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Entries from November 2006

Imagine Day of Peace

Who comes to mind when you mix peace with politics? Think Viet Nam war and music. Add in assassination. How about December 8th? Has John Lennon come to mind yet? Aside from any political debate (politics and peace do seem a bit like oil and water), one can always appreciate a message of healing. Yesterday's edition of the New York Times contained such a message when Yoko Ono publicly asked for forgiveness and called for the anniversary of her late husband's death (December 8th) to be remembered as a day of forgiveness and healing. This follows the release of the documentary, The U.S. v. John Lennon.

Want Teambuilding? Don't Bring Up Money

University of Minnesota researchers discovered link between money and behavior. Uh, okay so that seems obvious. Essentially, subjects in a series of nine experiments demonstrated more self-sufficient attitudes and behaviors when primed with words associated with money. Pictures of self-sufficient salespeople and entrepreneurs come to mind. Ah, the rugged Wild West "can do" spirit. (Remember the Wild West's connection to gold...money...get it?) Well, the flip side of all this self-sufficiency was that researchers found that participants were more willing to share, donate more money, and helped out fellow subjects more when they weren't primed with money words. So, go ahead and use money as an incentive for individual job tasks. Just don't use it when you want folks to depend on each other. You can check out the study published in Science.

Why We Love & Fight - Lessons from Primates

Remember the nature versus nurture argument? Try thinking both/and instead of either/or. It solves everything. While you're doing that, check out Frans de Waal's latest book, Our Inner Ape. In it, de Waal reveals fascinating connections between humans and primates. Yet, more intriguing are his revelations about the differences found among chimpanzees and bonobos. Chimpanzees appear to be more aggressive and power-hungry while the matriarchal bonobos are more social, sexual and have more adept conflict-resolution skills.

Systems is Key to Neuroeconomics Research

As is the case with many scientific advances, the emerging field of Neuroeconomics exploded when research scientists began sharing their research methodologies and tools with each other. In this case, neurobiologists and neurophysiologists are shattering some old economics theories. For instance, some research conducted with monkeys revealed that monkeys, like humans, reject inequality. They'll walk away from a reward if they feel they were treated unfairly. The fascinating thing about much of the research conducted in the field is that it has been brought about by systems thinking. Researchers began noticing the complex relationship between the variables (circular causality versus linear causality). For an overview, see "Economy of the Mind" put out by the The Center for the Study of Neuroeconomics at George Mason University.

No-Fault Divorce Under Attack

I recently attended training to serve as a communications facilitator for collaborative divorce. Sharing this news with people invariably resulted in a discussion about the pros and cons of divorce. I believe it's a complex issue and varies on a case by case basis. Nonetheless, people form their opinions from their personal experience and what the latest research claims. One such study, conducted at the University of Oklahoma and published in the Journal of Marriage and the Family, created a lot of debate when it suggested that our Nation's high divorce rate (over 50%) was due to no-fault divorce laws. AAMFT provides their view about how Michigan and other states are trying to overturn the no-fault divorce laws.