1. Is it true that as time goes on humans become more intelligent?
Yes – on average. It's called the Flynn Effect and recognised by the American Psychological Association. In 30 countries studied so far, IQ scores have been going up between two and six points a decade.
Who is Flynn?
James Flynn is a political scientist turned psychology researcher from the University of Otago.
The Flynn Effect is not just a reflection of how much more we humans learn each year. The Raven IQ test that eliminates learning and cultural factors by asking people to complete abstract visual patterns records the biggest changes.
2. Let's say you are learning a new language or some other skill. How important is it to ensure you achieve a high standard every time you practise? A) Essential B) Not very important C) Don't be ridiculous
C) Not very important. Try hard and hang in there, but as the language teachers say: 'frequency beats quality every time'. Perfectionists struggle. Some research psychologists talk about 'grit' as the best indicator of achievement. The people who set long-term goals, accept setbacks as part of learning and show relentless determination are the most resilient and the top achievers.
3. Let's say your confidence is at an all-time low. You are feeling depressed. Would it help to recite 'I am confident and happy' each morning?
No. Most likely you'd feel worse. Affirmations are useless for confident and happy people and make depressed people realise how untrue the statement is. It's pop psychology. Instead, make a plan for your day and stick to it. Include some socialising with people who are good to be around.
4. Which organisation would Kiwis most like to work for? A) Westpac B) Department of Conservation C) TVNZ
B) Department of Conservation. DOC won this year's Randstad Award for New Zealand's most attractive employer. It may be a government department (a negative for many people) but the Department appeals to young and older people, male and female. TVNZ came second this year and won the award last year. The award is about reputation in the market for talent, not the experience of employees, so in DOC's case, saving Takahe and Kiwi must have helped.
5. If you held your meetings standing up they would be shorter. Would the decision-making suffer?
Apparently not. Researchers from the University of Missouri found that stand-up meetings were 34 per cent shorter and the decision-making didn't suffer. The participants were less satisfied with the meetings, but their cooperation and commitment to the decisions were about the same.
Queen Elizabeth conducts her meetings with representatives of Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council every month and because she doesn't sit, the privy councillors can't either. It's tradition.
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