Posts

Opportunity for progress: large-scale investement in renewable energy NOW

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Max Roser, founder of Our World in Data , has written an article that I think everyone should read and share with others. The article states that the price of renewable energy sources has fallen spectacularly in the past ten years. He explains why this has happened and that we have a great opportunity to take a big step forward in the energy transition. Below is a summary of the article.

The Precipice: Existential Risk and the Future of Humanity

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A new book has come out progress on the largest imaginable time scale. It's called The Precipice and it was written by Oxford-based Australian moral philosopher Toby Ord . The book states that we, as humanity, may only be at the beginning of our development. Humanity has existed for 200,000 years and there could be millions of future human generations. In the time we have had as humanity so far, we have made significant progress in improving the human condition, particularly in the last few hundred years. As humanity, we have collaborated with each other over time and distance.

Discover positive possibilities in difficult circumstances

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  Sometimes, maybe even often, it is possible to see something positive in adversity. The setback is not just something we have to survive or overcome. We can then see it as a harbinger for growth or a positive breakthrough.

"Do you really believe I can change?"

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  Growth mindset interventions can sometimes have a enormous positive impact in lives. That shifting from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset can lead to meaningful changes in the lives of individuals is something I've seen up close several times in my own environment. In a recent book there is an impressive example of such a strong positive impact. Here are the words of the founder of mindset theory, Carol Dweck :

Upward spiral between autonomy support and autonomous motivation

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Research in self-determination theory has shown that individuals who are autonomously motivated make more progress and feel better. Research has also shown that autonomy support by parents, teachers or supervisors increases the autonomous motivation of children, students and employees respectively. That sounds logical and simple. But there is a little more to the interplay between these variables. New research by Levine et al. (2020) shows that an upward spiral occurs between autonomous motivation and autonomy support.

4 Elements of Wise Leadership

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Who still wants to have a leadership role in a large organization in these complex times? The role of leaders seems quite challenging. To begin with, organizations themselves are often extremely complex. As a leader within organizations, you are faced with all kinds of problems, differences of opinion and diverse interests. As a leader, how can you ever have the information, knowledge and skills to bridge these contradictions and to find solutions to these problems? In addition to that, consider the environments in which organizations have to operate. These are also characterized by enormous complexity, change and uncertainty. As a leader in all this turbulence, how can you ever know for sure which way the organization should go? Doesn't being a leader require almost superhuman energy, capabilities, and social skills? 

How wisdom is needed to solve complex problems

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Traditionally, philosophers have studied wisdom. But within psychology, this subject has received relatively little attention until recently, especially when compared to a subject like intelligence. But this has changed in recent years. There has been more consensus on what we mean by wisdom, to what extent it occurs in humans and what it correlates with. Grossmann & Brienza (2018) describe in a new article how wisdom can make a unique contribution to solving the complex issues of our time.  

The importance of wisdom and how we can teach it

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Intelligence is relatively important in both psychology and Western societies. Two Canadian psychologists have pointed out the importance of other aspects of our cognitive functioning that they consider to be just as important and have wrongly received less attention. One is Keith Stanovich who argues for much more attention to rationality. The other is Igor Grossmann who points out the great importance of wise reasoning. In two new articles that he co-wrote with colleagues, he explains what wise reasoning is, why it is so important and how we can teach it. 

4 Differences between Maslow's Pyramid and the basic psychological needs from self-determination theory

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The " Pyramid of Maslow " is one of the more famous ideas in psychology. Abraham Maslow formulated the basis for this idea in his publications " A Theory of Motivation " (1943) and Motivation and Personality (1954).  In short, this idea implies that people have hierarchically ordered basic needs that are essential for healthy development. This idea has proved intuitively appealing as it has become very popular within and outside of psychology. That it is popular in psychology is shown by the fact that it is hardly missing in any introductory psychology handbook. That it has become popular outside of psychology is shown, among other things, by the fact that a joke in which WiFi has been added as a new basic need to the  Maslow pyramid is immediately understood by almost everyone. It is therefore not surprising that we regularly receive questions about how Maslow's pyramid differs from the now dominant motivation theory within psychology, the self-determination

19 Wise interventions from social psychology

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The recently published Handbook of Wise Interventions (Walton & Crum, Eds., 2020) provides an overview of wise interventions through contributions from leading researchers. These are brief interventions based on social psychological research that lead to shifts in the way people understand themselves, others and social situations. These other ways of thinking can help make progress in a variety of contexts. Think of school performance, health, well-being and personal relationships. The effects of these types of interventions can sometimes lead to long-term improvements ( read why ).