Posts Tagged ‘TPS report’

Welcome to the Focus Group

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017

The first rule of Focus Club is – you do not talk about Focus Club.

Sitting around a table with strangers and snacks provided me with a glimpse of the higher levels of emotional pollution we live with today.

Before focus group attendance required a reference and the best paying research firms became fodder for Yelp, back when the topic of extra cash was still “light” conversation, my school-teacher mom enjoyed bragging about the extra $40, $60 or $90 she’d nabbed just for sitting around talking cars or cooking utensils. Her exaggerated enthusiasm made my brother and I feel like idiots if we failed to grab our own piece of this windfall. So I signed up.

Phone interviews asking after household budgets, TV time, annual electronics expenditures and so forth were the first step. Screeners frequently came off like car salesmen –as if the only thing between them and a three-day weekend was filling a late afternoon quota– but it was difficult not to play along. Answers that were a degree or three off elicited a disappointed sigh and a more “accurate” response.
(more…)

Morality in the Morning

Friday, March 7th, 2014

Are we more dependable and trustworthy at breakfast than at dinner?

The Morning Morality Effect_Psychological Science January 2014Are you tired of your account managers giving you the runaround about their weekly TPS reports? Try moving your meetings with them to the a.m.! According to a just-released study from the Association for Psychological Science (APS), straight answers are more likely in the morning than in the afternoon.

The APS study proposes that the rigors of everyday living erode our capacity to resist lying and cheating, using four experiments to substantiate what researchers call the “morning morality effect.” The morning morality effect basically means that, by the end of the day, our ability to process moral decisions and maintain self-control is about as effective as an empty can of air freshener.

The study also found that people with a greater innate propensity for theft, murder, and bullshit are influenced by the morning morality effect to a greater degree than those with a naturally heightened sense of moral awareness. In other words, unless you’re a codependent fixer, the colleagues you likely already avoid will get even worse toward quittin’ time, while the steadfast goody-goodies will be more likely to resist the temptation to act on their amoral thoughts.

(Still, ever notice how impatient the sanctimonious types can become by the end of the day? Sounds to me like the APS is sayin’ that, come four o’clock, even the cloyingly self-righteous can’t help plotting to kill their rich uncles.)

(more…)