Another reason to procrastinate
Plus, the link between achievement and belonging
The perks of procrastination. We’ve said it before: procrastination doesn’t have to be a bad thing. In fact, a recent study suggests that people who procrastinate might be more creative than those who don't. Researchers asked people to write down a bunch of business ideas for a fictional entrepreneur who had just won $10,000 to start his own online company. To encourage some participants to procrastinate, the researchers gave them access to funny YouTube videos. And they found a procrastination sweet spot: people who spent a moderate amount of time procrastinating came up with “significantly more creative proposals” than those who procrastinated a lot or didn’t procrastinate at all. Balance seems to be key to extracting the benefits of procrastination without experiencing its drawbacks. We leave you with this.
Where do I belong? We all feel like outsiders at times, but if you’re in an environment where your background is different from everyone else’s, those feelings can intensify. In a study, researchers wanted to help college students from diverse racial, gender, and socio-economic backgrounds feel like they belonged. They designed an intervention to make them feel more included by reading stories from other students who felt like outsiders but were able to overcome the obstacles associated with feeling that way. Not only did the intervention help students deal with feeling like outsiders, but it also increased their overall likelihood of completing the first year of college. It goes to show: a little belonging can go a long way.
Victim signaling. It used to be that we tried our best to conceal disadvantages, hardships, and humiliations. But new research explores a curious shift: some people are flaunting limitations that don’t exist. Listen to learn more.
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ON THE HIDDEN BRAIN PODCAST
May 8: Much of life is about getting others to behave in the way we want. We offer carrots and sticks to get kids to do their homework, prompt partners to pick up their socks, and motivate workers to go the extra mile. But sometimes these inducements backfire. This week, economist Uri Gneezy explores how we can craft incentives that work.
ON THE MY UNSUNG HERO PODCAST
May 9: After giving birth to her second child, Mary struggled with her new identity as a stay-at-home mom. But then an older woman said something to her that made all the difference.
Don’t forget to send us the story of your unsung hero! Record a voice memo on your phone and email it to email@example.com.
FROM OUR LISTENERS
There are three light switches in a room. Only one switch controls a light bulb in an adjoining room, and you can only enter the adjacent room once to check if the bulb is on or off. How can you figure out which switch controls the light bulb if you can only enter the adjoining room once?
LAST WEEK’S PUZZLE
A man is pushing his car. He stops in front of a hotel and immediately knows he is bankrupt. How did he know this?
The answer: He was playing Monopoly.