Work is the refuge of people who have nothing better to do. : Oscar Wilde

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Clients: Posture to Get What You Want

Perhaps not exactly. Perhaps not every time. But 10 Simple Postures That Boost Performance on PsyBlog describes how some postures can make you feel more powerful, or have more willpower, or experience enhanced ability in some other direction. Includes references in most cases.

Image by Iveto (Own work): reformatted [">GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Trend Over the Next Four Decades

According to Professor Laurence Smith of the University of California, Canada is one of the countries bordering on the Arctic Ocean with characteristics likely to make it a significant player in the world's economy over the next forty years. One reason is our large rate of population growth owing to immigration. To hear an introduction to his ideas listen to the 'Listen Now' link from the 14-minute point in this page. I see too that he has done an RSA talk too; however, I haven't heard that yet.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Getting Enough Stuff to Read (Final on this subject)

I've just noticed that a small software item that I announced on this blog a couple of years ago has become outmoded. Normally I would run around screaming about the unfairness of life.

But I don't think I will this time.

My little script was intended to highlight the items in a set of Google Scholar results that could be obtained immediately and at no cost. Google has gone about one light year farther. The current version of Scholar checks for the presence of each item in such a list somewhere on the web.

Here's what I mean.

When you do a Google scholar search the hits are listed on the left, as usual. Clicking on a link in the lefthand list will usually take you to a periodical requiring payment, right? However, if Google has succeeded in finding a freely available copy of the paper listed at the left then it will post the URL to the right as another link. I've circled one example of such a 'free' link.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Connections Between Occupation & Depression?

Professor S. B. Patten of the University of Calgary indicates that his principal academic interest is in the epidemiology of mood disorders. His blog, "Clinical Depression in Canada," is here.

At least two recent postings are of interest to us:
  1. Dr. Jian Li Wang, also of Calgary, has shown a significant change of from 5.1 to 7.6% in the incidence of major depression in his study group owing to the recent economic disruption, as well as a significant increase in dysthymic disorder.
  2. There's a list of occupations associated with higher 'risks' of depression. However, there are no substantiating details.
Perhaps Dr Wang's prospective study will shed more light on the issue of whether some occupations lead to more problems with depression.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

15 Radio Programmes about Psychology

Archived programmes from the BBC series Mind Changers, hosted by Claudia Hammond:
  1. Henri Tajfel's Minimal Groups
  2. Walter Mischel's Marshmallow Study
  3. Arden House : Langer and Rodin's 1976 Arden House study.
  4. Harlow's Monkeys : Harry Harlow's surrogate mothers experiment, which revolutionised parenting.
  5. The Hawthorne Effect : The 1920s experiment in a Chicago factory that gave rise to the Hawthorne Effect.
  6. The Pseudo-Patient Study : David Rosenhan's Pseudo-Patient Study.
  7. The Bobo Doll : Albert Bandura's experiment in 1961 exposed the dangers of imitative behaviour.
  8. The Heinz Dilemma : Lawrence Kohlberg's experiment to quantify the human capacity for ethical reasoning.
  9. The Stanford Prison Experiment : When Philip Zimbardo set up a mock prison, he had no idea what he would witness.
  10. Hans Eysenck : Hans Eysenck's studies of introvert and extrovert personalities.
  11. Mary Ainsworth : Mary Ainsworth's research on the parent-child relationship.
  12. John Watson and Little Emotional Albert : Profiles JB Watson, the psychologist considered the father of behaviourism
  13. Sir Frederic Bartlett – The War of the Ghosts : Memory and the Chinese whispers experiment by Frederic Bartlett.
  14. Jean Piaget – The Three Mountains : Were Jean Piaget's findings about children's egocentrism are accurate.
  15. Solomon Asch - Conformity : The conformity experiments of social psychologist, Solomon Asch.

Canadian Alternative to SurveyMonkey

I know that a lot of career developers and their agencies use on-line surveys of various kinds.
FluidSurveys seems to be a full-featured product created by Canadian engineers that I've just noticed with a free-of-charge mode. In other words it's an alternative to SurveyMonkey.

Although it might not be a nice thing to say about the company they're located in Ottawa.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Of Carbide Tool Tips OR Oil Sands

This is not just about our incomes as Canadians. I think it's also about having more interesting careers.

Abdon et al published a paper recently that shows a strong relationship between a nation's product complexity and it's weighted mean GDP per capita.

Canada ranks about 14th in the complexity of the products that it produces. Some of the countries that lead us won't surprise you; some might.

I mentioned carbide tool tips in the title of this posting because (a) this is an item that is very high in the Abdon paper's list of the 100 most complex products (it's number 5), and (b) it's one of the few items that I can imagine a purpose for. When was the last time you heard about struggles to promote the manufacture of this or similar products in Canada?

In strong contrast, you know why I mentioned the oil sands in the title, don't you? Well, this appears in Abdon's list of the 100 least complex products. Nearby in the list are things like fresh or dried pineapples, groundnuts and frozen whole yellowfin tuna. Lacking complexity indeed.

To the extent that a nation can take decisions we can choose between high-complexity products such as carbide tool tips that yield higher incomes and oil sands.

Setting aside which items are likely to produce the greatest incomes for us (and trifles like environmental consequences), which products are more likely to give rise to a greater range of career options, would you say? Complex ones or less complex ones?

Abdon, A, Bacate, M, Felipe, J and Kumar, U (Sept 2010) "Product Complexity and Economic Development," Working Paper No. 616, Levy Economics Institute, Bard College.

Thanks to Jim Stanford of the Progressive Economics blog for making me aware of this paper here.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

How-To's for Small Business & Job Seekers

In spite of my insistent protestations about my ignorance of law someone asked me today for support in connection with her trademark. She has a great trademark idea for her business, in my estimation, but she became a tad upset when it occurred to her that someone else might already be using it. What to do?

Well, as it happens this is another place where my very own custom Google search came in useful. Unlike the b-i-g Google it just searches a restricted collection of web sites that offer practical advice about how to do things. I dropped the key words

Canadian trademark

in to the custom search and received both the searchable Canadian registry of trademarks and a set of instructions for registering trademarks. Of course I cannot claim that one would not find these using Google itself but, in many cases, the custom search would eliminate a lot of chaff.

To use the custom search just follow and/or bookmark this link: Career & Employment How-To-Do-Its.

To get back to the main thread of this article, if you're trying to create a trademark that you can register I imagine that you can use the online database to help you. However, for heaven's sake, consult a specialist.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Technology Place for Nonprofits: Techsoup

I had read quite a few tweets from Digital NPO of Chicago before I finally noticed that several of them point to techsoup (The Technology Place for Nonprofits), which has a Canadian associate techsoup Canada.

The Learning Centre has numerous articles addressing the following topics: Accessible Technology, Consultants, CTCs, Databases, Funding, Hardware, Internet Connections, Networks, Software, Technology Planning, Training, Using the Internet, Volunteers, Web Building, Downloads and Webinars.

Here are some of the titles from the Canadian techsoup blog (I've subscribed):
  • Presenting your Message
  • Using Technology for Grants
  • Technology Risk Management
  • TechSoup Canada RoadShow: Edmonton, Alberta
  • Keeping the conversation going with Twitter Talk II
  • Online Storytelling — How to Plan & Produce a Compelling Video
And then there's the blog for techsoup itself. Here are some titles from it:
  • QuickBooks at Your Organization: Free Webinar This Wednesday!
  • The Potential of SharePoint for Nonprofits and Public Libraries
  • Storytelling Screening Success
  • 5 Favorite Features, Tips, and Shortcuts for Microsoft Excel
That QuickBooks seminar is for tomorrow, I think, incidentally.

PS: Includes a heck of a collection of recipes under Community.