1. Who should you expect to be better at remembering rhyming verse?  A) A four year-old   B) A 14 year-old  C) A 44 year old?

A) A four year-old.

Adults are generally better at remembering all other information, but in a recent admittedly-small study, the four year-olds remembered twice as many correct words in a rhyming story. Reason? Possibly because pre-schoolers have more recent experience with rhymes.

2. Are more intelligent people happier?

Yes, but only very slightly.

A recent review of 33 studies involving 50,000 people showed that more intelligent people are a bit more satisfied with their work, but intelligence doesn’t have any significant connection with overall satisfaction with life.

3. What’s the best way to motivate most people? A) Pay them generously B) Give them interesting work to do C) Give them control over their work.

C) Give them control over their work.  

Autonomy checks out in numerous studies as a fundamental human need, regardless of culture. Money is only motivating for most people until they are paid what they consider fair. After that, the motivating power of money falls away.

4. Let’s say you are upset about your team leader’s decision. What should you do next? A) Tell your team leader and your colleagues how you feel, because it’s not healthy to bottle up negative thoughts  B) Get over it, because dwelling on negative things only makes things worse  C) It depends.

C) It depends.

If it would be constructive to speak up, that could be healthy, but the cliché about letting off steam could encourage you to go over and over the cause of your anger and doing nothing about it. Psychologists call it rumination (think cows here) and nothing prolongs stress like rumination. (Speaking up in anger could damage your relationships too.)

5. The chief executive has asked you to organise a community day. You’ll close the office so that the team can clean up a local beach. Should you make it compulsory?  A) Yes, even those who don’t want to come will feel good when the beach is clean  B) No, making it compulsory will encourage bad attitudes  C) Yes, you need everyone there to make it a team-building experience.

B) No, making it compulsory would encourage bad attitudes. And, not just bad attitudes on the day.

In a study recently published in Academy of Management Journal the authors put it this way, 'When you are grudgingly good, you become blasé about doing bad.’

Even asking people to remember times they were forced to help out, led to them being more likely to bend rules, make fun of a colleague and cheat on a test.

6. How much could a 60-minute run add to your life? A) Seven hours  B) 17 minutes  C) So little, it’s not worth counting

A) Seven hours

But wait there’s more.

According to a recent study reported in the journal Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases, regular runners live an average of three years longer and running does more to extend our lives than any other form of exercise.

7. Who would be more willing to hear information that challenges their views? A) Liberals  B) Conservatives  C) Neither

C) Neither

In a recent American study, liberals and conservatives were equally likely to decline a chance to read statements that challenged their views on divisive issues such as climate change, same-sex marriage and marijuana. More than two-thirds preferred to remain in what the researchers called ‘their ideological bubbles’.

The research team found a similar result with non-political debates such as the best soft drink and whether to select an aisle or window seat.


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