Research Library

Featured Research:
"Choice Over Uncertainty And Ambiguity In Technical Problem Solving"

Read Schrader, Riggs, and Smith's well-regarded study on the relationship between uncertainty and problem-solving — or browse more of the publications that inspired our methodology below.

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A behavior model for persuasive design

This paper presents a new model for understanding human behavior. In this model (FBM), behavior is a product of three factors: motivation, ability, and triggers, each of which has subcomponents. The FBM asserts that for a person to perform a target behavior, he or she must (1) be sufficiently motivated, (2) have the ability to perform the behavior, and (3) be triggered to perform the behavior. These three factors must occur at the same moment, else the behavior will not happen. The FBM is useful in analysis and design of persuasive technologies. The FBM also helps teams work together efficiently because this model gives people a shared way of thinking about behavior change.

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Self-knowledge: Its limits, value, and potential for improvement

Because of personal motives and the architecture of the mind, it may be difficult for people to know themselves. People often attempt to block out unwanted thoughts and feelings through conscious suppression and perhaps through unconscious repression, though whether such attempts are successful is controversial. A more common source of self-knowledge failure is the inaccessibility of much of the mind to consciousness, including mental processes involved in perception, motor learning, personality, attitudes, and self-esteem. Introspection cannot provide a direct pipeline to these mental processes, though some types of introspection may help people construct beneficial personal narratives. Other ways of increasing self-knowledge include looking at ourselves through the eyes of others and observing our own behavior. These approaches can potentially promote self-knowledge, although major obstacles exist. It is not always advantageous to hold self-perceptions that correspond perfectly with reality, but increasing awareness of nonconscious motives and personality is generally beneficial.

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The collapse of sensemaking in organizations: The Mann Gulch disaster

The death of 13 men in the Mann Gulch fire disaster, made famous in Norman Maclean's Young Men and Fire, is analyzed as the interactive disintegration of role structure and sensemaking in a minimal organization. Four potential sources of resilience that make groups less vulnerable to disruptions of sensemaking are proposed to forestall disintegration, including improvisation, virtual role systems, the attitude of wisdom, and norms of respectful interaction. The analysis is then embedded in the organizational literature to show that we need to reexamine our thinking about temporary systems, structuration, nondisclosive intimacy, intergroup dynamics, and team building.*

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Crowds and Power

Elias Canetti's 1981 Nobel Prize was awarded mainly on the basis of this, his masterwork of philosophical anthropology about la condition humaine in a social world. Ranging from soccer crowds and political rallies to Bushmen and the pilgrimage to Mecca, Canetti reviews the way crowds form, develop, and dissolve, using this taxonomy of mass movement as a key to the dynamics of social life.

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Living in a world of low levels of predictability

This conclusion aims to summarize the major issues surrounding forecasting, as well as the extensive empirical evidence proving our inability to accurately predict the future. In addition, it discusses our resistance to accepting such inaccurate predictions, while putting forwards a number of ideas aimed at a complex world where accurate forecasting is impossible and where uncertainty reigns.

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Expertise in judgment and decision making: A case for training intuitive decision skills

Research on expertise is largely founded on the idea that experts have achieved a rare proficiency in a domain that most of their peers never quite reach. What is the nature of such expertise? How does someone become an expert? How do experts differ from novices? These are questions that have intrigued the vast majority of expertise researchers (e.g., Chi, Glaser, & Farr, 1988; Ericsson & Smith, 1991). Research on expertise within the judgment and decision making (JDM) community has been primarily concerned with quite a different set of issues. What role should experts play in forecasting and decision support systems? Do experts suffer from the same judgmental biases that have been demonstrated in undergraduates? How can experts know so much and predict so badly? (e.g., Camerer & Johnson, 1991; Smith & Kida, 1991; Wright & Bolger, 1993). There may be value in addressing some of these questions. Nevertheless, the stress in this chapter is on the former set of issues as they apply to decision making, with the goal of convincing the reader that such questions deserve a dramatically greater role in JDM research on expertise than they ordinarily receive. First, however, we address the skeptical view of expertise implied in some of the JDM questions above.

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Personality and the prediction of consequential outcomes

Personality has consequences. Measures of personality have contemporaneous and predictive relations to a variety of important outcomes. Using the Big Five factors as heuristics for organizing the research literature, numerous consequential relations are identified. Personality dispositions are associated with happiness, physical and psychological health, spirituality, and identity at an individual level; associated with the quality of relationships with peers, family, and romantic others at an interpersonal level; and associated with occupational choice, satisfaction, and performance, as well as community involvement, criminal activity, and political ideology at a social institutional level.

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Unskilled and unaware of it: how difficulties in recognizing one's own incompetence lead to inflated self-assessments.

People tend to hold overly favorable views of their abilities in many social and intellectual domains. The authors suggest that this overestimation occurs, in part, because people who are unskilled in these domains suffer a dual burden: Not only do these people reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the metacognitive ability to realize it. Across 4 studies, the authors found that participants scoring in the bottom quartile on tests of humor, grammar, and logic grossly overestimated their test performance and ability. Although their test scores put them in the 12th percentile, they estimated themselves to be in the 62nd. Several analyses linked this miscalibration to deficits in metacognitive skill, or the capacity to distinguish accuracy from error. Paradoxically, improving the skills of participants, and thus increasing their metacognitive competence, helped them recognize the limitations of their abilities.

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Personality and leadership: a qualitative and quantitative review.

This article provides a qualitative review of the trait perspective in leadership research, followed by a meta-analysis. The authors used the five-factor model as an organizing framework and meta-analyzed 222 correlations from 73 samples. Overall, the correlations with leadership were Neuroticism .24, Extraversion .31, Openness to Experience .24, Agreeableness .08, and Conscientiousness .28. Results indicated that the relations of Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness to Experience, and Conscientiousness with leadership generalized in that more than 90% of the individual correlations were greater than 0. Extraversion was the most consistent correlate of leadership across study settings and leadership criteria (leader emergence and leadership effectiveness). Overall, the five-factor model had a multiple correlation of .48 with leadership, indicating strong support for the leader trait perspective when traits are organized according to the five-factor model.

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The Meeting Of East And West

The impact of Eastern thought on the culture of the United States and Western Europe is now seen in the spread of Buddhism, meditation, martial arts, yoga, oriental art, and hundreds of other Asian imports. F. S. C. Northrop in this perceptive work was one of the first Americans to grasp the full significance of Eastern culture, its distinctive features, and its potential for influencing the rest of the world. Written during World War II, this classic work correctly anticipated the clash of eastern and western ideologies which has dominated the post-war landscape.

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Social Influence: Compliance and Conformity

This review covers recent developments in the social influence literature, focusing primarily on compliance and conformity research published between 1997 and 2002. The principles and processes underlying a target’s susceptibility to outside influences are considered in light of three goals fundamental to rewarding human functioning. Specifically, targets are motivated to form accurate perceptions of reality and react accordingly, to develop and preserve meaningful social relationships, and to maintain a favorable self-concept. Consistent with the current movement in compliance and conformity research, this review emphasizes the ways in which these goals interact with external forces to engender social influence processes that are subtle, indirect, and outside of awareness.

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Seeing Like a State

Why have large-scale schemes to improve the human condition in the twentieth century so often gone awry? James C. Scott analyzes diverse failures in high-modernist, authoritarian state planning-collectivization in Russia, the building of Brasilia, compulsory ujamaa villages in Tanzania, and others-and uncovers conditions common to all such planning disasters. What these failures teach us, he argues, is that any centrally managed social plan must recognize the importance of local customs and practical knowledge if it hopes to succeed.

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What leaders need to know: A review of social and contextual factors that can foster or hinder creativity

This article provides a current review of research examining contextual factors that can either foster or hinder employee creativity at the individual, job, group, and organizational level. Specifically, we examine the role of leadership and the use of different human resource practices for developing a work context that is supportive of creativity. Finally, based on our review, we discuss practical implications for managers, propose areas that need further research attention, and highlight possible new directions for future research.

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The Psychology of Intelligence Analysis: Drivers of Prediction Accuracy in World Politics

This article extends psychological methods and concepts into a domain that is as profoundly consequential as it is poorly understood: intelligence analysis. We report findings from a geopolitical forecasting tournament that assessed the accuracy of more than 150,000 forecasts of 743 participants on 199 events occurring over 2 years. Participants were above average in intelligence and political knowledge relative to the general population. Individual differences in performance emerged, and forecasting skills were surprisingly consistent over time. Key predictors were (a) dispositional variables of cognitive ability, political knowledge, and open-mindedness; (b) situational variables of training in probabilistic reasoning and participation in collaborative teams that shared information and discussed rationales (Mellers, Ungar, et al., 2014); and (c) behavioral variables of deliberation time and frequency of belief updating. We developed a profile of the best forecasters; they were better at inductive reasoning, pattern detection, cognitive flexibility, and open-mindedness. They had greater understanding of geopolitics, training in probabilistic reasoning, and opportunities to succeed in cognitively enriched team environments. Last but not least, they viewed forecasting as a skill that required deliberate practice, sustained effort, and constant monitoring of current affairs.

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On the psychology of prediction.

Intuitive predictions follow a judgmental heuristic—representativeness. By this heuristic, people predict the outcome that appears most representative of the evidence. Consequently, intuitive predictions are insensitive to the reliability of the evidence or to the prior probability of the outcome, in violation of the logic of statistical prediction. The hypothesis that people predict by representativeness is supported in a series of studies with both naive and sophisticated subjects. It is shown that the ranking of outcomes by likelihood coincides with their ranking by representativeness and that people erroneously predict rare events and extreme values if these happen to be representative. The experience of unjustified confidence in predictions and the prevalence of fallacious intuitions concerning statistical regression are traced to the representativeness heuristic.

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The new synthesis in moral psychology

People are selfish, yet morally motivated. Morality is universal, yet culturally variable. Such apparent contradictions are dissolving as research from many disciplines converges on a few shared principles, including the importance of moral intuitions, the socially functional (rather than truth-seeking) nature of moral thinking, and the coevolution of moral minds with cultural practices and institutions that create diverse moral communities. I propose a fourth principle to guide future research: Morality is about more than harm and fairness. More research is needed on the collective and religious parts of the moral domain, such as loyalty, authority, and spiritual purity.

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A new Big Five: fundamental principles for an integrative science of personality.

Despite impressive advances in recent years with respect to theory and research, personality psychology has yet to articulate clearly a comprehensive framework for understanding the whole person. In an effort to achieve that aim, the current article draws on the most promising empirical and theoretical trends in personality psychology today to articulate 5big principles for an integrative science of the whole person. Personality is conceived as (a) an individual’s unique variation on the general evolutionary design for human nature, expressed as a developing pattern of (b) dispositional traits, (c) characteristic adaptations, and (d) self-defining life narratives, complexly and differentially situated (e) in culture and social context. The 5principles suggest a framework for integrating the Big Five model of personality traits with those self-defining features of psychological individuality constructed in response to situated social tasks and the human need to make meaning in culture

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The dark side of creativity

With few exceptions, scholarship on creativity has focused on its positive aspects while largely ignoring its dark side. This includes not only creativity deliberately aimed at hurting others, such as crime or terrorism, or at gaining unfair advantages, but also the accidental negative side effects of well-intentioned acts. This book brings together essays written by experts from various fields (psychology, criminal justice, sociology, engineering, education, history, and design) and with different interests (personality development, mental health, [...]

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Cultural constraints in management theories

Management as the word is presently used is an American invention. In other parts of the world not only the practices but the entire concept of management may differ, and the theories needed to understand it, may deviate considerably from what is considered normal and desirable in the USA. The reader is invited on a trip around the world, and both local management practices and theories are explained from the different contexts and histories of the places visited: Germany, Japan, France, Holland, the countries of the overseas Chinese, South-East Asia, Africa, Russia, and finally mainland China. A model in which worldwide differences in national cultures are categorized according to five independent dimensions helps in explaining the differences in management found; although the situation in each country or region has unique characteristics that no model can account for. One practical application of the model is in demonstrating the relative position of the U.S. versus other parts of the world. In a global perspective, U.S. management theories contain a number of idiosyncrasies not necessarily shared by management elsewhere. Three such idiosyncrasies are mentioned: a stress on market processes, a stress on the individual, and a focus on managers rather than on workers. A plea is made for an internationalization not only of business, but also of management theories, as a way of enriching theories at the national level.

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The Cambridge handbook of thinking and reasoning

The Cambridge Handbook of Thinking and Reasoning is the first comprehensive and authoritative handbook covering all the core topics of the field of thinking and reasoning. Written by the foremost experts from cognitive psychology, cognitive science, and cognitive neuroscience, individual chapters summarize basic concepts and findings for a major topic, sketch its history, and give a sense of the directions in which research is currently heading. The volume also includes work related to developmental, social and clinical psychology, philosophy, economics, artificial intelligence, linguistics, education, law, and medicine. Scholars and students in all these fields and others will find this to be a valuable collection.

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A Theory of Cultural Values and Some Implications for Work

A theory of the types of values on which cultures can be compared is presented and validated with data from 49 nations from around the world. Seven types of values are identified, structured along three polar dimensions: Conservatism versus Intellectual and Affective Autonomy; Hierarchy versus Egalitarianism; and Mastery versus Harmony. Based on their cultural value priorities, nations are arrayed in a two-dimensional space, revealing meaningful groupings of culturally related nations. Analyses replicate with both teacher and student samples. Implications of national differences in cultural values for differences in meaning of work are explicated. To stimulate research on cultural values and work, hypotheses are developed regarding the cultural value emphases that are especially compatible or conflicting with work centrality, with different societal norms about work, and with the pursuit of four types of work values or goals.

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The six mistakes executives make in risk management

We don't live in the world for which conventional risk-management textbooks prepare us. No forecasting model predicted the impact of the current economic crisis, and its consequences continue to take establishment economists and business academics by surprise. Moreover, as we all know, the crisis has been compounded by the banks' so-called risk management models, which increased their exposure to risk instead of limiting it and rendered the global economic system more fragile than ever. Low-probability, high-impact events that are [...]

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Building a practically useful theory of goal setting and task motivation: A 35-year odyssey.

The authors summarize 35 years of empirical research on goal-setting theory. They describe the core findings of the theory, the mechanisms by which goals operate, moderators of goal effects, the relation of goals and satisfaction, and the role of goals as mediators of incentives. The external validity and practical significance of goal-setting theory are explained, and new directions in goal-setting research are discussed. The relationships of goal setting to other theories are described as are the theory’s limitations

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Weapons of the weak: Everyday forms of peasant resistance

This publication, based on 2 years of fieldwork (1978-1980), focuses on the local class relations in a small (70 households) rice farming community in the main paddy-growing area of Kedah in Malaysia. Introduction of the Green Revolution in 1976 eliminated 2/3 of the wage-earning opportunities for smallholders and landless labourers. The main ensuing class struggle is analysed being the ideological struggle in the village and the practise of resistance itself consisting of: footdragging, dissimulation, desertion, false compliance, pilfering, feigned ignorance and sabotage acts. Rich and poor are engaged in an unremitting if silent struggle to define changes in land tenure, mechanization and employment to advance their own interests, and to use values that they share to control the distribution of status, land, work and grain.

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The connections between affect and decision making: Nine resulting phenomena

The psychological study of decision making has long drawn on the tension between normative and descriptive considerations. Because normative accounts, such as expected utility, predate descriptive inquiry, this approach has produced a research program that is to some extent inherently conservative. First, the experimental agenda has often been molded by a desire to improve upon the older normative theories. A common tactic is to isolate some normative requirement that seems likely to fail empirically and to conduct experiments corroborating this failure. Second, descriptively-inspired theories have avoided sweeping changes in favor of maintaining agreement with the broad themes of normative accounts. Kahneman and Tversky’s prospect theory, which is the best-known descriptively-inspired theory, provides an example

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Debiasing

My emphasis will be mainly on prescriptive strategies that individuals themselves can adopt, as opposed to techniques used by external agents to modify the decision environment. An example of the former approach would be increasing retirement savings by training people on the principle of compounding, either abstractly or as a rule of thumb (e.g., "the rule of 72"--an investment that grows at X percent per year will double roughly every 72/X years). An example of the latter approach is Thaler and Benartzi's (2001) highly successful demonstration that organizations can rebias employees to save more by changing the status quo and by exploiting mental accounting. Both rebiasing (using one bias to offset another) and changing the decision environment are viable methods for debiasing. However, I will focus on equipping individuals with strategies because this approach tends to increase their decision skills and their ability to apply those skills to new decision domains (in this example, perhaps, college savings).

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Ontological uncertainty and innovation

This paper is about the relationship between uncertainty and innovation. In particular, it raises and responds to two questions: what are innovating agents uncertain about, and how does their uncertainty affect how they act? In section 1, we explain what we mean by innovation, with the help of an example to which we refer throughout the paper. In section 2, after some preliminary considerations on the relation between temporality and action, we describe a way of thinking about uncertainty. This idea leads to a distinction between three kinds of uncertainty: truth uncertainty, semantic uncertainty, and ontological uncertainty. Of the three, ontological uncertainty is the least discussed in the economic literature, but we argue that it is essential for understanding innovation processes.

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Wisdom, intelligence, and creativity synthesized

In Wisdom, Intelligence, and Creativity Synthesized, Sternberg reviews and summarizes the best research available on human intelligence. He argues that any serious understanding of intelligence must go beyond the standard paper and pencil tests currently in use. In addition to analytical and quantitative abilities, a theory of intelligence must take account of peoples' creative abilities-their ability to go beyond given information and imagine new and exciting ways of reformulating old problems. It must also take into account peoples' ability to weigh [...]

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What theory is not, theorizing is

Products of the theorizing process seldom emerge as fullblown theories, which means that most of what passes for theory in organizational studies consists of approximations. Although these approximations vary in their generality, few of them take the form of strong theory, and most of them can be read as texts created "in lieu of" strong theories. These substitutes for theory may result from lazy theorizing in which people try to graft theory onto stark sets of data. But they may also represent interim struggles in which people intentionally inch toward stronger theories. The products of laziness and intense struggles may look the same and may consist of references, data, lists, diagrams, and hypotheses. To label these five as "not theory" makes sense if the problem is laziness and incompetence. But ruling out those same five may slow inquiry if the problem is theoretical development still in its early stages, Sutton and Staw know this. But it gets lost in their concern with theory as a product rather than as a process. To add complication and nuance to their message, I want to focus on the process of theorizing.

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Expressive writing: Connections to physical and mental health

This paper presents a broad overview of the expressive writing paradigm. Since its first use in the 1980s, dozens of studies have explored the parameters and boundary conditions of its effectiveness. In the laboratory, consistent and significant health improvements are found when individuals write or talk about personally upsetting experiences. The effects include both subjective and objective markers of health and well-being. The disclosure phenomenon appears to generalize across settings, many individual difference factors, and several Western cultures, and is independent of social feedback.

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Culture and decisions

Recent years have seen a rebirth of cultural research in psychology. Although the cultural foundations of the human mind have been recognized from very early years in psychology (e.g., Wundt, 1916), the attempt to explore the interplay between culture and mind has rarely received the level of recognition and popularity that it does now. In social psychology, for example, a growing amount of recent published research about topics such as self, self-esteem, attribution, and motivation, includes either cross-cultural data directly or, at least, some discussions and speculations about the cross-cultural implications of their findings (Fiske, Kitayama, Markus, & Nisbett, 1998; Heine, Lehman, Markus, & Kitayama, 1999; Markus & Kitayama, 1991; Nisbett, Peng, Choi & Norenzayan, 2001). The cultural zeitgeist in social psychology is significant, not because all social psychologists study cross-cultural issues but because they are all expected to have a cultural perspective (Miller, 2001)

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Strategy safari: A guided tour through the wilds of strategic management

Strategy Safari, the international bestseller on business strategy by leading management thinker Henry Mintzberg and his colleagues Bruce Ahlstrand and Joseph Lampel, is widely considered a classic work in the field. No other book synthesizes the entire history and evolution of strategic management in so lively and entertaining a fashion. Since the initial publication of Strategy Safari, managers, consultants, and academics all over the world have found this book an indispensable and delightful tool-kit.

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Metaphors We Live By

The now-classic Metaphors We Live By changed our understanding of metaphor and its role in language and the mind. Metaphor, the authors explain, is a fundamental mechanism of mind, one that allows us to use what we know about our physical and social experience to provide understanding of countless other subjects. Because such metaphors structure our most basic understandings of our experience, they are "metaphors we live by"--metaphors that can shape our perceptions and actions without our ever noticing them. In this updated edition of Lakoff and Johnson's influential book, the authors supply an afterword surveying how their theory of metaphor has developed within the cognitive sciences to become central to the contemporary understanding of how we think and how we express our thoughts in language.

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Riding the waves of change

In developing managerial competencies it's not enough to "look in the rear view mirror", project past trends, and just do what's worked in the past. It's crucial to look ahead, and position for the future. In today's world competence rests in our attitudes, values and mindsets, not just in technical skills.

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Applying systems thinking to analyze and learn from events

Major accidents keep occurring that seem preventable and that have similar systemic causes. Too often, we fail to learn from the past and make inadequate changes in response to losses. Examining the assumptions and paradigms underlying safety engineering may help identify the problem. The assumptions questioned in this paper involve four different areas: definitions of safety and its relationship to reliability, accident causality models, retrospective vs. prospective analysis, and operator error. Alternatives based on systems thinking are proposed.

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What makes a meme successful? Selection criteria for cultural evolution

Meme replication is described as a 4-stage process, consisting of assimilation, retention, expression and transmission. The effect of different objective, subjective, intersubjective and meme-centered selection criteria on these different stages is discussed.

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Innovation and creativity in organizations: A state-of-the-science review, prospective commentary, and guiding framework

Creativity and innovation in any organization are vital to its successful performance. The authors review the rapidly growing body of research in this area with particular attention to the period 2002 to 2013, inclusive. Conceiving of both creativity and innovation as being integral parts of essentially the same process, we propose a new, integrative definition. We note that research into creativity has typically examined the stage of idea generation, whereas innovation studies have commonly also included the latter phase of idea implementation. The authors discuss several seminal theories of creativity and innovation and then apply a comprehensive levels-of-analysis framework to review extant research into individual, team, organizational, and multilevel innovation. Key measurement characteristics of the reviewed studies are then noted. In conclusion, we propose a guiding framework for future research comprising 11 major themes and 60 specific questions for future studies.

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The uncertainty of innovation: a systematic review of the literature

Innovation is defined as a process that is fraught with uncertainty. This article’s aim is to diminish lack of knowledge of the factors that create uncertainty in innovation processes. The basic thrust of the present argument is that the potential value integral to innovation may or may not be materialized in the future. Given that the future entails uncertainty, it is reasonable to expect that uncertainty is inherent in every innovation process. Uncertainty results from the fact that, on the one hand, events in the future do not follow the course of past events, and, on the other, knowledge of the future is always incomplete. Using a systematic approach to reviewing the literature, eight factors which create uncertainty in processes of innovation were identified, namely: technological uncertainty, market uncertainty, regulatory/institutional uncertainty, social/political uncertainty, acceptance/legitimacy uncertainty, managerial uncertainty, timing uncertainty, and consequence uncertainty.

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Culture and the self: Implications for cognition, emotion, and motivation.

People in different cultures have strikingly different construals of the self, of others, and of the interdependence of the 2. These construals can influence, and in many cases determine, the very nature of individual experience, including cognition, emotion, and motivation. Many Asian cultures have distinct conceptions of individuality that insist on the fundamental relatedness of individuals to each other. The emphasis is on attending to others, fitting in, and harmonious interdependence with them. American culture neither assumes nor values such an overt connectedness among individuals. In contrast, individuals seek to maintain their independence from others by attending to the self and by discovering and expressing their unique inner attributes. As proposed herein, these construals are even more powerful than previously imagined. Theories of the self from both psychology and anthropology are integrated to define in detail the difference between a construal of the self as independent and a construal of the self as interdependent. Each of these divergent construals should have a set of specific consequences for cognition, emotion, and motivation; these consequences are proposed and relevant empirical literature is reviewed.

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Beyond big and little: The four c model of creativity.

Most investigations of creativity tend to take one of two directions: everyday creativity (also called “little-c”), which can be found in nearly all people, and eminent creativity (also called “Big-C”), which is reserved for the great. In this paper, the authors propose a Four C model of creativity that expands this dichotomy. Specifically, the authors add the idea of “mini-c,” creativity inherent in the learning process, and Pro-c, the developmental and effortful progression beyond little-c that represents professional-level expertise in any creative area. The authors include different transitions and gradations of these four dimensions of creativity, and then discuss advantages and examples of the Four C Model.

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Creativity in later life

Every biography of a creative person tries to explain the achievements of its subject in light of a more or less implicit dynamic theory of life-span development. The interest, curiosity, and enduring engagement of the artist or scientist are seen to follow from a series of meaningfully connected experiences stretching from childhood to maturity and old age. For instance, in his classic biography of da Vinci, Freud (1947) traced Leonardo’s lifelong curiosity, masked by a dispassionate analytic detachment, to the earliest years of his life, when as an illegitimate child he was left motherless in his father’s household. In his biography of Martin Luther, Erik Erikson (1958) hinted at the roots of Luther’s stubborn rebelliousness to authority by tracing them to an unforgiving father and a loving but powerless mother. [...]

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Forecasting and Scenario Planning: The Challenges of Uncertainty and Complexity

Forecasting involves making predictions about an unknown question or issue. My focus here is on why uncertainty and complexity pose special challenges in forecasting and what to do about this.

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Milieus of creativity: The role of places, environments, and spatial contexts

Although some of the earliest case studies on famous scientists addressed the importance of parents, peer groups, teachers, and fortuitous events for creative persons (e.g., Candolle, 1873; Ellis, 1926; Ostwald, 1909), interactions with the environment did not figure in the first theoretical conceptions of creativity. Researchers claimed that creative persons are gifted with special innate talents and capacities that others lack and that creativity is a gift or innate talent that cannot be acquired or taught (see Boden, 2004, pp. 14–15). This concept eventually raised a number of questions. For example, why are highly creative individuals not evenly distributed over time and space? Why are certain cities and historical periods characterized by great creativity in the visual arts, music, and science, whereas others are not? Why are certain research departments or universities so successful at copiously producing outstanding creative scientists, whereas others are not? Why does the large majority of Nobel Prize winners stem from such a small share of universities? Reflecting growing interest in the social environment as a variable, these questions indicated a change in creativity research. [...]

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Thinking and Deciding

Beginning with its first edition and through three subsequent editions, Thinking and Deciding has established itself as the required text and important reference work for students and scholars of human cognition and rationality. In this, the fourth edition, Jonathan Baron retains the comprehensive attention to the key questions addressed in the previous editions — How should we think? What, if anything, keeps us from thinking that way? How can we improve our thinking and decision making? — and his expanded treatment of topics such as risk, utilitarianism, Bayes’s theorem, and moral thinking. With the student in mind, the fourth edition emphasizes the development of an understanding of the fundamental concepts in judgment and decision making. This book is essential reading for students and scholars in judgment and decision making and related fields, including psychology, economics, law, medicine, and business

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