Archive for “December, 2014”

#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads that Made Us Smarter (Dec 19)

Among this week’s #GeekReads: Why worriers are so smart; how culture “kindles” the physical sensation of spirituality; a reason to (re)discover the joy of giving this holiday season.


The gift of giving. In spite of the stress and financial strain of holiday gift-giving, psychology research suggests that gift-givers experience more joy than gift-receivers.

Why worry warts are smart. New research suggests that there is a link between anxiety and intelligence.

If I can’t pronounce it, I don’t trust it. The smarties over at Cognitive Lode explain why words that are easier to say are more trustworthy – which they’ve dubbed the speak-easy effect.

Feeling spiritual. Culture shapes how a person physically experiences their faith. Thai Buddhists and evangelical Christians experience different spiritual sensations – what the folks at Futurity call “cultural kindling.”

A resolution for resolutions. Give up on resolutions this New Year. Instead, focus on optimizing what’s right rather fixing something wrong with your life.

Tweet us your #GeekReads at @w0nderlab.


Note: While we never stop geeking out, #GeekReads will be on vacation for the rest of December. We’ll be back the week of January 5th. Happy Holidays!

Image: flickr/JD Hancock, CC BY 2.0

#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads that Made Us Smarter (Dec 12)

In this week’s #GeekReads, we discover how a 20-minute chat with a gay person can change hearts and minds, the power of Post-Its to get your audiences to take action and much more!


To be happy with that club sandwich… We are more satisfied with the choices we make when we engage in the physical act of closure. So shut that menu after you order!

Make it sticky. Sometimes the most effective way to motivate someone is with a sticky, personal touch. The next time you want someone to do something, stick a Post-It on your written appeal. Research shows they are more likely to take action.

Do you really know what you know? We often think we understand complex issues until we are asked to explain it. Turns out, for those who hold extreme views on issues or policies, being confronted with how little they actually know moderates their views.

No sexism, greater creativity. When people in mixed-sex groups are told to be “politically correct,” they generate more creative ideas. 

Chatting to change hearts & minds. When folks spent 20 minutes chatting with an LGBT person, they were more likely to support the freedom to marry.

Tweet us your #GeekReads at @w0nderlab. 


Image: flickr/Dean Hochman, CC BY 2.0


#GeekReads: 5 Quick Reads (+1 Video) that Made Us Smarter (Dec 4)

Given everything going in the world, there’s lots of deep thinking in this week’s #GeekReads including how to reform our bigoted brains and how to find and foster deeply meaningful relationships. This week, we even throw in a #GeekWatch on the neuroscience of social conflict.


The science of why cops shoot young black men. Mother Jones examines implicit racism and what we can do to reform our bigoted brains.

Do social norms determine if laws work? The unwritten rules that govern our behavior may influence which laws work and which don’t.

Why do we make unproven assertions when we are wrong? When facts threaten our psychological security, we’ll shift our thoughts to rely on untested statements.

The psychology of how to connect deeply with anyone. According to this #GeekRead, how we meet the most important people in our lives – personally and professionally – is not random. How to find them and create deep connections.

The sunk cost effect. When we put time and effort into something, we’re motivated to make it work, even if it brings us losses.

The neuroscience of social conflict. In his TEDX Talk, Tim Phillips of Beyond Conflict explains the brain science of social conflict – and how excluding people from equal participation in society fuels conflict.

Tweet us your #GeekReads at @WonderForGood.


Image: flickr/Gerry Lauzon, CC BY 2.0

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