Author Topic: Psychology research and inspiration  (Read 334 times)

Offline GSOgymrat (OP)

Psychology research and inspiration
« on: August 31, 2016, 10:06:24 AM »
A problem in research is looking for results we want to be true.

http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2016/08/the-replication-crisis-might-be-fueled-by-inspiration.html?mid=twitter_nymag

... I’m sanding the rough edges off this research and making stronger claims that many researchers themselves would, of course, but that’s the point: By the time these ideas filter down to the public, they sit closer to the “Self-Help” aisle than the “Psychology” aisle. They tell simple, satisfying stories. Perhaps most important, they sweep aside other, more depressing accounts that have been posited by psychologists: that for a given person, it’s unlikely their happiness level will change much over the course of their life span; that seriously underprivileged kids arrive at kindergarten so profoundly disadvantaged relative to their wealthier peers that it’s almost impossible for them to catch up.

It would be wrong to say it’s been proven that happiness is stable for most people, or that there’s no realistic way to help kids who are really underprivileged attain the same opportunities as rich kids. As is the case almost everywhere, there’s controversy and debate. But there’s definitely some support for these ideas, and these aren’t fun of sexy concepts to think about. It is fun to think that we can teach impoverished kids from broken homes “grit” and turn them into future CEOs, or that if you smile enough you’ll get happier. And researchers and universities pay attention to which findings catch on and get circulated on social media and lead to books published outside of academia and so on — they’re not immune to the effects of a given idea’s level of popular appeal, or lack thereof. And once psychology is locked onto a given idea, history has shown, there are a zillion ways for it to rack up seemingly impressive lab results that may not hold up in the long run.

I’m not trying to posit some Grand Unified Theory of Replication Problems Here. Rather, I’ll make a modest prediction: As things continue to unfold, there will be at least some correlation between which areas of research get hit the hardest by replication issues and which areas of research offer the most optimistic accounts of human nature, potential, and malleability.

Offline SGOS

Re: Psychology research and inspiration
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2016, 10:53:16 AM »
I always wondered about that book, Win Friends and Influence People.  Also, my employer used to bring in a motivational speaker once a year.  I will admit these people were good speakers.  It's kind a requirement for their job, and I admit I felt a twinge of inspiration.  I used to like watching other people and talk to them after the presentations.  There were always a few who had that, "God, that was inspiring," reaction, and I believed they were, but come Monday, nothing much would change.  The same frustrations and problems existed and peoples reactions to those frustrations seemed to be about the same as always.  I think the biggest benefit is to the speaker.  He's the one who at least took the money home.  The rest of us functioned  mostly as the environment the speaker required for his performance.

Offline GSOgymrat (OP)

Re: Psychology research and inspiration
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2016, 11:23:13 AM »
I always wondered about that book, Win Friends and Influence People.  Also, my employer used to bring in a motivational speaker once a year.  I will admit these people were good speakers.  It's kind a requirement for their job, and I admit I felt a twinge of inspiration.  I used to like watching other people and talk to them after the presentations.  There were always a few who had that, "God, that was inspiring," reaction, and I believed they were, but come Monday, nothing much would change.  The same frustrations and problems existed and peoples reactions to those frustrations seemed to be about the same as always.  I think the biggest benefit is to the speaker.  He's the one who at least took the money home.  The rest of us functioned  mostly as the environment the speaker required for his performance.

I've read that effective inspirational speakers can significantly improve morale and productivity but the improvement is temporary. Positivity appears to need repeated reinforcement.



Offline SGOS

Re: Psychology research and inspiration
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2016, 12:16:44 PM »
I've read that effective inspirational speakers can significantly improve morale and productivity but the improvement is temporary. Positivity appears to need repeated reinforcement.


Just based on my observations, I think that would be right.  I think at best, the desire to do a better job might last a day or two, and that would be in only the best case scenarios by the most enthusiastic members of the audience.

Offline Baruch

Re: Psychology research and inspiration
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2016, 06:29:36 PM »
I always wondered about that book, Win Friends and Influence People.  Also, my employer used to bring in a motivational speaker once a year.  I will admit these people were good speakers.  It's kind a requirement for their job, and I admit I felt a twinge of inspiration.  I used to like watching other people and talk to them after the presentations.  There were always a few who had that, "God, that was inspiring," reaction, and I believed they were, but come Monday, nothing much would change.  The same frustrations and problems existed and peoples reactions to those frustrations seemed to be about the same as always.  I think the biggest benefit is to the speaker.  He's the one who at least took the money home.  The rest of us functioned  mostly as the environment the speaker required for his performance.

Dale Carnegie was the publicity guy for Lowell Thomas back in the 1920s.  Lowell Thomas built his career much later on Timex watch commercials, but originally in the 1920s, he did post-WW I patriotic shows blowing his relationship with Lawrence of Arabia.  Lawrence of Arabia was the real deal, Dale Carnegie was a coat tail rider on a coat tail rider.  But he did inspire a generation of salesmen.
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