July 24, 2005

Emotions Help Determine Outcomes

An article from the Warton School of Business, "Looking to Make a Sale or Get Promoted? Emotions Will Help Determine the Outcome", talks about  study of how emotion effects how we negotiate and make decisions:
The main idea in the paper is that emotions which are irrelevant to the judgment task nevertheless influence trust judgments in predictable ways," Schweitzer says.
"The extent to which I do or do not trust you is a function not only of how trusting a person I am and what I know about you, but also a function of irrelevant events that have influenced my emotional state.
These results have a direct effect on how people can approach a negotiation:
"In negotiation, we have always known that non-task communication -- discussion that's not directly relevant to the negotiation process -- is important for closing a deal," says Schweitzer. "This research gives us some insight into why it's important and what kinds of things should go into that communication." Specifically, "non-task communication, like telling jokes/stories or talking about sports, can change people's emotional states and make them more (or less) trusting.
The reason you gave someone a large contract may have more to do with how funny the story he told you beforehand was than with his reputation for dependability."
But, people are not powerless in the face of such manipulation:
"When people recognize the trigger, or source, of their emotions they are less likely to misattribute them. When I realize that I'm angry because of something my spouse did, I am less likely to use that anger in an unrelated judgment. When I am not aware of or thinking about why I am angry, I am more likely to misattribute it."
Correctly attributing our emotional states can counter the effects of others who are trying to manipulate our feelings. "Good sales people tell jokes and funny stories; they bring little gifts. What they are trying to do is influence people's emotional states." Recognizing that this person is trying to make you feel good can help separate the good feelings from the decisions at hand.
Read the article and then examine your own negotiation technique. Do you use non-task related conversation to put the other at ease? Or do you let others use non-task related talk to effect your mood and your decision making? Useful things to watch out for.
Posted by georgegmacdonald at 01:13 AM

July 22, 2005

Donji in Flowers

This is one of my favorite pictures of my wife, Donji. This was taken in the Central Park flower garden in San Mateo, CA.
This is also a test of the Qumana "Drop Box", a small translucent box that lives on the desktop. I dragged this picture off of a web page into the drop box and it was automatically added to this post in the editor. Text and links can also be dragged onto the drop box. If this post works, it will make the drop box a useful way to add things to weblog posts.
Posted by georgegmacdonald at 02:18 PM

July 21, 2005

Ethanol: Corn Dog

In the  Slate article 'Corn Dog' Robert Bryce talks about some problems with ethanol as an alternative motor fuel:
Making ethanol, they claim, will help America achieve the elusive goal of "energy security" while helping farmers, reducing oil imports, and stimulating the American economy. But the ethanol boosters are ignoring some unpleasant facts: Ethanol won't significantly reduce our oil imports; adding more ethanol to our gas tanks adds further complexity to our motor-fuel supply chain, which will lead to further price hikes at the pump; and, most important (and most astonishing), it may take more energy to produce a gallon of ethanol than it actually contains.
I've never been a fan of ethanol, and this article highlights the problems. It seems like the ethanol subsidies are more for ADM than they are for motorists or environmentalists. I feel the same way about most of the claims for bio diesel.
Posted by georgegmacdonald at 05:55 PM

Qumana Test #2

It worked the first time. The post ended up in italics, but I discovered that the italics were on by default. While that was annoying, the editor did post what it said it was going to post. Next up, test the Qumana "Drop Pad" a way to drag and drop content into the editor.
Posted by georgegmacdonald at 05:41 PM

Qumana Test

This is a test of Qumana LE, a WYSISYG blog post editor. I'll be interested to see how it works. Qumana LE is freeware. It runs on Windows and looks like a standard Email HTML email editor. Set up seemed easy. I'll be interested to see if it workes first time.
Posted by georgegmacdonald at 05:38 PM