Essay // Design, Selection & Stress in Occupational & Organizational Psychology

[Cet essai est actuellement en cours d’édition et de mise à jour. Veuillez vous abstenir de le lire pour éviter toute interprétation erronée due à son état incomplet…]

[This essay is currently being edited and updated. Please refrain from reading to prevent misinterpretation from incompleteness…]

Mis-à-jour le Dimanche, 12 Mars 2023

«L’Uomo vitruviano» ou «L’Homme de Vitruve» par Léonard de Vinci (1490)

In the modern Westernized world that the majority of individuals live in, most human beings work because they have financial responsibilities to meet in order to be able to exist, live at a decent standard and stay alive, while also meeting their needs as living organisms. The focus of occupational psychology and organizational psychology are primarily on the workplace: the efficient management of human resources, i.e. people.

What is the purpose of work?

Why do we work? This is a fundamental and profound question which is often left in the dark, when it is a fact that the answers come with deep philosophical meaning for both individuals and society at large. As such, we are going to explore this question in a concrete and straightforward approach because many people live a life where work takes a large proportion of their time and have never questioned the purpose of their behaviour in regards to work.

The French philosopher, André Comte-Sponville gave a short lecture in 2016 at the Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève in regards to the sense and meaning of work, and proposed a philosophical reflection around work and health. The latter pointed out that everyone in the world is enthusiastic about being happy but as for working, most people would prefer not to. Addressing the employees of the Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève, Comte-Sponville asked the fundamental question: what are employees running after?

NANCY - Le livre sur la pace

« Nous courons tous après le bonheur. » / Traduction[EN]: “We are all chasing happiness.” – André Comte-Sponville (Photo Alexandre Marchi/L’Est Républicain/PhotoPQR)

What do employees run after?

Do employees run after work itself?

This question lead us to the conclusion that most people do not enthusiastically chase work; this is because work is not an end, an objective, or a goal itself, but simply a means. The nature of any means is to serve something other than itself, i.e. the means leads to a further objective. As such, we can confidently assume that human beings do not chase work because work is a means that is meant to lead to something else.

– Do employees run after ethics/virtue and/or the moral value of work?

Comte-Sponville observed that we do not pay people to be loving or generous, because love and generosity are by definition moral values, and those are priceless and are not for sale. Hence, the popular notion of “work ethics” that many people have been indoctrinated with in regards to work, as Comte-Sponville notes, is not a moral value, it is a mercantile value.

Unlike moral values such as love and generosity that are not financially compensated for, all work needs to be remunerated, i.e. all work deserves a salary, or a payment. This fundamental fact confirms that work is a mercantile value and not a moral value. Comte-Sponville ironically points out that in the bible, it is not prescribed to work together as your heavenly father works; but instead it is said that we should love one another as our heavenly father loves us – this is completely different! Love is a moral value and work is not!

Comte-Sponville shared an anecdote about his experience with business owners whenever he shares the biblical statement, and related that he often has one business owner who points out that in the bible it is said that one will earn one’s bread with the sweat of one’s brow, and the philosopher is then faced with the question: if this is not work, then what else could it be? Most certainly, it is work that is being referred to, but it is a punishment after the original sin. We have to admit that it would be a very strange paradox to interpret a punishment as a moral value. Comte-Sponville ironically suggests that using the biblical statement as a justification for work as a moral value could be likened to using the whip as an emblem of management. Thus, work itself is a means but not a moral value; he argues that if some people have a strong feeling of guilt or a sense that their personal moral value decreases spectacularly as soon as they allow themselves a few weeks of rest, it is a situation that would reveal less morality than possible pathologies. So, we can conclude that people do not chase the moral value of work because work is a mercantile value and not a moral value.

This fundamental conclusion should be an inspiration to human civilization in a world where the common mainstream and average Neo-Liberal politicians worldwide have mechanized and transformed human civilization into a group indoctrinated by a culture of mass consumption; where the merchants of the world, through ruthless marketing campaigns have been allowed to condition the masses to consume excessively and mindlessly on the basis of whether one “wants” something, and not thoughtfully and wisely on the basis of whether one “needs” something [an observation also made by French philosopher Michel Clouscard]. In a book entitled “Gouverner par l’Emploi” (French for: Governing by Employment) published at the Presses Universitaires de France, written by Camille Dupuy and François Sarfati in 2022, the authors bring forward the great moral questions: (i) Should employment be the great organizing foundation of the social life of human beings? (ii) Should all forms of educational training simply be at the service of employment? They argue that to govern by employment is to consider employment as a shrine, that it is the object around which, and for which human civilization must organize itself; those who govern and those who are governed are thus becoming part of the neo-liberal conception of our world in which the State places itself at the service of the market, where individuals agree to surrender their rights in the hope of obtaining a job and with it a place in society.

– Do employees run after money?

This is the main objective: money. Employees are after money, this is the reason why people work, Comte-Sponville observes; it is not for the love of the directors, the clients or the patients in the case of the employees of the Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève. People are after money as a reason for working and this is known as wage or labour employment. Sharing an anecdote with the audience, Comte-Sponville explained that a business owner claimed that money has never motivated anyone; money gives the ability to motivate; logically, if we do not pay the employees they will not be motivated – but we would not be asking the question in that case.

Money may not motivate employees, especially those on a fixed salary, however there are different situations where there are commission and variable rates involved. But in the case of fixed salary, Comte-Sponville notes that it does not motivate, arguing that those who only work for the fixed salary have no reason to even do a little bit more of what is expected of them in order not to be fired. Motivation starts when an employee does a little bit more than the strict minimum required to not be fired.

People work because they are running after money, but money itself does not motivate. During his time lecturing, Comte-Sponville relates another anecdote of acknowledgement from a business owner who admitted that the philosopher was right about employees working for their salary, and that they would stop working if they were not paid – quite obviously! But the business owner pointed out that he does not set the salary, rather it is the labour market that does. This scenario of wage rates is both applicable to private enterprises and also hospitals. The business owner claimed that his extra value as a manager is not in the salary itself, but in all the other reasons that lead to his employees coming to work for him, but more importantly that causes them to stay in employment with him; adding that after analysing every angle of the problematic question, the only answer he could conclude with was that if his employees come to work for him and remain with him, it is because they find some kind of pleasure in it and a feeling of happiness. Comte-Sponville noted that it seemed that the latter was right.

– Happiness: the motive of all actions of all men

What do we all run after? It is not work itself, neither moral values, nor solely money or salary. First and foremost we all run after happiness! Taking the example of the employees of the Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève, Comte-Sponville pointed out that they go to work every day because they believe that they will be happier by working there instead of someplace else, or not working at all. In the same logic, their patients come to seek treatment at the Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève because they believe that they will be happier by being treated there than elsewhere, or not being treated at all.

Blaise Pascal Le Bonheur D'Purb dpurb site web

« Tous les hommes cherchent le bonheur, même ceux qui vont se pendre. » / Traduction[EN]: “All men seek happiness, even those who hang themselves.” – Blaise Pascal

Comte-Sponville speculated about critics questioning his belief about happiness since he did not know all the employees of the Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève personally. As such, he argued that whoever they may be, it cannot be denied that they are all human beings; and just like Blaise Pascal, he can be allowed to think that all human beings have the desire to be happy, i.e. to live a life in the absence of suffering [as the Epicureans would also argue]. The famous thoughts of Blaise Pascal points out that all men seek to be happy and this is without exception.

Man’s will never takes the slightest step towards anything but this object, happiness. It is the motive of all actions of all men up to those who are going to hang themselves. The final touch of those who go as far as to hang themselves, an extreme act in all its noirceur, its beauty and profoundness is very Pascalian according to Comte-Sponville; it is also very real in its depth because one who goes to kill oneself decides to do so in order to stop suffering; that cessation and absence of suffering for a person who has been in atrocious pain through suicide, is the last form of happiness – purely negative however. Suicide among health professionals is rare but not uncommon. In 2015, the cardiologist Jean-Louis Mégnien comitted suicide by throwing himself out of the 7th floor window from the hospital he worked at. Comte-Sponville extrapolates Pascal’s argument and observes that if man wants to be happy, even the one who goes to hang himself, then he asks to be allowed to think like Blaise Pascal, that every man, every woman also wants to be happy, including the one who comes to work at the Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève.

Simply Business: core departments that structure most companies

Most businesses involve buying, selling and making a profit in the transaction. This simple concept started centuries ago among merchants in early civilizations and continues to be the core foundation of all business, however small or big the company might be. When one talks about buying and selling, it usually involves products [for e.g. basic food items, clothing, fine cuisine, kitchenware, electronics, etc], but in some cases the product being sold may also be in the form of a service, for example, a consultant  or psychologist selling his advices, a doctor selling his care, an architect selling his design skills, an accountant selling his services, a lawyer selling his negotiation or advisory skills, etc. All businesses however revolve around this simple logic, i.e. buying, selling and profit.

In order for most businesses to thrive and remain active, they have to generate a minimum amount of cash in order to pay for their expenses, such as staff wages, utility bills, rent (in some cases where the business owner does not own the working space or did not start the company in a garage), supplier payments for products, and so on. As such, most people work for companies that are businesses [even a university is a business selling its product in the form of educational services and training]; and most businesses aim for profit.

In order to succeed and thrive, all businesses look to increase the number of transactions [i.e. buying and selling] so that their profits are increasing, and the funds received may be used to expand the business in multiple ways – this will obviously vary depending on the types of businesses, the products being dealt with and the market they belong to. For example, a business in the fast food market, may try to increase its profits by relying on a range of ways to attract customers, which may range from meal deals to widening the choice of their menu. Those are usually sales strategies devised by the marketing department.

The 3 core departments of most businesses are:

(i) Human Resources
(ii) Marketing
(iii) Finance (also known as Accounting & Finance)

We may also find other departments added in some companies, such as “Production” [where the conception of products are involved], “Research and Development” [where we may be dealing with the creation of new drugs in the pharmaceutical industry] and some other departments in order to break down tasks into small segments to facilitate the organisation of the management of the company, and also to better allocate staff and prevent confusion and/or lack of synchronisation. However, a great amount of the added departments are generally related to the 3 core departments listed above, i.e. Human Resources, Marketing and Finance.

If some of you out there may be thinking of starting a business, whatever industry you may be planning to get into and whatever the scale of your business, it will be helpful to first divide your company into the 3 core departments mentioned; because doing so will provide clarity, bring a sense of organisation, and also allow you to scale in the future while respecting the model of most businesses in our modern Westernized world.

Now, we are going to explore those different departments in a concrete, simple, and straightforward manner that should clear up a lot of confusion among many of you out there who may not genuinely understand how a business is organized, and how to start one. It will forever be empowering to remember that business simply means “buying, selling and profit” [abbreviate, “BSP“].

(i) Human Resources

The term itself means resources in the form of humans, which simply points out that this department deals with managing the humans that the company will rely on for its operations

[This essay is currently being edited and updated. Please refrain from reading to prevent misinterpretation from incompleteness…]

Occupational psychology

Occupational psychology is the study of human behaviour and experience in the workplace, it may be described as the application of psychological principles and theory in order to help organisations and their team. As occupational psychology also includes a focus on organisations in general, it may be wise to take great care when referring to the world of “employment” or “work”. This is simply because a small amount of people may work very hard for charitable organisations as volunteers or dedicate their work to the betterment of mankind; those contributions may not always be focused on the increase of profits (although it may involve increasing productivity), and money may not be the main driving and motivating factor – depending on the organization’s field, values, philosophy and goals.


Image: Apollo, the Greek god of arts, music, masculine beauty, poetry & the conductor of the 9 muses. He is also the god of purification and healing.

Hence, occupational psychology tends to focus on the improvement of organisations’ effectiveness in terms of the work performed within, while respecting and managing the conditions leading to the satisfaction of the employees and employers.

Occupational psychology today generally requires sound knowledge and understanding in these three main categories:

(A) Human factors
(B) Personnel work
(C) Organisational psychology

(A) Human Factors 

(i) Human-machine interaction

This field of study is also known as “ergonomics” and is primarily concerned on the study of human interaction with machines. For example, it has also been reported (Kelso, 2005) that the city of London was selected to host the 2012 Olympics due to the syndrome known as “fat finger” – the use of buttons too closely spaced, caused panel members with the syndrome to vote wrongly. This common error is considered to be the main factor leading to London being the host, since one panel member voted for Paris instead of Madrid, leading to the former winning by two votes and thus being London’s opponent instead of Madrid. City experts believed London would not have been able to win against Madrid. This very particular syndrome, namely “the fat finger syndrome” has also been blamed for several multi-million pound errors, for instance the mistaken purchase of 50,000 shares rather than £ 50 000 worth of shares.

(ii) Design of Environment and Work: Health and Safety

The next area has to do with health and safety, and focuses on factors regarding light, noise, general work space, ventilation, risk factors and occupational stress. It is to be noted that this is an incredibly important area, and a good example of a modern disaster reflecting the incredible importance of intelligent design in the field of health and safety, is the Fukushima disaster. The whole world was left unprepared to deal with the nuclear leak caused by the over flooding of the reactors due to the badly design of the walls not being high enough to withhold the excessive water brought in by the tsunami.


Explosion of the Challenger shuttle in 1986

Another disastrous example is the loss of the US space shuttle Challenger in 1986, which for the very first time transported a teacher who was to have spoken from the spaceship to the American president Reagan and her pupils. The horrific explosion happened live on television and millions of people who had been watching remember the iconic shot as a ‘flashbulb memory’.

The likely cause of the explosion was a set of defective ‘O’ ring seals about which many engineers had complained about repeatedly; grave doubts were raised about the launching since the rings had never been used in temperatures as cold as that on the launch day. Irrational group decisions were made, and the launch proceeded despite the doubts – as the warning signs were explained and brushed away. A one third ‘burn out’ (erosion) of the Challenger ‘O’ ring on past launches was considered as a ‘safety factor’ of three (there would be two-thirds left, after all!) (Reason, 1990). This kind of irrational ‘rationalising’ is a feature of groupthink – no one wished to be responsible for delaying the launch and therefore disrupting the arrangement with Reagan. The people in ultimate control were highly cohesive and to some extent separated from those with the doubts. ‘Mind guards’ ensured that the engineers’ complaints were not heard by the decision-makers.

The presidential commission investigating the decision-making process revealed that a major problem lay with a system of communication within the National Aeronautics and Space Administration organisation. The decision system was ambiguous; it was not clear which decision should go to the very top and it was consequently very hard to attribute clear responsibility.

an old woman receiving firs aid

Bystander CPR not only saves lives, it lessens disability, study finds / Source: Medical Xpress

(B) Personnel Work 

(i) Personnel Selection and Assessment (including Test and Exercise Design)

An organisation hiring the wrong staff can be costly in terms of productivity, quality of service delivery and company / organisation reputation. Occupational psychologists and consultants throughout the years have contributed in the effective monitoring and filtering of quality in staff recruitment.

(ii) Performance Appraisal and Career Development

Psychologists and knowledgeable consultants can assist and advise organisations on how to run staff appraisals in order to create two-way relationships that employees respect and value, since career development is essential. However, this may also lead to the staff being extremely attractive to competing organisations. This would be beneficial to the individual but not so much for the organisation.

(iii) Counselling and Personal Development

This area comprises most of the skills found in general counselling psychology. Professionals skilled in occupational psychology may also practice as career advisors or stress management counsellors among a variety of other roles [being a versatile field that applies to various aspects of the human organism’s behaviour across a wide range of environments]. In these cases [when dealing with organisations and their staff], emphasis is primarily in being an attentive listener, demonstrating empathy and being accepted as genuine.

(iv) Training

A productive workforce is a well-trained workforce, and one that avoids costly or dangerous errors. Good professionals in occupational psychology tend to spend the majority of their time focussing on identifying training needs [to refine individuals’ skills, performance and delivery], and the design and delivery of training programmes.

(C) Organisational Psychology

(i) Employee Relations and Motivation

A wide range of aspects in mainstream social psychology was developed through the study of the ways that small groups interact and perform in a work context. This area includes research into conformity, obedience, teamwork, team building, attitudes, communication and especially leadership. It also investigates theories of work motivation.

who works the most hours every year

Who Works The Most Hours Every Year? / Source: Statista

where the most workers put in a 60-hour week

Where The Most Workers Put in A 60-Hour Week / Source: Statista

(ii) Organisational Development & Change

Organisations tend to be dynamic and continually evolving structures. External influences [such as research, cultural demands and trends] force change on organisations in the competitive economic world of today’s industries. For example, most organisations in Western Europe have had to comply with the equal opportunities legislation and also with health and safety directions [e.g. concerning smoking at work].

In other cases organisation sometimes also have to overhaul or downsize the general managerial policies and culture. This is where professionals in occupational psychology advise, help & guide organisations during change; while altering attitudes, through reasoning, findings and theory from social psychology and group dynamics with the practical experience and judgement of organizational development.

As most of the research we tend to focus on revolves around the individual organism’s development and well-being, we will look at the human factors in occupational psychology; these generally revolve around:

  • Designing or redesigning jobs
  • The Design of Equipment to match Human Features and Capabilities
  • Health and Safety at Work
  • The Introduction of New Technologies
File d'attente dpurb

File d’attente / Queue • Crédits : Yellow Dog Productions – Getty

The services offered by psychologists in the personnel area tend to include:

(i) Selection and Assessment of Personnel

E.g. of a complete selection process in hiring a Lecturer:

Imagine we were part of a team that has to select a new lecturer for a University. Where exactly should we start? A good starting point would be to consider the essential demands of the task required of a lecturer. It is clear that lecturers have a whole lot more to do than simply lecturing. We should consider the importance of each aspect of the job. Next, we should be asking ourselves what a successful employee in the profession of lecturing would need to be able to cover in order to perform each of the academic tasks successfully; then devise a way of assessing each candidate for these abilities. It also goes without saying that an advert would have to be placed with the job description so the applicants may know exactly what they are applying for and whether or not they are suitable for the position and demands of the task. Finally, the selection process will have to be organized, where the candidates can be assessed with the successful one being selected [with a backup] for an appointment. The process does not stop here, however – as we may want to know whether the selection process was well designed and effective. We will also have to evaluate the procedure, not on the one appointment, but over several selections, by keeping track of the performance of each appointee over their first two years, for example, with their performance at the selection process. This is a method to find out whether our appointment procedures are effective and whether they produce the appropriate & desired results.

(ii) Appraisal of Work Performance
(iii) Training Programmes
(iv) Career Guidance and Counselling
(v) Issues of Equal Opportunity at Work

In the area of organizational development, psychologist and consultants may also run projects concerning:

(i) Attitude and Opinion Surveys
(ii) Team building, Leadership and Management
(iii) Industrial Relations
(iv) The Modification, Update and Change of the Organizational Culture
(v) Enhancing the Quality of Working Life
(vi) Improvement of the Quality and Effectiveness of Communications

All these procedures contribute in a harmonious organizational environment and culture where productivity, employee and employer satisfaction are the main concerns, while minimizing stress levels across the organisation.

As we are now going to find out, stress can be devastating to both the mind and the body. Hence, design and selection are key steps in achieving stability, harmony and productivity through an efficient organizational culture.

Total Percentage of 18-24 not in employment, education or training

Total percentage of those aged 18-24 not in employment, education or training (NEET) –  2011

Sustained Stress may have a fatal impact on Physiological Health

Stress is known for causing the increased secretion of cortisol, a hormone that could halt the production of cytokines, which are vital for maintaining a functional immune system (Kiecolt-Glaser et al., 2002). Over the years, a large number of research has also found positive correlations between daily cortisol levels and general health. The different levels of cortisol secretory activity have been linked to health problems such as hypertension, burnout, emotional distress, upper respiratory illness and eating behaviour.

However, cortisol is paramount to increasing access to energy during stressful experiences and is released on a daily pattern by 2 well defined components; the “Cortisol Awakening Rise”; and the Diurnal levels that gradually decrease over the day. It has also been found that high levels of stress could lead to less cortisol being produced in the morning (O’Connor et al., 2009b). An individual going through a serious series of stressful events would have an increased risk of developing an infectious disease with no regards to their age, sex, education, allergic status and/or body mass index (Cohen, 2005).

recommendations for ensuring competence as physicians grow older

As physicians age, a required cognitive evaluation combined with a confidential, anonymous feedback evaluation by peers and coworkers regarding wellness and competence would be beneficial both to physicians and their patients / Source: Dellinger, E., Pellegrini, C. and Gallagher, T. (2017). The Aging Physician and the Medical ProfessionJAMA Surgery, 152(10), p.967.

Two types of stress associated with increased health deficiency

Cohen et al. (1998) identified two types of stress associated with increased health deficiency; these were:

– interpersonal problems with family and friends; and/or

– enduring problems associated with work

As further research unveiled the dangers of stress, Janice Kiecolt et al. (1995) found that wound healing was also prolonged on people exposed to continuous stress, along with the lower levels of cytokine. Similarly, Marucha, Kiecolt-Glaser and Favagehi (1998) also concluded to findings over healing being prolonged on test subjects (dental students) where quicker healing was observed on vacation and not before their exams. Eventually, the conclusion of stress being a response to stressors lead to the latter being investigated in our daily lives by researchers for improvement.

Stress may be perceptual deficiency depending on whether subjective appraisal is Positive or Negative

Stress is generally perceived as negative perceptions and reactions when pressure is excessive. The transactional approach devised by Lazarus defines stress as “a particular relationship between the person and the environment that is appraised by the person as taxing or exceeding his or her resources and endangering his or her well-being” (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984, p.19) The theory has so far been one of the most solid finds in the field of occupational and organisational psychology and continues to be applied to various sections in the quest to enhance quality of both work and output.

Occupational Psychology in the Workplace: Stressors

In the field of Occupational psychology, the main focus has been on the study of human behaviour and experience in the workplace. As the world of work in the present generation is constantly changing, with companies adopting more flexible styles – along with developing technology – Lazarus and Folkman’s theory has been used in most stages of the employment life cycle in order to minimise the effects of stress on employees while maintaining a sensible amount of “good stress” (pressure) to maintain motivation. The concept is based on such solid logic that it could be applied to most areas of human interactive environment.

Applying Lazarus and Folkman’s theory of stress to occupational psychology will consider all elements that cause stress in the workplace connected to the physical requirements of the job. Stress can be physical, with factors such as noise, unsafe heights or slippery floor. These factors when present will not only cause the employee to be on guard but also likely distract them from being fully concentrated on their job for fear of harm. The solution would be to make a safer and more comfortable environment, however too safe is known to affect performance. The perfect fit would be right balance between motivational factors (incentives) and physical environment (not overly comfortable), that would lead to a design for the best fit of the job to the person (Morgeson & Campion, 2002).

The human element should also not be forgotten in the case of a sociotechnical system (Trist & Bamforth, 1951) present where a Swiss cheese defence system might be in place to correct possible human errors. As mentioned, the stress element requires modelling according to Lazarus’ Theory which proves to be versatile for its huge range of application when considering different types of stressors and how to balance their effect on the employee.

Image converted using ifftoany

Organisational “Culture”: Synchronised Workforce through situational patterns of performance-oriented behaviour

A strong culture is also essential for the organisation as this ensures the employee fits in with the organisation’s values. The organisation also has to ensure that most stressors are regulated and checked in order to ensure a stable functioning of the workforce.

According to Richard Lazarus’ transactional theory of stress, minor day to day problems known as “hasslescan accumulate and cause stress. However one coping mechanism from the theory comes from coping which follows the appraisal stage. When a task is being appraised, the outcome defines whether the employee will see it as stress. However, the stressor can be approached positively and be re-appraised to instead fit the employee’s belief and capacity.

Different appraisals usually define how the employee copes, such as understanding employee needs using Maslow’s hierarchy of Needs (1974). It is assumed that some needs are basic and innate and have to be met to sustain motivation. Managers can provide environments that harmonise with the needs of employees after learning what they are.

Maslow’s model puts forth the belief that safety and security have to be met before one can realize their full potential. Once this basic need is satisfied, Maslow assumes the attention is shifted to the next need, which in this case would be a motivated move towards achieving the job. However, if this need is not satisfied, this gives rise to discomfort. Indirectly, Maslow’s model is applying the logic of Lazarus & Folkman (1984), as the stressors – which in this case is the inability to feel safe and secure – are being targeted while the manager would try to motivate the employee. Some criticism however questions the flexibility of the model for its assumption. Assuming several needs become important & crucial simultaneously how would the motivation of the employee be affected? Furthermore, self-actualization is hard – if not impossible – to define, therefore it is hard to confidently know whether someone has reached the stage.

Mismatch between employee & job may cause Occupational Stress

Mismatch between an employee and a job can also cause occupational stress (French, 1973). If the job demand is appraised as too high, the employee could feel discouraged if the task creates demands than exceeds his/her capabilities, unless he has a stake in the outcome of his/her performance, motivation will not be successful.

Lazarus and Folkman’s theory of stress is once again applied with great efficiency, as it opens the door for reasoning in how to deal with stressful situations and find the right coping mechanism that would allow the employee to carry on without negative attributions. One example of this application is to organisational development, which is premised on the assumption of planned transformational change.

Organisational development  has been defined as “a systematic effort applying behavioural science knowledge to planned creation and reinforcement of organisational strategies, structures and processes for improving an organisation’s effectiveness” (Huse & Cummings, 1985). The aim is to achieve commitment from the whole organisation dedicated to change.

Organisational development intervention looks to a range of planned programmatic activities pursued by both clients & consultants. French, Bell and Zawacki (1994) differentiate between interventions directed at individuals (coaching, counselling), dyads (arbitration), teams (feedbacks), inter group configurations (Survey, Feedback, etc) and organisations as a whole (business process re-engineering). As the focus is swapped from one level to the next, the number of dimensions to consider increases, this adds to the complexity of the intervention process. However, all interventions tend to rely on organizational diagnosis [the assumption that something is not performing well enough and needs to be changed).


Photo // Bryan Christie Design

Tuning the Environment to balance Stress Levels

Appreciative inquiry is an organizational development model that focuses on how things might have been or might be better (Cooperrider & Srivasta, 1987). The whole concept of organizational development follows the logic of  Lazarus & Folkman (!984), as the transitions are all supported by teams of professionals [counselling / accustoming] which are geared at balancing the stress levels of accustoming the workforce to the new changes through a combination of modifications to the environment, motivational factor and security and support.

As organizational psychology deals with the administrative side and operational psychology deals with the task itself, they are still very closely associated. Changes in operational hassles will reduce the stress on the employee, as this would make the task at hand much more simple and straightforward. Changes in organizational hassles will increase the job satisfaction of the employee, as his time at work would be less cumbersome.

Interventions: Better Outcome when the Source of Stress is the Primary Focal Point

The main concepts of interventions usually concentrate primarily on reducing the source of stress, and secondly by reducing the impact on individuals; which has been found to be more effective on people than reducing the risk (LeFevre, et al. 2006). Such an example can be seen when dealing with occupational problems, such as the termination of employment. Such an event can have a devastating effect on an employee’s life, especially if it was unpredicted [redundancy, released]. One way to deal with such a situation would be to:

– provide counselling support to the released employee; these include trained professionals with listening, questioning & goal setting skills who help people to carry on in life (Egan, 1996) by clarifying with employees, the employable, marketable skills and helping them to plan short term goals by which skills might be applied in other situations.

– allow the person concerned to release their feelings by speaking out over vocational and personal concerns, and helping them assess their resources.

help them find a placement or employment while also reinforcing with the employee, reminding them that they are skilled and mature and that their redundancy was a purely professional decision.

What the whole process seems to have once again applied, is the logic of Lazarus & Folkman (1984) that proves itself as a solid formula applicable in most situations where stress is involved. In this context, the employees have been professionally re-appraised and should be better mentally to deal with upcoming challenges for fresh employment.



Appraisal & Subjective Perception is Key

The particular relationship between a person and his/her environment will vary in being either positive or negative depending on their appraisal [i.e. their constructed perception of the situation]. Appraisal can sometimes be instinctive, and/or influenced by an individual’s perception which can in turn be a result of other biological factors (hunger, pain). This shows that no matter how deep the causes of stress may be, Lazarus’ formula – although simple – has an application that can logically construct or deconstruct most situations resulting from occupational and organisational stress.

One of the main points worth considering however, is the fact that men tend to experience more stress than women from the “need for recognition” pressure, while women experience more stress from health issues; social support benefits stress levels for males and females but affects them differently: organisational commitment in males & state of mind in females.

Video: Stress is one of the factors that can trigger cancer. Jean-Baptiste ALEXANIAN explains…



  1. Blackburn, S., Alessandri, M. and Kaag, J. (2015) Can philosophy survive in an academy driven by impact and employability? Simon Blackburn, Mariana Alessandri and John Kaag on why reports of Socrates’ impending demise are greatly exaggerated., Times Higher Education (THE). Available at: (Accessed: March 2, 2023).
  2. Capital avec AFP (2023). La semaine de 4 jours en Angleterre Cartonne Auprès des Entreprises. De nombreuses entreprises britanniques se sont dites convaincues par le test à grande échelle réalisé entre juin et décembre 2022, affirmant ne pas avoir perdu en efficacité., Available at: (Accessed: March 2, 2023).
  3. Cohen, S., Frank, E., Doyle, W.J., Skoner, D.P., Rabin, B.S. & Gwaltney,J.M., Jr. (1998) Types of stressors that increase susceptibility to the common cold in adults, Health Psychology 17: 214- 23.
  4. Cohen, S. (2005) The Pittsburgh common cold studies: Psychosocial predictors of susceptibility to respiratory infectious illness, International Journal of Behavioral Medecine 12: 123-31.
  5. Coolican, H. (2007). Applied Psychology, 2nd Edition. Hodder Education.
  6. Comte-Sponville, A. (2016). Pourquoi travaille-t-on?. Retrieved 7 February 2022, from
  7. Cooperrider, D.L. & Srivastva, S (1987) Appreciative inquiry in organizational life, in
    W. Woodman & W.A. Passmore (eds) Research in Organizational Behaviour, Stamford, CT: JAI Press.
  8. Davey, G. (2011) Applied Psychology, West Sussex: British Psychological Society and Blackwell Publishing
  9. Dellinger, E., Pellegrini, C. and Gallagher, T. (2017). The Ageing Physician and the Medical Profession. JAMA Surgery, 152(10), p.967.
  10. Dupuy, C., Le Noé, O. and Pélisse, J. (2014). “Régulations Professionnelles et organisations catégorielles,” Terrains & travaux, N° 25(2), pp. 5–19. Available at:
  11. Dupuy, C. and Sarfati, F. (2022) Gouverner par l’emploi. Paris, France: Presses universitaires de France.
  12. Egan, G. (1996) The Skilled Helper, 6th edn, London: Brooks / Cole
  13. French, JRP. (1973) Person Role Fit. Occupational Mental Health. 3, 15-20
  14. French, W., Bell, C. & Zawacki, R. (eds) (1994) Organizational Development and Transformation: Managing Effective Change, Burr Ridge, IL: Irwin McGraw-Hill
  15. Guo, C. (2021) Book review: Dark academia: How universities die by Peter Fleming, LSE Impact Blog. Available at: (Accessed: March 1, 2023).
  16. Huse, E. & Cummings, T. (1985) Organizational Development and Change, St Paul, MN: West.
  17. Kelso, P. (2005). The fat finger that may have helped London win Olympics. The Guardian, 23 December: 3.
  18. Kiecolt-Glaser, J.K., Marucha, P.T., Malarkey, W.B., Mercado, A.M. & Glaser, R. (1995) Slowing of wound healing by psychological stress, The Lancet 346: 1194-6
  19. Kiecolt-Glaser, JK., McGuire, L., Robles, TF., Glaer, R. (2002) Psychoneuroimmunology: Psychological Influences on Immune Functtion and Health, J Consult Clinical Psychology, 70, 537-47
  20. La rédaction © CIDJ (2022) Le royaume-uni teste la semaine de 4 jours, CIDJ. Available at: (Accessed: March 2, 2023).
  21. Lazarus, R.S. & Folkman, S. (1984) Stress, Appraisal and Coping, New York: Springer
  22. Le Fevre, M., Kolt, G.S., Matheny, J. (2006) Eustress, distress and their interpretation in primary and secondary occupational stress management interventions: Which way first? Journal of Managerial Psychology, 21 (6), pp. 547-565.
  23. Marucha, P.T., Kiecolt-Glaser, J.K. & Favagehi, M. (1998) Mucosal wound healing is impaired by examination stress, Psychosomatic Medicine60 362-5
  24. Morgeson, J.P., Campion, M.A, Dipboye, R.L., Hollenback, J.R., Murphy, K. & Schmitt, N. (2007) Reconsidering the use of personality tests in personnel selection contexts, Personnel Psychology 60: 683-729
  25. O’Connor, D.B., Hendrickx, H., Dadd, T. et al. (2009) Cortisol awakening rise in middle-aged women in relation to chronic psychological stress, Psychoneuroendocrinology 34: 1486-94
  26. Organisation des Nations (1948). Déclaration universelle des droits de l’homme, Organisation des Nations. Available at: (Accessed: March 2, 2023).
  27. Reason, J. (1990). Human Error. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  28. Suicide du cardiologue Jean-Louis Mégnien : l’AP-HP et quatre responsables hospitaliers renvoyés en procès pour « harcèlement moral ». (2021). Retrieved 7 February 2022, from
  29. Tatu, N. (2023). Pourquoi ne rigole-t-on plus au boulot ?, Le Nouvel Obs. Rue89. Available at: (Accessed: March 12, 2023)
  30. Trist, E.L. and K.W. Bamforth (1951) “Some social and psychological consequences of the longwall method of coal getting.” Human Relations, 4:3-38

D.J. d’Purb |


While the aim of the community at has  been & will always be to focus on a modern & progressive culture, human progress, scientific research, philosophical advancement & a future in harmony with our natural environment; the tireless efforts in researching & providing our valued audience the latest & finest information in various fields unfortunately takes its toll on our very human admins, who along with the time sacrificed & the pleasure of contributing in advancing our world through sensitive discussions & progressive ideas, have to deal with the stresses that test even the toughest of minds. Your valued support would ensure our work remains at its standards and remind our admins that their efforts are appreciated while also allowing you to take pride in our journey towards an enlightened human civilization. Your support would benefit a cause that focuses on mankind, current & future generations.

Thank you once again for your time.

Please feel free to support us by considering a donation.


The Team @

– If you are a group/organization or individual looking for consultancy services, email: info[AT]
If you need to reach Danny J. D’Purb directly for any other queries or questions, email: danny[AT] [Inbox checked periodically / Responses may take up to 20 days or more depending on his schedule]

Stay connected by linking up with us on Facebook and Twitter

Donate Button with Credit Cards

15 thoughts on “Essay // Design, Selection & Stress in Occupational & Organizational Psychology

  1. “In many organisations, the fear of being a fool is stronger than the hope of being a genius”



    74% say libraries should have #services for #military #personnel/#veterans

    Healthcare for the armed forces community

    Healthcare information and support for the UK’s 10 million-strong armed forces community, including serving personnel, reservists, families and veterans.


    Profession psychanalyste


    Et si on abandonnait notre obsession pour la mort pour miser sur la pulsion de vie ?

    « La psychanalyse n’est rien d’autre qu’une mise à nu, opération que l’homme encore malade évite parce qu’elle lui arrache son masque, mais que l’homme guéri accueille comme une libération. » – Lettre ouverte à Freud (1931)

    Lou Andreas-Salomé (1861-1937) était romancière, essayiste et psychanalyste. De sa pratique de la psychanalyse et de sa connaissance de Freud, que reste-t-il aujourd’hui ? De leur rencontre en 1912 à ses écrits sur le narcissisme en passant par ses réflexions sur la névrose, sait-on qu’en elle, l’inventeur de l’inconscient a vu une disciple, une amie, et même une alliée ?

    C’était pourtant une alliée paradoxale, une disciple hérétique, qui avait perçu dans la psychanalyse la révolution de son époque, l’a pratiqué jusqu’à sa mort, mais y avait apporté une contradiction majeure et d’actualité : et si on avait accordé trop d’importance à la pulsion de mort, et pas assez à la pulsion de vie ?

    Article sur France Culture:


    Clinical Psychology: Learning Disabilities, Anxiety, Depression & Schizophrenia and the Effectiveness of Psychotherapy

    CAMHS deal with the psychological issues of people under the age of 18. They are a non-specialist service and often refer to other more specialised departments following the initial assessment of patients. The most common cases tend to be adolescents with depression and anxiety whose manifestations are not different to those of adults and so are treated fairly similarly.

    Inclusivism in Learning Disabilities

    In 1969, Bengt Nirje adopted and developed the concept of normalisation in Sweden and beautifully described it as…
    “making available to all mentally retarded people patterns of life and conditions of everyday living which are as close as possible to the regular circumstances and ways of life of society.”

    – Nirje, 1980

    Learning Disability is not just an impairment in Cognition

    The social impairment of Learning Disabilities – US Statute 111 – 256: Rosa’s Law defines the factual impairment, the imposed or acquired disability and the awareness of being different.

    The Normalisation Theory

    This theory focuses on the mainstream social trends of social devaluation or deviancy making. Some categories of people tend to be valued negatively due to their behaviours, appearances and characteristics, and this places them at the risk of being devalued [according to the Normalisation Theory of Nirje on the societal processes he assumed] – people fulfil various social roles and stereotypes. As part of the deviancy making or social devaluation, the unsophisticated minds of the masses generally do not mean to stereotype, however they seem to do it unconsciously [the unconscious is a concept Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan acknowledged in their psychoanalytic theories of mental/psychological activity and its disorders land mental health problems linked to psychopathic tendencies in people towards others], i.e. deviant groups with social symbols or images that are at a higher risk of being devalued are the focus of the normalisation theory, which is believed to be done with the aim of providing them with the skills they need and eventually change the status of these deviant groups.

    Society tends to distance itself from deviant groups without any purpose or belonging, however psychologists provide support for the social integration and valued social participation of people with learning disabilities through exercises that involve learning through imitation. This challenges stereotypes within wider society through direct experiences of spending time with people who are affected by learning disabilities.

    While psychology evolves and sophisticated and modern theories about intelligence and communication such as our “Organic Theory” take shape, we hope that observations such as this one may be digested and understood by the masses, that is:

    “While the communicative patterns [language] in human primates vary with socio-behavioural and geographical patterns; creativity and IQ remain constant and do not change. Intelligence and creativity cannot be stopped because of linguistic differences, since talented and gifted humans do not choose the location of their birth nor their linguistic heritage but still contribute to the enhancement of our civilisation.”

    Which concludes that that the intelligence of an invidual when assessed on a range of variables [e.g. perception, fluid intelligence, reasoning, emotional intelligence, courage, etc] cannot be deduced by simply assessing their academic abilities, since human life has various sides to itself. Hence, the true worth and value of an individual may always remain a problem and a mystery to fully assess, and this seems to go in line with Jean Piaget’s deduction about the uniqueness of the human organism and mind.

    Full Article:



    Research shows when different cognitive skills peak over our lifetime


    In A Month


    Keeping It Steady: Older Adults Perform More Consistently on Cognitive Tasks Than Younger Adults

    People often attribute poor performance to having bad days. Given that cognitive aging leads to lower average levels of performance and more moment-to-moment variability, one might expect that older adults should show greater day-to-day variability and be more likely to experience bad days than younger adults. However, both researchers and ordinary people typically sample only one performance per day for a given activity. Hence, the empirical basis for concluding that cognitive performance does substantially vary from day to day is inadequate. On the basis of data from 101 younger and 103 older adults who completed nine cognitive tasks in 100 daily sessions, we show that the contributions of systematic day-to-day variability to overall observed variability are reliable but small. Thus, the impression of good versus bad days is largely due to performance fluctuations at faster timescales. Despite having lower average levels of performance, older adults showed more consistent levels of performance across days.

    Schmiedek, F., Lövdén, M. and Lindenberger, U. (2013). Keeping It Steady. Psychological Science, 24(9), pp.1747-1754.


    Hormone released after exercise can ‘predict’ biological age


    “Scientists have discovered a potential molecular link between Irisin, a recently identified hormone released from muscle after bouts of exercise, and the aging process. Irisin, which is naturally present in humans, is capable of reprograming the body’s fat cells to burn energy instead of storing it. This increases the metabolic rate and is thought to have potential anti-obesity effects. The finding provides a potential molecular link between keeping active and healthy aging with those having higher Irisin levels more ‘biological young’ than those with lower levels of the hormone.”

    Full Article:


    “The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” -Socrates

    Building the new in Socratic style…


    Forget, forgive; conclude and be agreed


    Don’t look for WHY things happen. Contemplate HOW they happen to be able to prevent them from ever happening again.


    When docs make mistakes, should colleagues tell? Up to 440,000 #deaths


    A neurosurgeon has been jailed for 16 years after being found guilty of nine indecent assaults against patients

    He told Hamid witnesses had spoken highly of his clinical skills, but he had been “brought low by a simple failing – lust”.
    “And you exercised your lust as a result of arrogance,” he said.
    “These ladies went to see you because they had significant problems and they thought – with your skills, abilities and experience – you were the person who could help them with the medical problems.
    “Instead, you grossly abused them.”

    Full Article:


    From ancient enemas to tapeworm doctors: 7 history of medicine facts


    Quiz Yourself: Is Your Grammar Holding You Back?


    GCSE Statistics – Limited Value Qualifications

    Resits / English & Maths / Education Quality


    Percentage of top #minority #language in #Europe


    #Society #Culture #Education #People

    % #EU #people able to hold an #English #conversation


    Tangled #roots of the #English #language

    #World #Culture #Evolution #Communication


    We can’t always turn people into better speakers but we can make ourselves better listeners


    MEG shows early (115-140 ms) categorical #speech #sound responses in left IFG


    Interactive #brain #map shows which areas respond to #hearing different #words



    Analysis of 165 skills suggests employers recall oral communication more frequently than other skills

    Coffelt, T., Baker, M. and Corey, R. (2016). Business Communication Practices From Employers Perspectives. Business and Professional Communication Quarterly.


    This study investigates the meaning of communication skills from employers’ perspectives. Students enrolled in a business communication course were asked to contact potential employers in their fields of interest, requesting information about important communication skills in those fields. Using content analysis, two coders familiar with business communication analyzed 52 of the resulting open-ended responses. The analysis of 165 skills suggests employers recall oral communication more frequently than written, visual, or electronic communication skills. Of oral communication subskills, interpersonal communication was mentioned more than other workplace communication skills.


    #Sociology unfound:Contextualizing the bias & #dominance of #economist mentions




    Journal Sleep | “How you cope with stress may increase your risk for insomnia”

    “Results show that coping with a stressful event through behavioral disengagement – giving up on dealing with the stress – or by using alcohol or drugs each significantly mediated the relationship between stress exposure and insomnia development. Surprisingly, the coping technique of self-distraction – such as going to the movies or watching TV – also was a significant mediator between stress and incident insomnia. Furthermore, the study found that cognitive intrusion – recurrent thoughts about the stressor – was a significant and key mediator, accounting for 69 percent of the total effect of stress exposure on insomnia…”


    « La dépression n’a rien à voir avec la richesse ou la célébrité. C’est une maladie mentale, et elle peut frapper n’importe qui ». -Danny D’Purb

    “Depression – it has nothing to do with wealth or fame. It is a mental illness, and it can strike anyone.” -Danny D’Purb



    Psychoanalysis: History, Foundations, Legacy, Impact & Evolution

    In contemporary psychology, the psychoanalytic movement’s place is both unique and paradoxical. Focussing on the study of the mind as a “software” running on the brain as the “hardware”, psychoanalysis remains the only discipline that truly focuses on the mechanism and processes behind our thoughts. Unlike empirical behavioural science and other “cogno-sciences” that can be fairly barbaric and obstinate in the forced application of the rigid mathematical and systematic procedures embedded in the classic scientific method when dealing with an entity as complex and organic as the human mind; psychoanalysis has remained focussed in understanding human psychology by capturing it in all its details, depths, dimensions and linguistic aspects.

    The scientific method although a proven mathematical approach to inquiries in the hard sciences [e.g. biology, medecine, physics, chemistry, astrophysics, material science, astronomy, etc], shows its limitations when used as a tool for psychological inquiry in the measurement of variables that are incredibly hard to measure such as emotions, values, motives, desires, libidinous intensity or dreams. It is also fair noting that humans are different from simple organisms, molecules or robots, hence psychoanalysis remains the only discipline focused on the mind [the software] assuming that most human beings have a physiologically healthy brain [the hardware]…

    Read in full here:


    « Un organisme en guerre contre lui-même est condamné ». -Carl Sagan sur les organismes

    Traduction(EN): “An organism at war with itself is doomed.” -Carl Sagan on Organisms


    Psychology: The Concept of Self

    The concept of the self will be explored in this essay – where it comes from, what it looks like and how it influences thought and behaviour. Since self and identity are cognitive constructs that influence social interaction and perception, and are themselves partially influenced by society, the material of this essay connects to virtually all aspects of psychological science. The self is an enormously popular focus of research (e.g. Leary and Tangney, 2003; Sedikides and Brewer, 2001; Swann and Bosson, 2010). A 1997 review by Ashmore and Jussim reported 31,000 social psychological publications on the self over a two-decade period to the mid-1990s, and there is now even an International Society for Self and Identity and a scholarly journal imaginatively entitled Self and Identity…

    Read in full:


    Philosophy Review: “The World as Will and Idea”, by Arthur Schopenhauer (1818)


    Schopenhauer, a pessimistic philosopher, focused on the dark side of life and mental evils and cruelty, which he considered inevitable and that we as psychologists, intellectuals and masters of the mind view as mental disorders that have a negative effect on both the character of the affected and the human environment at large exposed to the vile side of human nature.

    This negative view of man’s behaviour and role in life was a sharp contrast to the other more euphoric philosophers who marked the spirits of the generation before him, and who embraced a more idealistic and perhaps a slightly exaggerated euphoric side of man’s mind and character. Though Schopenhauer’s work originally gained little attention at the time it was published [perhaps being too avant-garde for the atavistic institutions of his time], he expressed an interpretation of the world that was dragging and opposed the great ideal of who went before him, such as Victor Schelling and Hegel on some very important points but did not deny expressions of art such as the romantic movement in its various forms.

    Schopenhauer who never refrained from publicly criticising people and ideas he disliked was very vocal in his complete contempt for these men, and regarded himself as their great opponent in the ring of the leaders delivering the “Real truth” to mankind and civilisation. Schopenhauer’s work in many ways could be viewed as an extension of another famous German philosopher, namely Immanuel Kant, who preceded him by one generation, delivering his major philosophical work, “a critique of pure reason”. Schopenhauer worked out a system in which reality is known inwardly by a kind of feeling where intellect is only an instrument of the will: the biological will to live and where process rather than result is ultimate.

    Schopenhauer’s pessimism lies in his very strong rejection of life. In fact, this rejection is so strong that he even had to address the question of suicide as a solution to life. He fortunately also rejected this “solution” to life, this rejection to life reflected influences with roots in Eastern philosophy, particularly Buddhism, and it is one of the most significant aspects of his work that he was the first Western philosopher to integrate Buddhist thought into Western philosophy. His preoccupation with the evil of the world and the tragedy of life was also somewhat reminiscent of ancient Hindu philosophies. His writings helped to stimulate in Germany an interest in Oriental thought and religion, which can also be seen in the work of many later German philosophers.

    In “The World as Will and Idea”, Schopenhauer also considered the important question of the function of art. The value of arts to human life in far more depth than any of his predecessors, and even graded each of the arts, such as music, poetry, architecture [etc], from most important to least important. For that reason, his book had not only a profound effect on future philosophers, but also artists, particularly poets and composers, such as the enigmatic Wagner, who felt indebted to him and sent him a letter of gratitude when he was first introduced to Schopenhauer’s work.

    Full Article:

  2. Thomas Piketty’s “Capital”, summarised in four paragraphs

    IT IS the economics book taking the world by storm. “Capital in the Twenty-First Century”, written by the French economist Thomas Piketty, was published in French last year and in English in March of this year. The English version quickly became an unlikely bestseller, and it has prompted a broad and energetic debate on the book’s subject: the outlook for global inequality.


    Pourquoi l’aide étrangère ne se redistribue pas des pauvres des pays riches aux riches des pays pauvres



    Visualisation des métiers perdues à l’automatisation

    What Economic growth means: you can afford more of the things you need

    “Châtelet les halles” courtoisie de Florent Pagny / Album: Châtelet les halles (2000)


    Many personal & professional learners cite a range of benefits from seeking extra knowledge for e.g. to advance within their current company


    2 Ways to Regain Your Boss’s Trust // by David DeSteno


    You’ve lost your supervisor’s trust. Now what? That pit in your stomach likely stems from the uncomfortable realization that your status and chances for advancement have taken a sudden and unwelcome hit. After all, trustworthiness is the currency of most workplaces. It allows you to build productive relationships and to earn greater responsibility. Without it, you’re unlikely to succeed.
    The first step in solving this dilemma is to discern whether the unfortunate event called your integrity or your competence into question…

    While it’s clear that we’ll avoid working with someone whose integrity we doubt, all the integrity in the world won’t be much help if a partner lacks the skills required to accomplish the task at hand.
    As a result, successful managers are quite sensitive to these two factors and weigh them in assigning responsibilities. Ever wonder why the seemingly most honest and earnest members of a team are often overlooked for promotion in favor of less personable, but perhaps more skilled people? Top decision makers rightly recognize that the benefits of integrity and niceness begin to top out at a certain level, whereas the benefits of increasing competence usually show no similar levelling…

    Full Article:

    Make Sure Your Employees’ Emotional Needs Are Met


    “In today’s developed-world workplace, physiological and safety needs are, for the most part, already met. Salary and benefits can enhance motivation, but organizations shouldn’t focus on them disproportionately because emotional experiences can matter equally, if not more.
    In a recent study of outstandingly engaged business units, I asked people what drove their high engagement scores. Only 4% of respondents mentioned pay. Instead, they highlighted feeling autonomous and empowered, and a sense of belonging on their teams.

    We all know people who trade high salaries and even safety for love, esteem,and self-actualization at work – the accountants who become high school teachers, or the journalists who move to war zones with pennies in their pockets.

    The reality is that human needs can’t be neatly arranged into a pyramid. Motivation isn’t simple, and it’s certainly not linear. Different people are motivated by different things. Even Maslow began to worry about the uses of his theory at the end of his life, arguing that the most important way to achieve personal satisfaction was to face one’s inner demons. He entered psychoanalysis himself at age 61 to deal with long-repressed anger…”

    Full Piece Below:

    A much-needed update to Maslow’s hierarchy


    Fixing a Work Relationship Gone Sour


    “Sometimes you get stuck in a rut with someone at work — a boss, a coworker, a direct report. Perhaps there’s bad blood between you or you simply haven’t been getting along. What can you do to turn the relationship around? Is it possible to start anew?

    What the Experts Say

    The good news is that even some of the most strained relationships can be repaired. In fact, a negative relationship turned positive can be a very strong one. “Going through difficult experiences can be the makings of the strongest, most resilient relationships,” says Susan David, a founder of the Harvard/McLean Institute of Coaching and author of the HBR article, “Emotional Agility.”

    The bad news is that fixing a relationship takes serious effort. “Most people just lower their expectations because it’s easier than dealing with the real issues at hand,” says Brian Uzzi, professor of leadership and organizational change at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management and author of the HBR article, “Make Your Enemies Your Allies.” But, he says, the hard work is often worth it, especially in a work environment where productivity and performance are at stake. Here’s how to transform a work relationship that’s turned sour…

    Full Article on the Harvard Business Review Blog:


    Incompetent Managers Don’t Want to Hear Your Ideas

    Academy of Management Journal: Managing to Stay in the Dark: Managerial Self-Efficacy, Ego Defensiveness, and the Aversion to Employee Voice

    ACAD MANAGE J amj.2012.0393; published ahead of print September 13, 2013 (


    “In an experimental role-playing scenario, “managers” who were primed to feel incompetent were more likely to denigrate the competence of an “employee” who spoke up and proposed a new operational plan, according to a team led by Nathanael J. Fast of the University of Southern California.
    The managers who felt unable to fulfill their job expectations rated the employee more negatively than did those who were primed to feel competent.
    Incompetent managers who are personally threatened by employee suggestions send signals that they are unreceptive, shutting off avenues of new ideas, the researchers say…”

    Incompetent Managers Don’t Want to Hear Your Ideas


    What’s the right way to tell a coworker that they’re annoying you?


    Whenever we’re working closely with other people, it’s easy for tensions to arise thanks to differences in personal styles and priorities. When they do, we have a choice: should we raise the issue, or keep quiet? Many of us bite our tongue, worrying that speaking up will harm an important relationship.

    But research suggests that letting something simmer can make things worse, for several reasons. When we’re stressed, our brain tends to mount a defensive “fight-flight-or-freeze” response—during which there’s reduced activity in brain areas. And trying to suppress our irritation has been found to make our brain’s defensive response more pronounced rather than less. So chanting “I’m fine” repeatedly is unlikely to get us back onto an even keel.

    Our supposedly hidden emotions are also strangely contagious. Psychologists have found that one person in a negative mood transmits their angst to others nearby within five minutes—even when they aren’t speaking to each other or working together. So your colleague will be subconsciously picking up your disapproving signals, whether you mean for them to read your mind or not.

    The good news is that there is a safe way to raise difficult issues with a colleague, even in awkward hierarchical situations—one that helps to keep both your brains from going on the defensive and that helps you set a positive tone for the conversation. Here’s how it works…

    Full Article:


    Signs That You’re a Micromanager


    Absolutely no one likes to be micromanaged. It’s frustrating, demoralizing, and demotivating. Yet, some managers can’t seem to help themselves. Dealing with a controlling boss who doesn’t trust you is tough, but what if you’re the one doing the micromanaging?

    If you’re like most micro-managers, you probably don’t even know that you’re doing it. Yet the signs are clear:

    You’re never quite satisfied with deliverables.
    You often feel frustrated because you would’ve gone about the task differently.
    You laser in on the details and take great pride and /or pain in making corrections.
    You constantly want to know where all your team members are and what they’re working on.
    You ask for frequent updates on where things stand.
    You prefer to be cc’d on emails.

    Let’s face it. Paying attention to details and making sure the work is getting done are important. So it’s easy to chalk all of the above up to a necessary part of managing. But they aren’t necessary all the time. The problem with micromanagers is…

    Full Article:


    Employer who terminated applicant for disclosing medical marijuana use faces lawsuit


    Effects of Marijuana Smoking on the Lung

    Tashkin, D. (2013). Effects of Marijuana Smoking on the Lung. Annals ATS, 10(3), pp.239-247.

    In summary, the accumulated weight of evidence implies far lower risks for pulmonary complications of even regular heavy use of marijuana compared with the grave pulmonary consequences of tobacco.


    The #Anxiety relief properties of #marijuana

    Ramikie, T., Nyilas, R., Bluett, R., Gamble-George, J., Hartley, N., Mackie, K., Watanabe, M., Katona, I. and Patel, S. (2014). Multiple Mechanistically Distinct Modes of Endocannabinoid Mobilization at Central Amygdala Glutamatergic Synapses. Neuron, 81(5), pp.1111-1125.

    #Society #Medicine #Health #Science #MentalHealth #People #World

    These data identify a prominent role for eCBs in the modulation of excitatory drive to CeA neurons and provide insight into the mechanisms by which eCB signaling and exogenous cannabinoids could regulate stress responses and emotional learning.


    Cannabis and its effect on diabetes

    There is growing research investigating cannabis use and the effects on diabetes.

    Possible benefits of cannabis

    However, some studies, albeit animal-based ones, in recent years have highlighted a number of potential health benefits of cannabis for diabetics.

    A research paper published by the American Alliance for Medical Cannabis (AAMC) suggested that cannabis can help:

    Stabilise blood sugars – a large body of anecdotal evidence is building among diabetics to support this.
    Suppress some of the arterial inflammation commonly experienced by diabetics, which can lead to cardiovascular disease:

    Prevent nerve inflammation and ease the pain of neuropathy – the most common complication of diabetes – by stimulating receptors in the body and brain.

    Lower blood pressure over time, which can help reduce the risk of heart disease and other diabetes complications
    Keep blood vessels open and improve circulation.

    Relieve muscle cramps and the pain of gastrointestinal (GI) disorders

    Be used to make topical creams to relieve neuropathic pain and tingling in hands and feet

    Cannabis compounds have also been shown to reduce intra-ocular pressure (the fluid pressure within the eye) considerably in people with glaucoma – a type of eye disease that is caused by conditions that severely restrict blood flow to the eye, such as severe diabetic retinopathy.


    Marijuana Decreases Insulin Resistance, Improves Blood Sugar Control

    Researchers have found that marijuana users have lower fasting insulin levels compared to non-users, as well as healthier waist sizes and BMI scores.

    Epidemiologists at the Harvard School of Public Health, the University of Nebraska College of Medicine, and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center have discovered something surprising about the metabolic effects of Cannabis sativa, better known as marijuana. A drug notorious for giving users the munchies can in fact help moderate blood sugar levels, waist size, and body mass index (BMI).

    Their novel study, published in the current issue of The American Journal of Medicine, lays the groundwork for further investigation.

    “Previous epidemiologic studies have found lower prevalence rates of obesity and diabetes in marijuana users,” said lead investigator Murray Mittleman, M.D., in a press release. “Ours is the first study to investigate the relationship between marijuana use and fasting insulin, glucose, and insulin resistance.”


    “Respecter les institutions, ce n’est pas en accepter toutes les décisions.”


    #Drugs, #Science & #Society ft. @ProfDavidNutt

    #Society #People #Living #Environment #World


    How does #alcohol cause #cancer? Read some of the leading theories

    We’ve written about the link between alcohol and cancer many times before – from discussing the evidence that it causes cancer to talking about how drinking less reduces your risk of developing the disease.

    But we haven’t yet explored the science behind how alcohol affects and damages our cells, and how this can cause the cells in our bodies to develop into cancer.

    Which cancers?

    There are seven types of cancer linked to alcohol – bowel, oesophageal (food pipe), larynx (voice box), mouth, pharynx (upper throat), breast (in women), and liver. There’s also mounting evidence that heavy drinking might be linked to pancreatic cancer. But how, and why?

    Read in full:


    New #review concludes that #evidence for #alcohol causing #cancer is strong

    A new review of epidemiological evidence supports a causal association between alcohol consumption and cancers at seven sites in the body: oropharynx, larynx, oesophagus, liver, colon, rectum and female breast. This is a stronger statement than the long-recognised association between alcohol and cancer. An association means there is a relationship of some kind between the two variables. A causal association means there is evidence that alcohol consumption directly causes cancer…

    Read in full:



    How World Poverty will end if incomes (by country) grow at rate of period 2000–10


    World poverty has halved in last 20 yrs

    66% in US think it “almost doubled”


    Human Development Index is rising around the World

    More at:



    Developmental Psychology: The 3 Major Theories of Childhood Development

    In 1984, Nicholas Humphrey described us as “nature’s psychologists’” or homo psychologicus. What he meant was that as intelligent social beings, we tend to use our knowledge of our own thoughts and feelings – “introspection” – as a guide for understanding how others are likely to think, feel and hence, behave. He also argued that we are conscious [i.e. we have self-awareness] precisely because such an attribute is useful in the process of understanding others and having a successful social existence – consciousness is a biological adaptation that enables us to perform introspective psychology. Today, we are confident in the knowledge that the process of understanding others’ thoughts, feelings and behaviour is an ability that develops through childhood and most likely throughout our lives; and according to the greatest child psychologist of all time, Jean Piaget, a crucial phase of this process occurs in middle childhood.

    Developmental psychology can be characterised as the field that attempts to understand and explain the changes that happen over time in the thought, behaviour, reasoning and functioning of a person due to biological, individual and environmental influences. Developmental psychologists study children’s development, and the development of human behaviour across the organism’s lifetime from a variety of different perspectives. Hence, if we are studying different areas of development, different theoretical perspectives will be fundamental and may influence the ways psychologists and scholars think about and study development.

    Through the systematic collection of knowledge and experiments, we can develop a greater understanding and awareness of ourselves than would otherwise be possible…

    Full Article:


    4 graphiques sur la façon dont les gens dans le monde perçoivent l’éducation


    Here’s some help for your French elocution


    Study of healthy adults finds 2 types of extroverts have more brain matter than most common brains


    Aristotle: there are natural masters and natural slaves, and intelligence is what distinguishes them…


    Les Français lisent plus, que ce soit des livres papiers ou numériques


    Why is there a lack of French literature in Anglophone countries?


    Combien de mots peut traduire un #traducteur par jour?


    Learn more about the role of a literary translator

    Asterix et Obélix Chez Les Bretons (1986)


    Que veut dire “traduire”? « Tout le travail de la traduction, écrivit Valéry Larbaud, est une pesée de mots ».


    In France, grammar & language is how people differentiate themselves socially


    A rich vocabulary can protect against cognitive impairment

    Some people suffer incipient dementia as they get older. To make up for this loss, the brain’s cognitive reserve is put to the test. Researchers have studied what factors can help to improve this ability and they conclude that having a higher level of vocabulary is one such factor. ‘Cognitive reserve’ is the name given to the brain’s capacity to compensate for the loss of its functions. This reserve cannot be measured directly; rather, it is calculated through indicators believed to increase this capacity.



    Can People Really Change?

    By Linda Sapadin, Ph.D


    Surely there are things about yourself that you don’t like. So you change them, right? Well, not exactly. It’s more likely that you keep on doing them, even though you say you’d like to change them. So is the old adage, “A leopard can’t change his spots,” true? That people can’t change?

    No, people can change.

    But you can’t just snap your fingers and say goodbye to well-established patterns, even when those patterns result in bad consequences. Sure, you wish it could be easier. You may be impatient with yourself, giving yourself a good scold: “Just stop it already!” Oh, how I hate the word “just” when it pertains to change. We don’t change “just” because someone (even ourselves) wants us to.

    However, the opposite stance also is filled with flaws. Chase away those demons that tell you that you can’t change: it’s too hard, it’s not in your DNA, it requires excessive effort. Such a mindset will sabotage your efforts before you even begin. Though it’s true that “you are who you are” and that your personality structure “is what it is,” it’s not true that you can’t modify, alter, or tweak many aspects of how you behave.

    So, how do you change?

    It’s a process that begins with being aware. This may seem obvious, but it’s not. If you’re used to blaming everyone else for your problems, then you’re not aware. If you’re living your life in a daze, blaming bad luck, then you’re in denial. How are you ever going to change anything if you don’t own up to how your thinking and behavior help create the predicament you’re in?

    Self-awareness without judgment, similar to an anthropologist observing behavior in an attempt to understand it, is the first step. Yet, you can be fully aware of your bad habits and still not change. What’s missing?

    A no-nonsense commitment to change is what’s missing…

    Full Article:


    «L’humanité est faite grande ou petite par sa propre volonté. »- Friedrich Schiller

    Traduction(EN): « Mankind is made great or little by its own will. » – Friedrich Schiller


    « Les systèmes ont besoin d’un service de maintenance et de mise à jour périodique et cohérent pour suivre l’évolution, la recherche et les exigences humaines ». – Danny J. D’Purb

    Traduction(EN): “Systems need periodic & consistent maintenance service & update to keep up with evolution, research & human requirements.” -Danny D’Purb


    « Les analphabètes du XXIe siècle ne seront pas ceux qui ne savent ni lire ni écrire, mais ceux qui ne peuvent ni apprendre, ni désapprendre, ni réapprendre ». -Alvin Toffler

    Traduction(EN): “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn..” -Alvin Toffler


    « On ne peut pas changer le passé, mais on peut toujours changer le futur ». -Jerry Corsten

    Traduction(EN): “You can’t change the past, but you can always change the future.” -Jerry Corsten

  3. « Le piégeage d’un sentiment de solidarité incertain et fluctuant peut parfois donner lieu à des préjugés perceptifs ». -Danny J. D’Purb

    Traduction(EN): “The entrapment of an uncertain & fluctuating sense of solidarity may sometimes result in perceptive bias.” -Danny D’Purb


    « Ce n’est pas la plus forte des espèces qui survit, ni la plus intelligente qui survit. C’est celui qui s’adapte le mieux au changement ». -Charles Darwin

    Traduction(EN): “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” – C.Darwin


    « Tout événement conditionné jugé ” prévisible ” peut être redéfini et modifié par la suite…. ». -Danny J. D’Purb

    Traduction(EN): “Any conditioned event deemed ‘predictable’ can be re-defined and subsequently changed…” -Danny D’Purb


    « Le progrès est impossible sans changement, et ceux qui ne peuvent pas changer d’avis ne peuvent rien changer. » -G.B. Shaw

    Traduction (EN): « Progress is impossible without change, & those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything. » -G.B. Shaw


    « Alors que les modèles de communication chez les primates humains sont définis par des facteurs tels que la culture et l’environnement, la créativité et le QI restent constants ». -Danny J. D’Purb.

    Traduction (EN): “While communicative patterns in human primates are defined by factors such as culture & environment; creativity & IQ remain constant.” -Danny D’Purb


    Literacy & Education are major factors in the decrease in violence globally



    Albert Einstein on Fairy Tales & Education


    “How far superior an education that stresses independent action and personal responsibility is to one that relies on drill, external authority and ambition.”

    Albert Einstein, celebrated as “the quintessential modern genius,” is credited with many things — from era-defining scientific discoveries to great wisdom on everything from creativity to kindness to war to the secret to learning anything. Among them is also a sentiment of admirable insight yet questionable attribution: In Christopher Frayling’s 2005 book Mad, Bad and Dangerous?: The Scientist and the Cinema, Einstein is credited as having said:
    “If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be very intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”

    Full Article:


    « C’est l’artiste qui essaie de familiariser progressivement les gens aux possibilités d’un meilleur état des choses ». – C.A. Dawson Scott

    Traduction(EN): “It is the artist who tries to gradually accustom people to the possibilities of a better state of things.” ― C.A. Dawson Scott


    The Human Brain is designed for Art Appreciation

    Many studies involving functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) have exposed participants to paintings under varying task demands. To isolate neural systems that are activated reliably across fMRI studies in response to viewing paintings regardless of variation in task demands, a quantitative meta-analysis of fifteen experiments using the activation likelihood estimation (ALE) method was conducted.

    As predicted, viewing paintings was correlated with activation in a distributed system including the occipital lobes, temporal lobe structures in the ventral stream involved in object (fusiform gyrus) and scene (parahippocampal gyrus) perception, and the anterior insula—a key structure in experience of emotion. In addition, we also observed activation in the posterior cingulate cortex bilaterally—part of the brain’s default network.

    These results suggest that viewing paintings engages not only systems involved in visual representation and object recognition, but also structures underlying emotions and internalized cognitions.

    Vartanian, O. and Skov, M. (2014). Neural correlates of viewing paintings: Evidence from a quantitative meta-analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging data. Brain and Cognition, 87, pp.52-56.


    Journal of Personality and Social Psychology | Not everyone wants cheering up, new study of self-esteem suggests

    “People with low self-esteem want their loved ones to see them as they see themselves. As such, they are often resistant to their friends’ reminders of how positively they see them and reject what we call positive reframing–expressions of optimism and encouragement for bettering their situation,” said Professor Denise Marigold, from Renison University College at Waterloo, and lead author of the study.
    These individuals usually prefer negative validation, which conveys that the feelings, actions or responses of the recipient are normal, reasonable, and appropriate to the situation…



    Happy people think they’re good at empathising with the pain of others. They’re wrong!

    From: Devlin, H., Zaki, J., Ong, D., & Gruber, J. (2014). Not As Good as You Think? Trait Positive Emotion Is Associated with Increased Self-Reported Empathy but Decreased Empathic Performance PLoS ONE, 9 (10) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0110470


    Which of your friends – the happier, or the more melancholy – is better at spotting your excitement that Chris is attending your birthday, or that a B+ has left you disappointed?
    Evidence suggests that more upbeat people consider themselves especially empathic, and it would be reasonable to believe them, given that they know more people on average, and tend to form deeper, more trusting relationships. The reality, however, is more complicated. New research led by Yale’s Hillary Devlin suggests that cheerful people may think they’re high in empathy, but their confidence outstrips their ability.
    In psychology research, measures of empathy are often based on participants’ assessments of themselves, so this new study suggests researchers need to be aware that such beliefs may not track reality. For the rest of us, it’s useful to know that you don’t need to be a Pollyanna to figure out how people are doing. Sometimes, it’s the Eeyores who are more understanding…

    Full Article:


    Article: Harvard Business Review: Bureaucracy Must Die by G.Hamel


    Pope has sacked the head of his Swiss Guard – for being ‘too strict’


    Expressional Adaptation Getting to Si, Ja, Oui, Hai, & Da


    The samurai secret to mind & situational control


    #Brain Scans Hint at Therapy Uses of #Ecstasy


    Spirituality: mediator b/w engagement with nature & psychological wellbeing


    Know your rights – you should never be made to feel uncomfortable about public breastfeeding


    Do #Humans Belong With #Nature?


    St Cecilia, the patron saint of music holding a book and organ


    ‘Beautiful but sad’ music could help people feel better


    How Repetition Enchants the Brain and the Psychology of Why We Love It in Music


    “The repetition itself becomes the important thing; it’s a form of mesmerism,” Haruki Murakami reflected on the power of a daily routine. “Rhythm is one of the most powerful of pleasures, and when we feel a pleasurable rhythm we hope it will continue,” Mary Oliver wrote about the secret of great poetry, adding: “When it does, it grows sweeter.” But nowhere does rhythmic repetition mesmerize us more powerfully than in music, with its singular way of enchanting the brain.

    How and why this happens is precisely what cognitive scientist Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis, director of the Music Cognition Lab at the University of Arkansas, explores in On Repeat: How Music Plays the Mind (public library). This illuminating short animation from TED Ed, based on Margulis’s work, explains the psychology of the “mere exposure effect,” which makes things grow sweeter simply as they become familiar — a parallel manifestation of the same psychological phenomenon that causes us to rate familiar statements as more likely to be true than unfamiliar ones…

    Full Article:


    CNN | THIS is your brain on MUSIC: The patients who listened to music had less anxiety and lower cortisol than people who took drugs

    Journal Trends in Cognitive Neurosciences | The Neurochemistry of Music)

    Listening to music feels good, but can that translate into physiological benefit? Levitin and colleagues published a meta-analysis of 400 studies in the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences, suggesting the answer is yes…
    The results: The patients who listened to music had less anxiety and lower cortisol than people who took drugs. Levitin cautioned that this is only one study, and more research needs to be done to confirm the results, but it points toward a powerful medicinal use for music…

    Full Article:


    The neurochemistry of music

    Trends in Cognitive Sciences | Volume 17, Issue 4, April 2013, Pages 179–193 | Mona Lisa Chanda, Daniel J. Levitin


    Compelling Design is about Psychology, Not Technology


    [W.James works were influential to intellectuals such as Émile Durkheim, W. E. B. Du Bois, Edmund Husserl, Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Hilary Putnam, and Richard Rorty]


    1890, Principles of Psychology

    “Millions of items of the outward order are present to my senses which never properly enter into my experience. Why? Because they have no interest for me. My experience is what I agree to attend to. Only those items which I notice shape my mind – without selective interest, experience is an utter chaos…”

    William James 1842-1910


    World of Psychology: 7 Tips for Setting Boundaries At Work


    Bullying: Long Term Health Affected According to Study


    Bullied at work? Keep a diary with dates, times and account of incident …


    5 Ways To Protect Yourself From Your Phone’s Radiation


    Now Hear This! Most People Stink at Listening


    The health hazards of sitting


    How inactivity changes the brain


    Overweight & Obesity are linked to 10 common Cancers and more than 12 000 UK cases

    (@bmj_latest BMJ2014;349:g5183) Published: August 2014

    Full Article:



    1 US
    2 Mexico
    5 Australia
    6 Canada
    8 UK
    9 Ireland
    28 France
    34 Italy
    38 Japan


  4. Blood test can diagnose Alzheimer’s 3 years in advance – but would people want to know


    Fading Sense of Smell may be a warning for Dementia


    Alzheimer’s Risk Doubled In People With Herpes [cold sores] Virus; How The Virus Stimulates Alzheimer’s Development

    A new study finds that people carrying the herpes virus have double the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Considering that almost everyone contracts one particular form of the virus, it could explain why so many people also develop Alzheimer’s.

    Full Article:


    Impact of dementia on business: New figures from PHE and @alzheimerssoc


    How does UK public spending compare with other countries?


    These maps show the best and worst countries for journalists, and changes in recent years

  5. #Income & #Lifespan of #all #countries


    Changing #mortality at a #young #age matters. Life expectancy increased for all ages.



    ‘Come, O men, to see the #miracles that such #studies will disclose in #nature.’ – Leonardo #daVinci


    L’apparence physique, cette discrimination négligée

    Dans «La société du paraître», Jean-François Amadieu attire l’attention sur le rôle de l’apparence physique (beauté, poids, taille, âge, etc.) dans la réussite sociale. La période de tension identitaire est-elle propice à la reconnaissance de ces formes négligées de discriminations?

    Le café où j’ai interviewé Jean-François Amadieu, professeur en sciences de gestion, auteur de La société du paraître, a servi de cas d’étude pour vérifier les observations qu’il popularise dans ses travaux depuis une quinzaine d’années. Rive gauche parisienne, près de l’université Panthéon-Sorbonne où il enseigne, les riverains sont beaux. «Dans les quartiers comme celui où nous sommes, il n’y a pas de personnes obèses, remarque-t-il. Chez les CSP+ les taux d’obésité dégringolent au-delà de 3.800 euros par mois.»

    La question de l’apparence physique n’est pas une question de riches pour autant. Une serveuse peut être désavantagée en raison d’un surpoids, d’un visage jugé disgracieux, d’une origine ethnique à laquelle sont associés des stéréotypes négatifs, d’un âge qui sera jugé trop avancé pour que le candidat soit perçu comme efficace. «La masse des victimes de discrimination en raison de l’apparence ne se manifeste pas», écrit Amadieu. Et à le lire nous serions presque tous concernés.

    Au fil des années, note l’auteur, Le Grand Journal de Canal+ a changé de présentateur mais le casting du premier rang s’en est tenu à une formule immuable: jeunes, minces, beaux. Amadieu utilise cette image pour évoquer la relégation d’une partie du public qui, de fait, forme une large «majorité silencieuse» de Français interdits de représentation dans les médias et confrontés un jour où l’autre, à leur insu ou pas, à une forme de discrimination sur la base de leur apparence. Ce «poids des apparences», titre de son précédent livre, pèse lourdement sur le destin des individus. Il fait l’objet de dénis fréquents, parce qu’il est trop inconfortable, pour une société dont l’égalité est une valeur centrale, de considérer que le tour de taille des individus, la symétrie de leur visage ou l’apparence juvénile jouent un rôle dans la répartition des ressources.

    Full Article:


    Craniofacial genetics: Where have we been and where are we going?

    Looking at faces is always illuminating. Perhaps, this is because our faces reveal so much about us, ranging from our evolutionary history to our embryological development, genetic endowment, propensity for disease, current health status, and exposures over our lifespan. The structure of our faces may even reveal insights into our personalities—an idea that stretches back to the ancient Greeks. The face is a complex constellation of parts serving functions as diverse as sight, hearing, smell, breathing, nourishment and digestion, protection, and communication. Despite our collective fascination, we still have limited understanding of the molecular machinery that controls how our faces form or how morphological variation in facial features arises, from the typical and often subtle differences that endow each of us with our unique facial appearance to the rare craniofacial malformations seen in the clinic. However, we are making incredible progress in these areas, and the pace of discovery is poised to accelerate rapidly, facilitated by the emergence of high-throughput experimental methods, advances in computational modeling, and the investment and availability of large-scale craniofacial data resources, (e.g., the FaceBase Consortium).

    Weinberg, S., Cornell, R. and Leslie, E. (2018). Craniofacial genetics: Where have we been and where are we going?. PLOS Genetics, 14(6), p.e1007438.


    How do you define #wellbeing? See what others have to say

    #ModernSociety #World #Edu


    Adoption of new #technology since 1900 in th #US

    #Society #Consumer #Culture


    New research suggests central bankers should be bolder and more innovative


    Artificial-intelligence system learns how to spot liars


    Studies suggest that even the smartest investors struggle to outdo a blindfolded monkey


    Success as LOW as 30% when promoting finance people to broader leadership roles



    Can #Business leaders #benefit from studying great #writers?

    #Philosophy @EconBizFin


    Harvard Business Review | Curiosity Is as Important as Intelligence


    “There seems to be wide support for the idea that we are living in an “age of complexity”, which implies that the world has never been more intricate. This idea is based on the rapid pace of technological changes, and the vast amount of information that we are generating (the two are related). Yet consider that philosophers like Leibniz (17th century) and Diderot (18th century) were already complaining about information overload. The “horrible mass of books” they referred to may have represented only a tiny portion of what we know today, but much of what we know today will be equally insignificant to future generations.

    In any event, the relative complexity of different eras is of little matter to the person who is simply struggling to cope with it in everyday life. So perhaps the right question is not “Is this era more complex?” but “Why are some people more able to manage complexity?” Although complexity is context-dependent, it is also determined by a person’s disposition. In particular, there are three key psychological qualities that enhance our ability to manage complexity…

    Full Article on the Harvard Business Review Blog:

  6. “Which is the best language to learn?”

    by Robert Lane Greene


    From INTELLIGENT LIFE magazine, March/April 2012

    For language lovers, the facts are grim: Anglophones simply aren’t learning them any more. In Britain, despite four decades in the European Union, the number of A-levels taken in French and German has fallen by half in the past 20 years, while what was a growing trend of Spanish-learning has stalled.

    In America, the numbers are equally sorry. One factor behind the 9/11 attacks was the fact that the CIA lacked the Arabic-speakers who might have translated available intelligence. But ten years on, “English only” campaigns appeal more successfully to American patriotism than campaigns that try to promote language-learning, as if the most successful language in history were threatened.

    Why learn a foreign language? After all, the one you already speak if you read this magazine is the world’s most useful and important language. English is not only the first language of the obvious countries, it is now the rest of the world’s second language: a Japanese tourist in Sweden or a Turk landing a plane in Spain will almost always speak English.

    Nonetheless, compelling reasons remain for learning other languages. They range from the intellectual to the economical to the practical…

    Full Article:


    “Savoir Aimer”, courtesy of @florentpagny (1997)

    #Society #Culture #Art #Education #World


    Music Training for the Development of Speech Segmentation

    The role of music training in fostering brain plasticity and developing high cognitive skills, notably linguistic abilities, is of great interest from both a scientific and a societal perspective. Here, we report results of a longitudinal study over 2 years using both behavioral and electrophysiological measures and a test-training-retest procedure to examine the influence of music training on speech segmentation in 8-year-old children. Children were pseudo-randomly assigned to either music or painting training and were tested on their ability to extract meaningless words from a continuous flow of nonsense syllables. While no between-group differences were found before training, both behavioral and electrophysiological measures showed improved speech segmentation skills across testing sessions for the music group only. These results show that music training directly causes facilitation in speech segmentation, thereby pointing to the importance of music for speech perception and more generally for children’s language development. Finally these results have strong implications for promoting the development of music-based remediation strategies for children with language-based learning impairments.

    Francois, C., Chobert, J., Besson, M. and Schon, D. (2012). Music Training for the Development of Speech Segmentation. Cerebral Cortex, 23(9), pp.2038-2043.


    #Scientists identify a neural #population highly #selective for #music

    #Neuroscience #Edu


    Easily distracted by noise? You might be a creative genius

    Creativity and sensory gating indexed by the P50: Selective versus leaky sensory gating in divergent thinkers and creative achievers.

    Overall results suggest that leaky sensory gating may help people integrate ideas that are outside of focus of attention, leading to creativity in the real world; whereas divergent thinking, measured by divergent thinking tests which emphasize numerous responses within a limited time, may require selective sensory processing more than previously thought.

    Zabelina, D., O’Leary, D., Pornpattananangkul, N., Nusslock, R. and Beeman, M. (2015). Creativity and sensory gating indexed by the P50: Selective versus leaky sensory gating in divergent thinkers and creative achievers. Neuropsychologia, 69, pp.77-84.


    #Learning #difficulties

    The “dys” #disorders

    #Science #Neuroscience #Brain #Abilities


    Anthony van Dyck
    Frans Snyders


    “What is the #purpose of conceiving something that nobody wants?” – @JulienDelRio


    Unequal at #birth

    #Society #Biology #Culture #People #Education #World


    Indulging in #unrealistic positive #fantasies linked to problems in #mentalhealth


    Instrumentational Complexity of Music Genres and Why Simplicity Sells

    Percino, G., Klimek, P. and Thurner, S. (2014). Instrumentational Complexity of Music Genres and Why Simplicity Sells. PLoS ONE, 9(12), p.e115255.


    Listening habits are strongly influenced by two opposing aspects, the desire for variety and the demand for uniformity in music. In this work we quantify these two notions in terms of instrumentation and production technologies that are typically involved in crafting popular music. We assign an ‘instrumentational complexity value’ to each music style. Styles of low instrumentational complexity tend to have generic instrumentations that can also be found in many other styles. Styles of high complexity, on the other hand, are characterized by a large variety of instruments that can only be found in a small number of other styles. To model these results we propose a simple stochastic model that explicitly takes the capabilities of artists into account. We find empirical evidence that individual styles show dramatic changes in their instrumentational complexity over the last fifty years. ‘New wave’ or ‘disco’ quickly climbed towards higher complexity in the 70s and fell back to low complexity levels shortly afterwards, whereas styles like ‘folk rock’ remained at constant high instrumentational complexity levels. We show that changes in the instrumentational complexity of a style are related to its number of sales and to the number of artists contributing to that style. As a style attracts a growing number of artists, its instrumentational variety usually increases. At the same time the instrumentational uniformity of a style decreases, i.e. a unique stylistic and increasingly complex expression pattern emerges. In contrast, album sales of a given style typically increase with decreasing instrumentational complexity. This can be interpreted as music becoming increasingly formulaic in terms of instrumentation once commercial or mainstream success sets in.


    Afr Americans much mor likely to be mrdered in devloped countries


    Most #people in #prison

    1 US
    2 China
    3 Russia
    4 Brazil
    5 India
    11 Turkey
    24 Germany


    Mapped: #Global spread of #Leprosy, #Malaria & #Smallpox

    #Disease #Culture


    Article: 6 components of the mindset of a #successful enterprise #leader



    #Global #population: 11.2 #billion by 2100 driven by #Africa’s soaring #growth



    A #Map of #Population & #Income

    (#World #Economy)



    More #people in the #UK trust the #TRUTH to come frm #SCIENCE





    Most desired #jobs in #Britain

    Author 60%
    Academic 51%
    Movie Star 31%

  7. “Sacred Longing: The Wisdom of Embracing Our Desires”


    The Neurochemistry of Positive Conversations


    Raising Windhorse: How to Harness Personal Power

    by Dr. Donna Rockwell, Psy.D., L.P. Clinical psychologist, adjunct faculty member, community outreach worker, columnist, and mindfulness meditation teacher


    “… we learn from the earliest age to look to others to determine our self-worth and deservedness. Paralyzed by fear, we reduce our likelihood of success and achievement. Instead of being trained to ask, why not me, our minds are trained to ask, why would it be me? Rather than simply living out our unique and individual giftedness, engaging in life with the fervor of a love affair, our brains have developed deeply entrenched ruts that drag us through baseless fears and career-stopping apprehensions. Looking outside the self and treating the illusory reflection as a mirror is the first problem.
    We need to understand that due to years of mental conditioning and popculture brainwashing, negative self-appraisals and knee-jerk self-doubt are as much a bad habit as nail biting. The trick is to break the habit.
    The way to free ourselves from such conditioned habits of mind is to build inner-confidence through a process Tibetan meditation master, Chögyam Trungpa calls, “raising windhorse.”
    1. There is an uplifted quality that exists in our lives. You could call it sacred existence, which is automatically created because of your mindfulness and awareness. We pay attention to details: we wash the dishes, we clean our room, we press our shirts, and we fold our sheets. When we pay attention to everything around us, the overall effect is “upliftedness.” The…term for that is “windhorse.”
    The best way to raise windhorse, and generate this state of upliftedness that makes everything else…”

    Full Article Below:

    “We learn from the earliest age to look to others to determine our self-worth and deservedness.”

    Depression is often the result of some form of mental oppression. Liberate yourself.

    Don’t let your mind be occupied by blame towards others. A liberated mind is a forgiving one.

  8. _______________________________

    “Yes, it’s official, men are from Mars and women from Venus, and here’s the science to prove it”

    #Science #Gender #Differences #Men #Women

    I am a developmental biologist who has studied how embryos develop from the fertilised egg. Genes control the development of the embryo by providing the codes for making proteins, which largely determine how cells behave.
    The cells in the human embryo give rise to the structure and function of our brains and bodies. These cells determine whether we are male or female, and I want to understand the extent to which important differences in the behaviour of men and women are controlled by their genes during development and by the action of hormones both in the womb and in later life.
    Exactly how different men and women are is, of course, a controversial subject. The view that there are inborn differences between the minds of men and women is being challenged by others who call this the pseudoscience of “neurosexism”, and are raising concerns about its implications. They emphasise instead social influences, such as stereotyping, in determining the differences in the behaviour of the sexes…

    Full Article:


    Heart Disease the No.1 Killer in Women | #FightTheLadyKiller

    #Cardiology #Health #Society

    A campaign aimed at raising awareness about Heart Disease, a no.1 killer in women [that does not seem to have been given enough attention] is being supported by campaigners worldwide (incl. artist Edward Norton)

    Important reminder for our mothers, daughters, sisters, lovers and friends #fighttheladykiller


    Impact of Mental Stress on Heart varies between Men & Women


    Men and women have different cardiovascular and psychological reactions to mental stress, according to a study of men and women who were already being treated for heart disease.

    The study, in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, looked at 56 women and 254 men diagnosed with heart disease enrolled in a larger REMIT study of the impact of the medication escitalopram on heart disease induced by mental stress…

    …more women experienced myocardial ischemia, decreased blood flow to the heart. Women also experienced increased platelet aggregation, which is the start of the formation of blood clots, more than men. The women compared with men also expressed a greater increase in negative emotions and a greater decrease in positive emotions during the mental stress tests.

    Full Article:



    NASA | Study Investigates How Men and Women Adapt Differently to Spaceflight (Journal of Women Health)


    The groups focused on cardiovascular, immunological, sensorimotor, musculoskeletal, reproductive and behavioral implications on spaceflight adaptation for men and women

    In June 2013, NASA and NSBRI hosted a virtual workshop to present the groups’ findings. The Journal of Women’s Health published the manuscripts in the Nov. 2014 issue…

    Full Article:

  9. The tech revolution, inconceivable 20 years ago

    #Society #Technology #Trends #Economy #World

  10. #Meditators hv #brains that are physically 7 yrs younger, on average, than non-meditators


    “Something new often seems to invigorate us, yet we’ve taught ourselves to be afraid of change. Learn again to embrace the excitement.”


    “The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything” -Albert Einstein


    “The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge”

    A piece of #wisdom from our very own @Prof_S_Hawking (#Knowledge #Ignorance #Illusion #Enemy #StephenHawking)


    “Only the educated are free.” -Epictetus


    Oxford #comma usage among people w/ different levels of #grammar



    #Ecosystem #Organism #Influences #Human #Evolution #Education #Sci – @danieldennett @RichardDawkins @_Four_Horsemen


    Study of healthy adults finds that 2 types of extroverts have more brain matter than most common brains

    #Society #Neuroscience #Evolution #Science #Mind



    #CarlJung #Quotes #Society #Mind #Education #Thoughts #Reasoning #Logic #Reason #People #World


    You shouldn’t be threatened if yr #direct reports are #smarter than you


    Projet Voltaire App pour Windows X

    Pour dire adieu aux fautes d’orthographe et de grammaire (conjugaison, accords…), le Projet Voltaire vous propose une méthode unique d’entraînement et de remise à niveau – avec des tests et des exercices d’orthographe et de grammaire – qui est la seule à s’adapter automatiquement à vos lacunes et à votre rythme d’acquisition.

    UTILISATION : le Projet Voltaire propose des niveaux classés dans un ordre croissant de difficulté.
    Chaque niveau permet de se tester et de s’entraîner sur plusieurs difficultés. Le principe est simple : une phrase est affichée, si vous voyez une faute, cliquez dessus, sinon cliquez sur le bouton “Il n’y a pas de faute”. Le système analyse votre degré d’autonomie face à la difficulté et continuera à vous entraîner jusqu’à ce que vous la maîtrisiez. Lorsque la jauge de progression arrive à 100 %, vous maîtrisez toutes les règles du niveau. Vous pouvez à tout moment voir votre courbe de progression en cliquant sur “Statistiques”. Sur le module Supérieur, les difficultés recensées sont à l’origine de nombreuses fautes graves et récurrentes relevées dans les échanges professionnels courants par e-mails ; 50 % d’entre elles concernent la grammaire (conjugaison, accords…).

    Projet Voltaire, la référence en orthographe pour le diagnostic, la remise à niveau personnalisée et la certification est éprouvé par plus de 3 millions d’utilisateurs et dans plus de 1700 établissements (entreprises, CCI, universités, grandes écoles, lycées, collèges, centres de formation…).

    82 % des recruteurs étant sensibles au niveau d’orthographe des candidats, pourquoi ne pas passer le Certificat Voltaire (certificat de niveau délivrant un score que l’on peut afficher sur son CV, comme on le fait avec le TOEIC® ou le TOEFL® pour l’anglais) ? Le Projet Voltaire est l’outil le plus efficace pour vous y entraîner.

    Gratuit sur Microsoft® Store ici:



  11. _____________________________________________

    The effects of gratitude on others, and how giving thanks can motivate and encourage


  12. Publics most interested in “science & tech” and “health & medicine” mostly don’t overlap


    Join the Organ Donor Register today & you could save or improve up to 9 lives

  13. Don’t judge a scientist by their degree grade: A survey of Fellows of the Royal Society reveals many distinguished scientists might struggle to get a research post nowadays

    The Biologist 63(1) p7

    Many people, for many reasons, have failed to get the grades they are capable of, or messed up their degrees completely.

    Yet throughout history, people have pursued scientific investigation or engineering, often through the help of others, with poor grades or having never studied science formally at all. These people have gone on to develop world changing technologies or made great breakthroughs in our understanding of the natural world.

    Eminent examples include three Copley Medal winners: Michael Faraday, who did an apprenticeship, and had no degree; Charles Darwin, who got an ‘ordinary’ degree in theology; and James Joule, who had no degree. John Walker, who won the Copley Medal and the Nobel Prize, got a third class honours degree due to illness; and Admiral Henry Jackson, who invented radio communication between ships, did not have a degree.

    Is it possible that these pioneers in science would struggle to get a research placement today, where research councils demand no less than a 2:1 BSc honours degree? (Exceptions to this entry requirement do occur, but only where laboratory leaders are well funded and know the student.)

    I decided to look more closely at the degree grades of Fellows of the Royal Society (FRS) who worked in the experimental sciences*. It is, of course, difficult to compare the grades of people studying centuries apart, because degree terminology has changed significantly. But of nearly 300 surveyed, 18% achieved third class honours or worse, and even more had ‘ordinary’ degrees (the definition of which has changed over time, but generally means a pass without honours).

    Contrary to the general belief that 70% to 80% of experimental scientists at FRS level have first class honours, I found the figure is closer to half (54%); 10% of these distinguished scientists never did degrees, and almost a third (30%) have a second, 2:2 or lower. Many of the most well known scientists on my list got the lowest grades…





    « N’ayez pas peur de la grandeur: certains hommes naissent grands, certains atteignent la grandeur et certains ont la grandeur poussée sur eux. » -William Shakespeare

    Traduction(EN): « Be not afraid of greatness: some men are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them. » -William Shakespeare

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s