friend“. This is the basic principle of Facebook. Here’s a question: How many friends do you have on Facebook? How many of them do you know? And how many do you trust?

The Face-it Book

12 Apr

We at 50topmodels cannot stand any more stories about web 2.0, social networks and nexnext-scenarios.
That’s why we were really happy to find this comprehensive explanation for the internet-madness: despair.com. His work inspired us to draw up our own version of the black hole in the worldwideweb. The model is pretty self-explanatory. If you don’t get it, you must have been on the moon for the last four years. Or off-line. Which is pretty much the same.