Can just looking at Red Bull improve performance?

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Eric Barker  -  
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We show that brand exposure can have double-sided effects on behavior, with brand identity associations creating both positive and negative effects on objective consumer performance. Experimental results from a racing game involving functionally identical cars with differently branded paint jobs show that Red Bull branding creates a U-shaped effect on race performance, as Red Bull’s brand identity of speed, power, and recklessness work both for and against the players. Even though brands were exposed supraliminally, effects traveled through nonconscious channels. Double-edged effects of branding on consumer performance could be increasingly important as ambient advertising and product cobranding become more commonplace.

Source: “Red Bull “Gives You Wings” for better or worse: A double-edged impact of brand exposure on consumer performance” from Journal of Consumer Psychology

So you might want to be careful what advertising is around you before you do important things. Me, I’m just going to make sure that there are posters for the next James Bond movie up EVERYWHERE I GO.

My friend Adam is one of the authors of the study. His web page is here.

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Should you use time management with your free time?

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Eric Barker  -  
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It might increase quality of life:

This study was designed to identify the relationship between free time management and quality of life, exploring whether the amount of free time or the way people using their free time relates to their quality of life. Data were collected from National Pingtung University of Science and Technology in Taiwan. Of the 500 questionnaires distribute, 403 usable questionnaires were received with an 81% response rate. The result has found a positive relationship between free time management and quality of life. Contrary to this, there was no significant relationship between time allocation and quality of life. Results might indicate that people who manage their free time well lead to better quality of life. Suggestions based on the observed relationship and directions for future researches were discussed.

Source: “Free Time Management Contributes to Better Quality of Life: A Study of Undergraduate Students in Taiwan” from Journal of Happiness Studies

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Do collectivist cultures produce better sports teams?

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Eric Barker  -  
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Yes:

Purpose. Research outside sport psychology indicates that collectivist cultures positively influence group achievements. Because of this results of sports teams from collectivist cultures should be better than those of their counterparts from individualist cultures. This hypothesis was examined in two studies. Basic procedures. (1) In study I, 15 coaches, using the IC Interpersonal Assessment Inventory (ICIAI), enumerated characteristics that a perfect team member should possess. (2) In study II, individual results (achieved between 2001 and 2008) of four top Japanese and Brazilian athletes (collectivist cultures) and American and British (individualist cultures) were compared against the best 4 × 100 m relay results from these countries. Main findings. (1) In the coaches’ opinion players of team sports should definitely be more collectivist than individualist in relation to the values professed. (2) In the context of athlete’s potential, the Japanese and Brazilian relay teams achieved generally better results than their American and British counterparts. Conclusions. The obtained results show that collectivist cultures not only facilitate and favor the development of sports teams, but also enhance their performance.

Source: “Influence of Culture on Sports Achievements: The Case of Sprint Relay Teams from Japan, Brazil, the USA and Great Britain” from Human Movement, Volume 10, Number 2 / December 2009

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Do procrastinators score higher in school than non-procrastinators?

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Eric Barker  -  
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No:

Evidence from online assignments in an intermediate microeconomics course suggests that nonprocrastinators (both early-starters and front-loaders) score higher than their dilly-dallying counterparts. Students who are busier in school tend to start their assignments earlier.

Source: “‘D’ is for dilly-dally?” from Applied Economics Letters, Volume 15, Issue 14 November 2008 , pages 1085 – 1088

In some ways the final statement is more interesting than the main finding of the study:

Students who are busier in school tend to start their assignments earlier. Can’t be sure of correlation/causation but it does raise an eyebrow.

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Does happiness boost productivity?

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Eric Barker  -  
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Yes:

“Happiness economics” should not be just about whether macro-variables raise or lower well-being, we also need to look to the micro-level impact of happiness on behaviour. So far we know that happier individuals are more productive, the effect coming largely through increased effort, whether we consider a short-run shock induced in a laboratory or longer-run real-life shocks.

Source is Daniel Sgroi. For the pointer I thank Robert Cottrell at The Browser.

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