11 errors in reasoning: avoid these if you want to look smarter

Avoiding errors in reasoning, aka logical fallacies is crucial to forming better arguments and avoiding being manipulated by others 2000 years ago, Aristotle proposed that although we share much in common with the animal kingdom, what sets humans apart is our capacity for reason and rationality. Unfortunately however, we all make errors in reasoning – either …

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Politeness: the secret weapon to winning an argument?

How does being polite help us overcome everyday disagreements? According to French philosopher Andre Comte-Sponville, “morality starts at the bottom – with politeness. But it has to start somewhere.” The point is that we are not born virtuous, we have learn to be so – and practising politeness is one of the ways to develop a robust code of ethics to guide us …

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The scientific evidence behind the power of the gaze

The science of eye contact

What can modern scientific research tell us about the mysterious power of the gaze? The eyes are called the windows to the soul. They have fascinated thinkers and creators throughout human history. The human eye has been a symbol for gods, for truth and wisdom, and even for power. Poets have waxed eloquent about the effects of looking into a lover’s …

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Facial feedback theory: how Botox makes you less empathetic

Our own facial expressions play an essential part in understanding other people’s emotions Human learn to show emotions through facial expressions very early in life. Babies learn how to express happiness and sadness by mimicking their caregivers’ expressions. Sharing smiles and eye contact forms a huge part of the bonding process between parent and child. …

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How Hollywood uses colour to manipulate our emotions

How Hollywood uses colour to manipulate emotions

Film-makers routinely use colour to exploit the emotions of their audiences If you like movies you may have noticed that certain film genres always seem to share the same shades of colour; warm reds for romances, de-saturated tones for apocalyptic dystopias, blue cold-tones for horror movies. The list goes on. This doesn’t happen by accident. Colour …

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Why do our brains associate red with passion?

Red - attraction - colour psychology

Why do our brains associate the colour red with attraction and desire? If you’re single and in the dating game, it’s incredibly important to make a good first impression. Whilst you can’t change your personality overnight, or make yourself taller, you can influence your date’s opinion of you by other means, such as your appearance. …

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Stop using this word and change your entire world view

The verb ‘to be’ distorts our perception of reality Simple changes in your speech and writing can have transformative effects on the way you perceive the world and how others perceive you. This communication hack from an obscure, but influential Polish aristocrat should certainly get you thinking. Alfred Korzybski Alfred Korzybski, a Polish emigre to the USA, was a …

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4 of the most common myths about body language

Crossed arms and small-talk

Some of our most common assumptions about body language are just plain wrong Body language reveals all – or so some ‘experts’ would have you believe.  The truth is, body language is riddled with ambiguities, exceptions and opportunities for misunderstandings. There are countless studies you can read on the ‘science of non-verbal communication‘. But becoming fluent in body language is …

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You’re probably using these 4 psychological terms all wrong

Here are the real meanings of these 4 common psychological terms Calling your friend a psycho is just wrong. So is saying they’re schizo, bipolar or have OCD – that is, unless they really have a serious psychological disorder. The video below explains it all. Why You’re Using “Schizophrenic” Wrong To be schizophrenic, a person has …

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The surprising speech technique that makes top leaders sound important

To speak with authority, don’t focus on the details, talk in vague, abstract terms. Ever wondered why the boss of your company talks in such a non-direct way. Why you never hear them discussing the nitty gritty? Well, there’s a reason why. Psychologists have discovered that when leaders use vague and abstract language, it gives them a sense of authority. Talking about …

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These 6 principles of persuasion will turn you into a master of influence

Persuasion - influence

Persuasion is not an art, it’s a science. These are the 6 classic principles of influence you need to know. What makes someone good at persuading others? Is it about confidence? A charming personality? Or perhaps it’s all down to good looks? One thing is for sure, when it come to wielding influence. some people are …

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