No Butts: smoking on the brain

25

Feb 2016

No Butts: smoking on the brain

It’s dirty, it stinks, it hurts your throat, it tastes bad, it kills your taste buds, your sense of smell, it’s harmful to others, it rots and stains your teeth, it gives you bad breath, it affects your breathing, it gives you wrinkles, it shortens your life, it makes you age faster, it clogs up your lungs, it wastes your money, it wastes your time, it stains your fingers, it strains your heart, it dictates your schedule… Sound like something you should be doing so often? But you knew all that already, didn’t you. Anyone want a smoke? The neuroscience...

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The Invisible Forces that Shape Our Prejudices

16

Feb 2016

The Invisible Forces that Shape Our Prejudices

Antonio Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Refugees This is a statement Guterres recently made during a talk with TED Global’s Bruno Giussani in relation to the refugee challenges that currently exist across the world, particularly in Europe. And he is far from the first person to say it. Guterres convincingly argues that this tendency towards diversity is inevitable, and that any efforts to slow down or prevent it would actually do more damage than good. He offers Donald Trump’s idea of closing the United States’ doors to Muslim refugees as an example. Now, apart from the moral, ethical and reputational...

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Head to Head with Hengchen Dai

01

Feb 2016

Head to Head with Hengchen Dai

Hengchen Dai is one of our favourite Behaviouralists. Currently Assistant Professor of Organisational Behaviour at the Olin Business School, Washington University in St Louis, Dai has made understanding the behaviours of ‘being human’ – at home and at work – her profession. She focuses particularly on what motivates us, how we self-regulate our goal-driven action and how to ‘nudge’ this in line with our long-term best interests. Trained at Peking University, with her Doctorate from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Dai is fast becoming an influential leader in the field. She’s presented her work at countless universities...

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The Big(gest) Issue: ‘Smart Bibs’ combatting apathy for micro-entrepreneurs

01

Feb 2016

The Big(gest) Issue: ‘Smart Bibs’ combatting apathy for micro-entrepreneurs

Imagine a congested traffic light, beggars and vendors vying for attention, and all too many motorists avoiding their eyes. It’s not that hard is it? In fact, as South Africans, it’s something you encounter countless times a day. Apathy is defined as “not feeling or having any emotion, enthusiasm or concern”. Essentially, it is indifference, and it’s something most of us have become all too familiar with. In 2014 Gravity Ideas undertook a pro-bono project with The Big Issue Cape Town in an effort to boost the sales of these micro-entrepreneurs. In 2016 we were awarded Gold at the Nudge...

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‘New year, new me’: The Fresh Start Effect and re-framing resolutions

18

Jan 2016

‘New year, new me’: The Fresh Start Effect and re-framing resolutions

Exercising, eating healthily, losing weight, saving more, drinking and smoking less; sound familiar? Google lists these as some of the top 10 new years’ resolutions made annually. This means they’re also the easiest to break. Some barely outlast the hangover… If you’ve attempted any of these, or plan on doing so in 2016, know this in advance: changing behaviours is hard! But, it doesn’t have to be. It’s what behavioural psychologist’s call the ‘New Year Effect’ and it always starts so well. Birds flying high, sun in the sky, breeze drifting by; the 1st of January arrives and “it’s a...

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Mind, Body & Botox – Understanding Embodied Cognition & Emotional Analytics

01

Dec 2015

Mind, Body & Botox – Understanding Embodied Cognition & Emotional Analytics

 “When you’re smiling the whole world smiles with you…” – Louis Armstrong From yoga to mediation, eating clean & green to evangelism we’ve been told innumerable times in countless ways about the mind-body-soul connection – the quintessential elements to ‘being human’. But how exactly do they interact and influence our connection with others, ourselves and our world?


A State of Happiness

18

May 2015

A State of Happiness

A growing area of interest, at both organizational and state levels, is happiness. Proponents argue that focusing on monetary wealth is both unsustainable and ineffective, if the primary objective of a society is to increase the happiness and well being of all of its members. In fact, a study by Ed Diener and colleagues looking at the correlation between levels of wealth and happiness in the USA since 1950 has proved just this. The study demonstrates, whilst there have been rapid increases in wealth over the fifty year period, people’s reported levels of happiness have remained relatively stagnant. This is an all too significant and familiar failure across our contemporary global society. These failed promises of wealth are why countless governments, businesses and international organisations such as the United Nations (UN) have decided to look beyond traditional economic systems and theory to fields such as behavioural science,...

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