Notes to “The Psychology of Leadership” by Tal Ben-Shahar [Part 1]

Oct 16, 2016 · Leadership

Recently I stumbled upon a brilliant Youtube playlist with video recordings of the lectures to the course on “The Psychology of Leadership” by Tal Ben-Shahar. Ben-Shahar shares some interesting thoughts and concepts about leadership and offers practical advice. The official course description states “How can leaders – in the business sector, politics, or education – create an environment that facilitates growth? Topics include transformational leadership, personal identity, change, ethics, peak experience and peak performance, motivation, and systems thinking.”

As I haven’t found any other summaries or notes to the course online, I thought about sharing mine. I will break them down into several posts with 3-4 lectures each, but as a preface, let’s start with the notes to the first lecture of “The Psychology of Leadership”.

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Why you should learn to love your keyboard (An ode to Alfred)

Aug 21, 2016 · Technology

We often search for the most convenient way to do things. What would be the answer, if we would evaluate the easiest and most convenient way to interact with a computer? Despite the fact that this is definitely dependent on the context, for numerous of our daily tasks most users would probably prefer the mouse. But what if we take a look at the daily actions we execute? Mostly, we look at the same homepages, we open the same apps or we perform the same kind of workflows/tasks/actions.

The mouse is a pretty convenient way to interact with a computer, that’s why it was one of the most important drivers for a wide adoption of computers in the early days (in combination with the Graphical User Interface). Nearly everyone can use a mouse intuitively – but for a lot of tasks, the keyboard is simply the more efficient alternative. There is one specific app, which really helps you to get the most out of your keyboard: meet Alfred.

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#ThankYouMrFeynman – My favorite lesson from Richard Feynman

Aug 11, 2016 · Life

Some days ago I watched an interview with a comedian explaining the process of how they set up sketches: the topic, the environment, the characters… For example, he was talking about the power of prejudices and how they use them to play with the viewer’s thoughts. If you’re interested, here is the video:

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How psychology influences decisions about security

Aug 6, 2016 · Design

This blog post was initially published on the HdM Computer Science and Media Blog and was written in cooperation with Malte Vollmerhausen.

Imagine you are going to a supermarket. You spot a pyramid of Campbell’s tomato soup cans. They are off by 10%. You take a bunch of cans and buy them. As a study shows, you statistically would have bought around 3 cans. Let’s sit into our Dolorian, go back 30 minutes and enter the supermarket again. You’re again seeing the pile of Campell’s (with the 10% discount), but now there is one little addition: a sign saying “Max. 12 cans per person”. As the study states, this time you would bring 7 cans to the cash-point. You made a completely irrational decision, because the sign should in no way have an effect on your decision making process – yet it does. As you can imagine, this problem is also present when facing security decisions.

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