Friday, March 16, 2012

Creative people easily rationalize their dishonest behavior

Study finds men suffer mental decline when around, or even just thinking about women. Same doesn't hold true for females, researchers say Comments (30) BY RHEANA MURRAY NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Tuesday, March 13, 2012 Seen in movies like "The 40 Year-Old Virgin," sometimes men don't know what to say in the presence of a woman.
Men just can’t think straight when women are around. Researchers are studying how males can actually experience a mental decline when interacting with women, Scientific American magazine reported. A study from Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands showed that while heterosexual men’s cognitive performance was impaired when they were around someone from the opposite sex, the same didn’t hold true for women. Just the anticipation of interacting with a woman could impair mental performance, according to the study, first published online last November.
Researchers compared the findings to a scene in Tolstoy’s novel “Anna Karenina,” in which a male character, Levi, becomes so nervous trying to think of something to tell a woman, Kitty, that he doesn’t recognize a friend who walks by the pond where they’re standing. Such temporary lapses in memory or mindfulness are more common “if the woman is attractive and men report trying to impress her,” according to the study’s authors. And they happen in real life, too…
Men who were told a woman would be watching them performed worse on subsequent tests of cognitive ability, even when there was no actual face-to-face contact with a woman. Women showed no change.
Researchers suggest the findings could be attributed to “evolutionary pressures” that have shaped men to be more likely to sexualize otherwise neutral situations, but say further study is necessary.

Creative people more dishonest, Harvard study finds - Daily Dose 2 Dec 2011 – By Deborah Kotz, Globe Staff - But are creative types more likely to lie, cheat, and steal?
“There’s been a lot of anecdotal evidence linking creativity with dishonesty, but without much empirical evidence,” said Francesca Gino, an associate professor of business administration at Harvard Business School. She decided to conduct a series of experiments with several hundred college students to determine whether creativity and intelligence play a role in lowering ethical standards when it comes to making money. The findings were published in the recent issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
“When you’re a creative person, you can use that creativity to come up with reasons for why unethical behaviors may be okay,” said Gino. “Crossing ethical boundaries may not be as problematic.”
Interestingly, all of the study participants wanted to maintain a positive view of themselves: In anonymous surveys, nobody admitted being a cheater, and all considered cheating to be wrong. But when faced with ethical dilemmas where they weighed self-interest against the desire to maintain their high self-image, the creative participants were better able to rationalize their dishonest behavior, so they could still see themselves as honest human beings.
They figure what’s the harm in cheating, just a little? “One might reason that other people would cheat under the same circumstances or that a little cheating will not hurt anyone,” wrote Gino in the paper.
Other research suggests we all start to self-rationalize more when we’re in a creative mindset -- looking for ways to lower our tax bill, for example, or coming up with a new idea for an advertising campaign. “Anyone who’s thinking creatively at [the] moment, may be more likely to engage in unethical behavior,” Gino told me.
Of course, we shouldn’t try to avoid being creative, but we may want to be a little more self-aware. “Knowing that creativity can have this side effect,” Gino said, “should make us stop and think more carefully when we’re faced with an ethical decision.” Deborah Kotz can be reached at

People from privileged, wealthy backgrounds are more likely to be dishonest and unethical than their poorer counterparts, a study has found. Wealthy more likely to lie, cheat: Study - Indian Express Washington, Tue Feb 28 2012
They may be the more respectable and upstanding members of society, but the rich are also more likely to lie, cheat and engage in other kinds of unethical activities than those in lower classes, claims a new study. But these findings, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, do not mean that everyone of high status behaves unethically, nor that everyone in lower society behaves ethically, scientists cautioned. 'Wealthy class more likely to lie, cheat' - Times Of India
However, the researchers suggested that the rich's view of the world may be clouded by self-absorption and greed. As a result, they have fewer scruples than those who have less money to burn.

The fallacy of mood affiliation by Tyler Cowen on March 31, 2011 at 8:43 am in Philosophy Permalink Recently I wrote:
It seems to me that people are first choosing a mood or attitude, and then finding the disparate views which match to that mood and, to themselves, justifying those views by the mood.  I call this the “fallacy of mood affiliation” 
Let’s not count the poor from Kafila by Shivam Vij
As someone recently commented on a Kafila post, we live in a post-fact world where there are no facts. Everyone believes what they want to. 1:47 PM

We are all salespersons to different degrees, and use fallacies Why Politicians are Liars, Darrell Williams author's web site September 19, 2007
These are complex deceitful statements that are used to sell an idea by misleading claims. This is done by different individuals to different degrees for different purposes. Some are harmless but some are dangerous and illegal. There are over 166 different ways in which a person can use fallacies to deceive or mislead someone. 5:36 PM

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Neat People vs. Sloppy People":
Oh well, it is not so much her questionable sense of humour that bothers me here; it is not the fact that she is painting a very two-dimensional black and white picture either. It is that people relate to it: "Oh yes, everything in my life can be defined so simply. One line, two kinds of people." Seriously? I don't recognize any sloppy nor any neat people I know in this essay. Why not stick to the definition? (Oxford) neat: arranged in a tidy way; in good order. sloppy: careless and unsystematic; excessively casual.
I see nothing about waste or attachment to things here.
When you want to put people in boxes, the larger your boxes are, the more judgmental and wrong you get. And it doesn't get any funnier... Evergreen Essays at 7:15 PM, March 17, 2012

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Non-marriage based communities

Feminism and the Family – Thoughts on International Women’s Day from Kafila by Nivedita Menon MARCH 8, 2012 - Excerpts from my forthcoming book Seeing like a Feminist (Penguin India/Zubaan Books).
Women have to learn to remake themselves completely, but even more significant is the fact that the entire period of their lives before this singular event of marriage, is spent in anticipating and preparing for this specific future, from choice of career and job options to learning to be adaptable from early girlhood.
As a young girl said, ‘Whenever I ask my mother to have fun, go out, to wear interesting clothes, she says, ‘Now I am married, I can’t do that’. If marriage is the end of life, how can it also be the goal of life?’[7] […]
The family is an institution that rigidly enforces systems of inheritance and descent, and in this structure, individuals – sons, daughters, wives, husbands – are resources that are strictly bound by the violence, implicit and explicit, of this frame. We tend to take this frame for granted, and it becomes obscenely visible only in extraordinary circumstances.
As feminists we need to build up the capacity and strength of both women and men to live in ways in which marriage is voluntary, and to build alternate non-marriage based communities.

Modern society has certainly tweaked with the traditional model to a significant extent, relying primarily on the willingness of the mother to leave an abusive situation and take the kids with her. In extreme situations, the state itself will intervene to take the kids away from an abusive parent’s custody. Yet the primary strategy is to provide exit strategies for when things go wrong. And of course conservatives are constantly fighting to make those exit strategies more difficult — and to cut off the means to avoid becoming entrapped in bad situations in the first place (i.e., birth control and abortion).
This is where gay marriage is absolutely necessary: at its best, it provides a model for a voluntary union of equals. Unless we’re going to go the full Republic route, it seems that more or less autonomous households are here to stay — and so we might as well have them forming without all the baggage of patriarchal presuppositions. This is the good way that gay marriage challenges the traditional family: by pushing it further in the direction of being a realm of love and affinity rather than a regime of property.
Obviously this isn’t a magic-bullet solution, because gay marriage and the changed marriage norms it can hopefully bring with it do not lead automatically to a utopia in which everyone is good and responsible. Yet the patriarchal model is practically begging the father to abuse his power, and so moving away from it can only be good.
Thus I would say that straight people would do well to make their marriages a little more gay.

Auroville Radio
 Auroville Radio Newsletter Editor's Notes Dear readers,
There is much hustle-bustle here in Auroville these days with new developments as well as the Bulgarian celebrations in the International zone. And with International Women’s Day just around the corner, you can imagine the excitement as women take the lead in History, Literature, Cinema, Dance and a lot more! 

How many Ashrams have we imagined where the inmates, some unmarried, especially women, expose their lower bottom on the body by wearing shorts and go out on the streets, even to the markets? How many traditional Indian ashrams serve non-vegetarian food to their inmates? This is a reality in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and a big attack by some fundamental groups who are plotting a planned and systematic attack to the very essence and existence of its survival. This is the nature of attack… Manas 12:33 PM from: Narayan T Rao date: 6 March 2012

'लिव इन रिलेशनशिप' को स्वीकार करें: टीम अन्ना दैनिक भास्कर गाजियाबाद. टीम अन्ना 'लिव इन रिलेशनशिप' के समर्थन में आगे आई है। टीम के सदस्य और पूर्व केंद्रीय मंत्री शांति भूषण ने कहा है कि लोगों को बदलते समाज के सच के साथ इसे स्वीकार कर लेना चाहिए। भूषण के मुताबिक लिव इन रिलेशनशिप का विरोध नहीं होना चाहिए। 
गाजियाबाद में एक कार्यक्रम के दौरान मीडिया से बातचीत में शांति भूषण ने कहा, 'सामाजिक मूल्य बड़ी तेजी से बदल रहे हैं और हमें इसे स्वीकार करना चाहिए।' विधानसभा चुनाव के बारे में शांति भूषण ने कहा कि अन्ना फैक्टर ने अपना असर दिखाया है और चुनावी नतीजों को देखने से यह बात साफ हो जाती है। (12/03/12) 

Live-in fallout of materialistic western culture: RSS Ramu Bhagwat, TNN Mar 17, 2012 Times of India - NAGPUR:
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has made it clear that it could never approve of the recent vogue of live-in-relationships. Reacting to events organized in Nagpur and Gujarat by lonely senior citizens to find live-in partners, RSS joint general secretary Dattatreya Hosabale said that it was a fallout of materialistic western culture and such an act cannot be encouraged.
Hosabale was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the three-day Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha which began here on Friday. The remark coming from him became all the more important as he is being billed to succeed Mohan Bhagwat as next 'sarsanghachalak' (RSS chief) few years down the line. Hosabale said over the last one year the RSS has conducted camps to spread the message about importance of strengthening the institution of family.