Quick Hits 10-28-10

Cognitive Dissonance

From the Center for Business and Public Policy, “Our Collective Cognitive Dissonance” is tangentially related to yesterday’s post on “Thinking about how we think.” Cognitive dissonance, in short, is the mind’s difficulty in processing conflicting ideas or emotions.  The author of this article points out that significant majorities of Americans consistently prefer more intervention in programs such as the environment and health care.  Yet, polls consistency indicate that respondents prefer the government off our backs.  The author’s summary:

“…it appears as if Americans want lower taxes, more government programs, alongside a balanced budget. It’s perhaps understandable that government can’t deliver.”

Work Smarter, Not Harder

From Fortune magazine: “To get more done, work less.”  How many times have we witnessed or engaged in a debate about how hard we work relative to others.  Many are fixated on the total number of hours worked.  But, we do not always regard what is we actually accomplish  It is the classic quantity over quality debate.  This article focuses on getting more sleep, taking longer breaks, and multitasking less in order to be more productive.  Most of us have heard the mantra; but few of us follow it.  Why?  For advanced students, see Results-Oriented Work Environment (ROWE).